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Author Archive: Stephanie O'Connell

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BOOK REVIEW: Ponti by Sharlene Teo

BOOK REVIEW: Ponti by Sharlene Teo

| 16 August 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Ponti by Sharlene Teo Picador April 2018 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Fiction / Contemporary / Literary 6/10 One day I will learn to be as expertly cruel as she is. She finds the weakness she wants behind the eyes, tucked within crow’s feet and worry lines, all that fear and blind […]

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BOOK REVIEW: One Way by S. J. Morden

BOOK REVIEW: One Way by S. J. Morden

| 14 August 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: One Way by S. J. Morden Gollancz April 2018 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Science Fiction / Mystery 8/10 “This isn’t a pardon. You’ll remain guilty of second-degree murder. This isn’t commuting your sentence. You’ll serve the rest of your hundred and twenty years. This isn’t parole. You’ll be at all times […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

BOOK REVIEW: The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus

| 12 August 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Book Ninja by Ali Berg and Michelle Kalus Simon & Schuster Australia June 2018 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell General Fiction / Romance / Contemporary 7.5/10 Sometimes love means having to broaden your literary horizons. Frankie Rose is desperate for love. Or a relationship. Or just a date with a semi-normal […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Rory Branagan, Detective by Andrew Clover and Ralph Lazar

BOOK REVIEW: Rory Branagan, Detective by Andrew Clover and Ralph Lazar

| 10 August 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Rory Branagan, Detective by Andrew Clover and Ralph Lazar HarperCollins March 2018 Paperback, $14.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Middle Grade / Mystery 3/10 ‘I’d like to know,’ I tell her, ‘WHERE my dad went. He disappeared when I was three. And I’d just like someone to tell me WHY.’ She comes so close […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Hive by A.J. Betts

BOOK REVIEW: Hive by A.J. Betts

| 8 August 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Hive by A.J. Betts Pan Macmillan June 2018 Paperback, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Science Fiction / Dystopia 6/10 All I can tell you is what I remember, in the words that I have. Hayley tends to her bees and follows the rules in the only world she has ever […]

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BOOK REVIEW: After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson

BOOK REVIEW: After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson

| 5 August 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: After the Lights Go Out by Lili Wilkinson Allen & Unwin July 2018 Paperback, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Contemporary / Speculative 7/10 Seventeen-year-old Pru Palmer lives with her twin sisters, Grace and Blythe, and their father, Rick, on the outskirts of an isolated mining community. The Palmers are doomsday […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Biggerers by Amy Lilwall

BOOK REVIEW: The Biggerers by Amy Lilwall

| 4 August 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Biggerers by Amy Lilwall Point Blank August 2018 Hardcover, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Speculative Fiction / Dystopia / Satire 9/10 Everybody became a bit mean. A bit individual. Units. That’s all humanity could say for itself – well, it couldn’t actually, because it was made up of too many, um, units. […]

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BOOK REVIEW: After the Fall by Dan Santat

BOOK REVIEW: After the Fall by Dan Santat

| 26 June 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: After the Fall by Dan Santat Lothian Children’s Books June 2018 Paperback, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book 8/10 Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?  Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Folk by Zoe Gilbert

BOOK REVIEW: Folk by Zoe Gilbert

| 22 May 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Folk by Zoe Gilbert Bloomsbury March 2018 Hardcover, $35.00 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Short Stories / Speculative Fiction 8/10 Every year they gather, while the girls shoot their arrows and the boys hunt them out. The air is riddled with spiteful shadows – the wounds and fears and furies of a village year. […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave

BOOK REVIEW: The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave

| 21 May 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave Quercus February 2018 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Fiction/Speculative/Mystery 3/10 YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.  YOU CAN PRESERVE A HANDFUL OF SPECIAL MEMORIES FOREVER.  WHICH ONES WOULD YOU CHOOSE? True death is a thing of the past. Now you can spend the rest of eternity reliving […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Peg + Cat – The Camp Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson

