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Author Archive: Stephanie O'Connell

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BOOK REVIEW: The Un-Discovered Islands by Malachy Tallack, illustrated by Katie Scott

BOOK REVIEW: The Un-Discovered Islands by Malachy Tallack, illustrated by Katie Scott

| 17 February 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Un-Discovered Islands by Malachy Tallack, illustrated by Katie Scott Polygon January 2017 Hardcover, $34.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell History/Geography/Myth 8/10 The title of this book refers to a very specific type of island; not one that is yet to be discovered, but one was believed to be real at some point but […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Good Morning, Midnight by Lilly Brooks-Dalton

BOOK REVIEW: Good Morning, Midnight by Lilly Brooks-Dalton

| 11 February 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Good Morning, Midnight by Lilly Brooks-Dalton Weidenfeld & Nicolson August 2016 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Literary/Science Fiction 6/10   Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, […]

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BOOK REVIEW: MWD: Hell is Coming Home by Brian David Johnson and Jan Egleson, illustrated by Laila Milevski and Karl Stevens

BOOK REVIEW: MWD: Hell is Coming Home by Brian David Johnson and Jan Egleson, illustrated by Laila Milevski and Karl Stevens

| 10 February 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: MWD: Hell is Coming Home by Brian David Johnson and Jan Egleson, illustrated by Laila Milevski and Karl Stevens Candlewick Press February 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Graphic Novel 7/10 With unflinching candor, a moving graphic novel follows a young woman’s return from war and her bond with two dogs—one who […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

BOOK REVIEW: Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land

| 9 February 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land Penguin|Michael Joseph January 2017 Paperback, $32.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Psychological Thriller 6/10   NEW NAME. NEW FAMILY. SHINY. NEW. ME. Annie’s mother is a serial killer. The only way she can make it stop is to hand her in to the police. Dragged from your […]

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BOOK REVIEW: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

BOOK REVIEW: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

| 2 February 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom Harper Collins January 2017 Paperback, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult 8/10   “We spoke yesterday but you might not recall. Do you know why you’re here?” I twirl my finger around my left ear. He smiles a little. “That doesn’t actually mean anything […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

BOOK REVIEW: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth

| 31 January 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth Harper Collins January 2017 Paperback, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult/Speculative 3/10 So Veronica Roth, author of Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and subsequent short stories in the same universe is back! There is a lot of hype around this book and so many elements that showed potential. Surely, after […]

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BOOK REVIEW: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

BOOK REVIEW: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

| 28 January 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund Weidenfeld & Nicolson January 2017 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Fiction/Literary 8/10 By their nature, it came to me, children were freaks. They believed impossible things to suit themselves, thought their fantasies were the center of the world. They were the best kinds of quacks, if […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Defender by G.X. Todd

BOOK REVIEW: Defender by G.X. Todd

| 14 January 2017 | 1 Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Defender by G.X. Todd Headline January 2017 Paperback, $32.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Speculative Fiction 5/10 The theory behind the bicameral mind argues that there was not such a thing as an internal mindscape, that we didn’t learn to internalise our thoughts until well after the Bible was written (sources such as Homer’s […]

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BOOK REVIEW: My Cool Treehouse by Jane Field-Lewis, photography by Tina Hillier

BOOK REVIEW: My Cool Treehouse by Jane Field-Lewis, photography by Tina Hillier

| 7 January 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: My Cool Treehouse by Jane Field-Lewis, photography by Tina Hillier Pavilion September 2016 Hardcover, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction / Photography / Lifestyle / Interior Design 7/10 Literature, too, understands this principle. Magical tales are spun by Enid Blyton or her faraway trees while Tolkien’s elf houses and Roald Dahl’s The Minpins […]

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BOOK REVIEW: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy

BOOK REVIEW: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy

| 5 January 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: No Virgin by Anne Cassidy Hot Key Books January 2017 Paperback, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Contemporary 4/10 TRIGGER WARNING: RAPE One has to appreciate what Anne Cassidy was trying to do in writing this book, in which a seventeen-year-old girl battles with herself as she tries to decide if […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

BOOK REVIEW: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

| 1 January 2017 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher Bantam Press November 2016 Paperback, $34.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Biography/Memoir/Entertainment 9/10 I can’t promise that this is going to be an objective review; I feel this needs to be made clear from the outset. Five days ago, Carrie Fisher died, and in a year of deeply […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Haunt Me by Liz Kessler

BOOK REVIEW: Haunt Me by Liz Kessler

| 27 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Haunt Me by Liz Kessler Orion Children’s Books December 2016 Paperback, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult/Supernatural 2/10 Joe wakes up from a deep sleep to see his family leave in a removals van. Where they’ve gone, he has no idea. Erin moves house and instantly feels at home in her new […]

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Steph’s 2016 in books: The Good, the Bad, and the DNF!

