Thursday, July 31, 2014

Digital Wars by Charles Arthur

So thanks to the Understanding Media by Understanding Google course that ended recently, I developed an interest in Google, Apple, and the rest of the tech giants. So I was really happy to see this book in NetGalley.

Digital Wars looks at Apple, Google and Microsoft, and how each of them have been reacting to the digital age. Microsoft established its dominance early on, but Google has overtaken it since then, and Apple has turned out to be a formidable contender.

This book goes through a quick introduction, and looks at the Microsoft antitrust case. After that, it looks at Search, Digital Music, Smartphones, Tablets and China, and compares how each of these three companies have done in each respect. So while it's not a chronological narrative, it does capture a good snapshot of how each company has performed in a given field.

I found this book to be very easy to read and extremely interesting. I haven't really considered Microsoft at all, but this book has showed me that they have been trying to regain their former dominance - although they don't seem to be succeeding in search or digital music.

As the different types of technology start to converge, what with rumors of an Apple smart watch, the debut of Google Glass, Microsoft 8, anyone with an interest in the technology market should read this book. Understanding how these companies have been acting in the past will help understand what they're doing today.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

(Un)breakable by Kesh Tanglao

A while back, I participated in the blog tour for The Real Score (link leads to my review) and if you read that review, you'll know that I loved the book! And I'm happy to tell you that there's a sequel to The Real Score called (Un)breakable!

(Un)breakable follows Caitlyn's best friend Lorin. This book takes place after the events in The Real Score and has Lorin torn between two guys - the rugby player Spence, and the Gezellig member Nigel. Now, this isn't a normal love triangle - Spence and Lorin (who have been dating for two years) are in an "open" relationship. Quotations because Lorin thought it was open and Spence didn't think so. Add Nigel, who's determined to win Lorin over, and you have a mess of relationships.

To be honest, Lorin was not the most endearing character. But as the book went on, I realised how much she had been hurt in the past, which resulted in how she was today. I thought that her character was developed much further in this book, and it was good to see another side to the supportive best friend role she played in The Real Score.

And not to give any spoilers, but the romance was so well-written! Normally, I'm not a fan of love-triangles, but I must say, the way that this one was resolved was done really well. I enjoyed reading it, and since I didn't favour Spence or Nigel, I didn't have a problem with who Lorin ended up.

The only complaint I have about this book is that it was so focused on Lorin and her love triangles (which, admittedly, needed the space) that it barely talked about Caitlyn and Marcus. My favourite couple! And trust me, a lot of things happened, and the biggest twist in the book for me involved Caitlyn and Marcus. It made me really eager to read the third book in the series, if only to reassure myself that these two will have a happy ending.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book as part of the Oops! I read a book again blog tours in exchange for a free and honest review.

Check out the giveaway too!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Teaser Tuesday - Into the Light by Nicole Weider

Tuesday again? That means I am one week close to exams! And the end of the year. And growing up. And ok, you get the picture. Life is passing by me pretty quickly.

Right now, I'm reading Into The Light by Nicole Weider. Nicole is a former model, and the founder of Project Inspired. I got the book from that site, and her story has been captivating so far.

My teaser:
"Life in Hollywood was a crazy existence that was both seductive and soul-destroying. Trying to make it to the top looks so glamorous."

What is your teaser this week?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Pinocchio, Vampire Slayer by Dusty Higgins

You know a book is going to be good when it references G.K. Chesterton. A comic that references it in the very first line? Even better! This book could not have made a better impression on me if it tried.

This is a story about Pinocchio, like you've never known him before. Unlike the (mostly) happy world of Ever After High, this fairy-tale retelling is dark. It starts off with an orphan Pinocchio, a vampire slayer in a town that refuses to believe in vampires. Apart from one girl, his only companions after Gepetto was killed would be the Blue Fairy and Master Cherry (a Carpenter and friend of Gepetto). There are many twists and turns, and no, I'm not going to tell them to you. Let's just say that being a real boy is involved, and no, it's not as good as it may be.

Wait, how does Pinocchio kill vampires? I admit, Vampire Hunter was not a job title that I would have given to Pinocchio. But think about it, to kill a vampire, you stake it in the heart. And for that, you need a piece of wood. Guess who's got an everlasting supply of ready-made stakes (contingent on his ability to lie)? Now that I thought about it, Pinocchio is the perfect vampire hunter!

Pinocchio's skill at lying/growing his nose is mostly used for comic effect, but I think one of the most powerful moments in the book I read came when it was used in a tragic way. I teared at that part (go read the book, you'll tear too!). I'm really amazed at how the authors of this book managed to use the original story elements to add both humour and gravity to the book.

Unfortunately, my preview copy on NetGalley only had half the pages of the complete edition (so I guess I finished volume 1 and half of volume 2). I tried looking for it in bookstores in Japan, but no luck yet. Perhaps I'll have better luck in Singapore - this is one book that I really want to finish.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.