BOOK REVIEW: Peg + Cat – The Camp Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson

| 4 April 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Peg + Cat – The Camp Problem by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson Candlewick Entertainment March 2018 Paperback, $9.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Beginner Readers / Kids Fiction 5/10 Can Peg and Cat figure out the winning pattern? Friendly competition between bunks at summer camp leads to a hands-on lesson in counting by […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Splish, Splash, Ducky! by Lucy Cousins

BOOK REVIEW: Splish, Splash, Ducky! by Lucy Cousins

| 29 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Splish, Splash, Ducky! by Lucy Cousins Walker Books March 2018 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Books 6/10 Revel in the rain with a little duckling and friends in a bright adventure from the creator of Maisy that kids will find just ducky. Oh, goody, hooray! It’s raining today. When I’m feeling […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Hexes for the Modern Age by Val Brains

BOOK REVIEW: Hexes for the Modern Age by Val Brains

| 28 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Hexes for the Modern Age by Val Brains Skyhorse Publishing December 2017 Hardcover, $22.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Humour 4/10 Let’s face it: most people irritate us. Hexes for the Modern Age is a tongue-in-cheek approach to giving these folks a taste of their own medicine. While inspired by witches’ curses of the past, this […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Bird Builds a Nest by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Richard Jones

BOOK REVIEW: Bird Builds a Nest by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Richard Jones

| 27 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Bird Builds a Nest by Martin Jenkins, illustrated by Richard Jones Walker Books March 2018 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Books / Science & Education 6/10   A gentle, sweetly illustrated concept book takes on physical forces as young children learn about pushing and pulling. It’s time for Bird to build […]

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BOOK REVIEW: How the Finch Got His Colors by Annemarie Guertin

BOOK REVIEW: How the Finch Got His Colors by Annemarie Guertin

| 26 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: How the Finch Got His Colors by Annemarie Guertin Familius February 2018 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Books / Folk Tales 7.5/10 Many years ago, before the world bloomed in magnificent colors, the Earth lay stark and gray. The animals that graced its skies and roamed its lands were the colors […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Dig, Dump, Roll by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock

BOOK REVIEW: Dig, Dump, Roll by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock

| 25 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Dig, Dump, Roll by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock Walker Books March 2018 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Books 6/10 Guess what kind of truck is at work in this interactive book by the bestselling creators of Roadworks. Crash-a-rumble Smash-a-grumble What’s at work? Here’s a clue: It will clear the ground […]

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BOOK REVIEW: My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson

BOOK REVIEW: My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson

| 23 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson Candlewick Press February 2018 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Middle Grade / Historical Fiction 6.5/10 In an engrossing historical novel, the Newbery Medal-winning author of Bridge to Terabithia follows a young Cuban teenager as she volunteers for Fidel Castro’s national literacy campaign and travels into the impoverished countryside […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Deception by Teri Terry

BOOK REVIEW: Deception by Teri Terry

| 22 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Deception by Teri Terry Ochard February 2018 Paperback, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Speculative Fiction 5/10 This review will contain spoilers for book 1, Contagion. An epidemic is sweeping the country. You are among the infected. There is no cure, and you cannot be permitted to infect others. You are […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Perfect Imperfection – Dog Portraits Of Resilience And Love by Alex Cearns

BOOK REVIEW: Perfect Imperfection – Dog Portraits Of Resilience And Love by Alex Cearns

| 20 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Perfect Imperfection – Dog Portraits Of Resilience And Love by Alex Cearns ABC Books March 2018 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction / Animals / Photography 9/10 These perfectly imperfect dogs have gentle lessons for us all… Meet special little Vegemite with the permanent wink; Bali Pip, the playful pup who lost […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Bird to Bird by Claire Saxby and Wayne Harris

BOOK REVIEW: Bird to Bird by Claire Saxby and Wayne Harris

| 19 March 2018 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Bird to Bird by Claire Saxby and Wayne Harris Black Dog March 2018 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Books 6/10 Award-winning picture book creators Claire Saxby and Wayne Harris team up to bring us a gentle story of nature, history, recycling and art. A bird drops a seed to the floor […]

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