Steph’s 2016 in books: The Good, the Bad, and the DNF!

| 25 December 2016 | Reply

Steph’s 2016 in books: The Good, the Bad, and the DNF! Often this year, it felt as though I was going through a rather bad book slump. There were a lot of books it was just too hard to get into, and so it seemed there were a lot more in titles in the middle “meh” area […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Atlas of Improbable Places by Travis Elborough & Alan Horsfield

BOOK REVIEW: Atlas of Improbable Places by Travis Elborough & Alan Horsfield

| 25 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Atlas of Improbable Places by Travis Elborough & Alan Horsfield Aurum Press September 2016 Hardcover, $39.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction/Reference 8/10 The Atlas of Improbable Places is a voyage to the world’s most unlikely and curious locations.  Maps, the great Italian writer Italo Calvino once maintained, presuppose the idea of a narrative […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Curious Guide to Things that Aren’t by John D. Fixx and James F. Fixx, illustrated by Abby Carter

BOOK REVIEW: The Curious Guide to Things that Aren’t by John D. Fixx and James F. Fixx, illustrated by Abby Carter

| 23 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Curious Guide to Things that Aren’t by John D. Fixx and James F. Fixx, illustrated by Abby Carter Walter Foster Jr. November 2016 Hardcover, $17.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Juvenile Non-Fiction / Curiosities and Wonders 8/10 The Curious Guide to Things That Aren’t is a thought-provoking and engaging collection, featuring 26 thoughtful riddles, […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – A History of Humankind – The Doctor’s Official Guide by Justin Richards, illustrated by Dan Green

BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – A History of Humankind – The Doctor’s Official Guide by Justin Richards, illustrated by Dan Green

| 23 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – A History of Humankind – The Doctor’s Official Guide by Justin Richards, illustrated by Dan Green Penguin UK October 2016 Hardcover, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Doctor Who / Alternate History 8/10 Robin Hood was just made up. Queen Elizabeth I never married. And nobody knows what happened to Jack […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – Dot-to-Doc illustrated by Gary Joynes

BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – Dot-to-Doc illustrated by Gary Joynes

| 23 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Doctor Who – Dot-to-Doc illustrated by Gary Joynes Penguin UK October 2016 Paperback, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Activity Book / Dot-to-Dot 9/10 For those of us who are too neurotic to really enjoy the adult colouring books which have enjoyed such a surge over the last 12-18 months, a join the dots […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Levi Penfold

BOOK REVIEW: The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Levi Penfold

| 16 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: The Song from Somewhere Else by A.F. Harrold, illustrated by Levi Penfold Bloomsbury Child December 2016 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Middle Grade 8/10   They could hear their pursuers behind them. Frank knew from experience though, that they weren’t the sort of pursuers who actually wanted to catch their prey. It […]

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BOOK REVIEW: Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings – Strange and Possibly True Australian Stories by Stella Tarakson, illustrated by Richard Morden

BOOK REVIEW: Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings – Strange and Possibly True Australian Stories by Stella Tarakson, illustrated by Richard Morden

| 9 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Aliens, Ghosts and Vanishings – Strange and Possibly True Australian Stories by Stella Tarakson, illustrated by Richard Morden Random House Australia October 2016 Hardcover, $27.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Non-Fiction / Unsolved Mysteries 8/10 Had this book existed twenty-years ago, it would have no doubt been one of my favourites. Just shy of thirty, […]

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BOOK REVIEW: A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson

BOOK REVIEW: A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson

| 4 December 2016 | Reply

BOOK REVIEW: A Collapse of Horses by Brian Evenson Text Publishing November 2016 Paperback, $22.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Short Stories 6/10     If Children of the New World, is reminiscent of Black Mirror, A Collapse of Horses is more of a slightly grown-up, less-resolved version of the Goosebumps and Are You Afraid of the Dark stories many […]

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