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RSSAuthor Archive for Stephanie O'Connell

MERCHANDISE REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Newt Scamander's Case

MERCHANDISE REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Newt Scamander’s Case

MERCHANDISE REVIEW: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Newt Scamander’s Case Running Press October 2017 Novelty Toy, $17.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Toy / Merchandise / Film tie-in 6/10   Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes fans to a new era in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half […]

BOOK REVIEW: Here We Are - Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

BOOK REVIEW: Here We Are – Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

BOOK REVIEW: Here We Are – Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers HarperCollins November 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Books 10/10   Well, hello. And welcome to this Planet. We call it Earth. Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you’ve only just got here. Your head […]

BOOK REVIEW: Artemis by Andy Weir

BOOK REVIEW: Artemis by Andy Weir

BOOK REVIEW: Artemis by Andy Weir Del Rey November 2017 Paperback, $32.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Science Fiction 6/10 Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional […]

BOOK REVIEW: All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler

BOOK REVIEW: All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler

BOOK REVIEW: All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler Bloomsbury October 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult 4/10       Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches in a sketchbook, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters, next to the allure […]

Stationery Review: Harry Potter Pensieve Memory Set

Stationery Review: Harry Potter Pensieve Memory Set

Stationery Review: Harry Potter Pensieve Memory Set Running Press November 2017 Novelty Box, $49.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Stationery / Film Tie-In 10/10 What do you get the Harry Potter fan who already has everything? Something they’ll never forget, of course! Running press have always provided just the thing a good fan needs (and some […]

BOOK REVIEW: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler

BOOK REVIEW: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler

BOOK REVIEW: Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler Little, Brown August 2017 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Memoir/Self-Help/Humour 8/10   In HQ we occasionally had ideas that were a little campy or […]

BOOK REVIEW: Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson

BOOK REVIEW: Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson

BOOK REVIEW: Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson Candlewick Press November 2017 Paperback, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Social Satire 8/10   When the vuvv first landed, it came as a surprise to aspiring artist Adam and the rest of planet Earth — but not necessarily an unwelcome one. Can […]

BOOK REVIEW: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

BOOK REVIEW: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

BOOK REVIEW: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody Harlequin Teen July 2017 Paperback, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Fantasy 8/10 A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires. Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most […]

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton

BOOK REVIEW: The Secret of Black Rock by Joe Todd-Stanton Flying Eye Books July 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book 8/10 Erin loves to lie on the jetty, looking for the weirdest fish in the sea – the weirder, the better! And she knows the best ones must be further out, where […]

BOOK REVIEW: Brothers from a Different Mother by Philip Gwynne and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

BOOK REVIEW: Brothers from a Different Mother by Philip Gwynne and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall

BOOK REVIEW: Brothers from a Different Mother by Philip Gwynne and Marjorie Crosby-Fairall Penguin | Viking April 2017 Hardcover, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Book 6/10 Tapir lives in the jungle. Pig lives in the village. But when they meet at the waterhole, they discover they are the same in so many ways. They […]

BOOK REVIEW: Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba

BOOK REVIEW: Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba

BOOK REVIEW: Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba Portobello Books September 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Fiction / Literary Fiction / Translated 6.5/10 A dark uncanny jolt of literary perfection. Her father died instantly, her mother in the hospital. She has learned to say this flatly and without emotion, the way she says […]

BOOK REVIEW: Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

BOOK REVIEW: Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

BOOK REVIEW: Moonrise by Sarah Crossan Bloomsbury September 2017 Paperback, $16.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Young Adult / Poetry/ Contemporary 10/10   Joe hasn’t seen his brother for ten years, and it’s for the most brutal of reasons. Ed is on death row. But now Ed’s execution date has been set, and this might be […]

BOOK REVIEW: Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

BOOK REVIEW: Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp

BOOK REVIEW: Madeline Finn and the Library Dog by Lisa Papp Old Barn Books September 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Books 8.5/10   Madeline Finn DOES NOT like to read. Not books. Not magazines. Not even the menu on the ice cream truck. “Keep trying, Madeline Finn,” my teacher says. But sometimes […]

SERIES REVIEW: Mindhunter

SERIES REVIEW: Mindhunter

SERIES REVIEW: Mindhunter Available on: Netflix Release Date: 13th of October, 2017 Number of Episodes: 10   As long as serial killers have been known to exist, there has been a certain level of fascination with them in the public eye. There’s a kind of terror, a kind of disgust, as well as the curiosity about what […]

BOOK REVIEW: Peas and Quiet by Gabrielle Tozer, illustrated by Sue deGennaro

BOOK REVIEW: Peas and Quiet by Gabrielle Tozer, illustrated by Sue deGennaro

BOOK REVIEW: Peas and Quiet by Gabrielle Tozer, illustrated by Sue deGennaro Angus & Robertson June 2017 Hardcover, $24.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Books 7/10 Best friends Pip and Pop live in a peapod, but sometimes it can get a little too cosy – especially because they are so different! Pip loves to sing, […]

BOOK REVIEW: Final Girls by Riley Sager

BOOK REVIEW: Final Girls by Riley Sager

BOOK REVIEW: Final Girls by Riley Sager Ebury Press July 2017 Paperback, $32.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Crime/Thriller 5/10 Final Girl is film-geek speak for the last woman standing at the end of a horror movie. At least, that’s what I’ve been told. Even before Pine Cottage, I never liked to watch scary movies because […]

BOOK REVIEW: Singing My Sister Down and Other Stories by Margo Lanagan

BOOK REVIEW: Singing My Sister Down and Other Stories by Margo Lanagan

BOOK REVIEW: Singing My Sister Down and Other Stories by Margo Lanagan Allen & Unwin May 2017 Paperback, $19.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Short Story Collection / Young Adult 7/10 ‘We all went down to the tar-pit, with mats to spread our weight.’ So begins ‘Singing My Sister Down’, Margo Lanagan’s internationally acclaimed, award-winning short […]

BOOK REVIEW: Curiosity, The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum

BOOK REVIEW: Curiosity, The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum

BOOK REVIEW: Curiosity, The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum Walker Studio October 2017 Hardcover, $27.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Picture Books / Illustrated Non-Fiction / Children’s Science 10/10 Meet Curiosity, a Mars rover that has rolled across the deserts of the red planet searching for clue to one of science’s greatest mysteries: […]

BOOK REVIEW: Broadcast by Liam Brown

BOOK REVIEW: Broadcast by Liam Brown

BOOK REVIEW: Broadcast by Liam Brown Bantam Australia September 2017 Paperback, $29.99 Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Science Fiction/Contemporary Fiction 6/10 The idea behind MindCast is simple. We insert a small chip into your skull and then every thought, every feeling, every memory is streamed live, twenty-four hours a day. Trust me – within a few […]

BOOK REVIEW: When Planet Earth Was New by James Gladstone

BOOK REVIEW: When Planet Earth Was New by James Gladstone

BOOK REVIEW: When Planet Earth Was New by James Gladstone OwlKids Books September 2017 Hardcover, $18.95 (USD) Reviewed by Steph O’Connell Children’s Non-Fiction / Science 7/10   It has taken billions of years for Earth to become the planet it is today. When Planet Earth Was New looks back to the very beginning, using a poetic approach […]

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