Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

“She’s seen the Earth from above. She’s traveling through an undiscovered universe, on her way to a place no human has touched. And when they arrive, she will create a new world, a good world,” (Willis 312).

Amber Kivinen is going to Mars. Maybe. If she wins the hit new reality TV show MarsNow she’ll be heading out of orbit, and leaving her boyfriend Kevin of fourteen years Earth-bound. Amber competes with twenty-three other contestants all with a seemingly higher skill set than her own, while Kevin sits in their Vancouver basement apartment, caring for their marijuana plants and getting high, convinced that Amber will come back to him. Each has their own goal: reaching for the stars and staying grounded, which one will end up successful? Continue reading

I received this book from Playwrights Canada Press in exchange for an honest review.

Estranged cousins Kat and Eli meet online and bond through their queer identities, though both live very different lives. Kat lives in Toronto with her two gay dads and is out and proud herself, passionate that everyone should be comfortable and proud about who they are while Eli is trans and closeted, living in Italy while still remaining close to his faith. Kat is desperate to learn more about her heritage and connect with family she thought was lost to her and, with the best of intentions, decides to crowdfund a flight for Eli so he can attend Toronto Pride, unknowingly outing him in the process in a chain of events that effects both families. Continue reading

“I need to write the next best thing. And then another. Otherwise the sales will whittle down, and people will stop reading my work, and everyone will forget about me…And then when I die, I won’t have left any mark on teh world. It’ll be like I was never here at all,” (Kuang 259).

June Hayward had high hopes when her novel Over the Sycamore was published. She thought her debut, coming-of-age, magical realist slightly biographical novel would fill the hearts of her readers and shoot her into literary stardom, but she didn’t even get a paperback release. No, success was reserved for her friend (if you could call her that) Athena Liu who became a cross-genre literary darling after they both graduated Yale. June knows the world doesn’t want more stories by white women. But when June witnesses Athena die in a freak accident, she takes Athena’s just finished manuscript and later edits it, passing it off to her agent as her own. Suddenly June becomes Juniper Song, complete with ambiguously ethnic author photos and literary stardom at her feet. But some readers are suspicious of the book and threaten to take her (stolen) success away from her. What is June willing to do to stay on top? Continue reading

“You only have to forgive once. To resent, you have to do it all day, every day. You have to keep remembering all the bad things…we always have a choice. All of us,” (Stedman).

Returning home from the First World War, Tom Sherbourne takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, an isolated island which he brings his young and bold wife Isabel to as well. Tom and Isabel enjoyed their time on the island, but the years weigh heavy on them after Isabel has two miscarriages and a stillbirth. Grieving, Isabel and Tom are shocked to hear a baby’s cries on the beach and find the infant bundled in a dingey with a dead man. Tom wants to notify the mainland of the body and the baby, sure there is a mother somewhere grieving for the infant but Isabel has already become attached to the baby girl and called her Lucy, convinced that if the father is dead than the mother must also be. The couple make a decision that comes with serious repercussions. Continue reading

“Now, if three girls enter a house and only two leave, who is to blame? And if both girls tell a different story, but you read online that you have to BELIEVE WOMEN, what do you do? Do you decide one is woman and one isn’t, so you can believe one of them but not the other? Do you take the side of the woman who is most like you? Or the most intersectional one?” (Rumfitt 144).


Three years ago, three girls spent a night in a haunted house. Only two came back. Alice jumps from flat to flat, selling videos of herself online and going to parties when she would much rather stay in her room and sleep, hoping to avoid the man from the poster who haunts her and unable to shake her memories from the House. Ila has become a voice for the TERFs as the House calls her to come home. And Hannah disappeared. The memories of that night haunt and torment Alice and Ila, each with a different recollection of the trauma they endured, and when Ila proposes they go back to the House and try to rescue Alice, Alice agrees. They need to learn what happened that night, despite the risks. Continue reading

“This isn’t some tabloid story about serial killers. You live in a small town, and most of the people who were there that night still live here too, and there is a lot of pain from that time that never went away for any of us,” (Jones 121).

In August 1999, popular cheerleader Clarissa Campbell disappears from a bush party outside her rural town of Oreville, Washington. After that night Clarissa is never seen or heard from again, even after the police question her friends, family, teachers, and boyfriend. Because of her beauty the mystery of her disappearance takes hold of the country, with some true crime fans believing she may be hiding out somewhere or was maybe even abducted by Sasquatch. Even then there are no leads and no body, but twenty years later best friends Blair and Cameron are determined to solve the case. The two start a podcast for their journalism class and start conducting interviews of their own, stumbling upon dark secrets their small-town would rather keep buried, and people who will do anything to keep them hidden. Continue reading

Last month I went speed dating.

It came up on my Instagram. It seemed fun, exciting, different. Pre-pandemic I was on some apps with no luck. I didn’t know how to send a good message to someone, I didn’t know how I could tell if I liked someone based on a picture where the person in question was holding a fish, taking a picture with a dog that wasn’t there’s, and offering answers to prompts that didn’t actually answer anything. When the rare moment that a match did occur, I’d just freeze and not do anything. I’d wait until my time expired and we were no longer matched, or delete the app because the idea of answering, of something happening, of opening up and making a mistake was too much for me to consider. Continue reading

I received this book from The Next Best Book Club in exchange for an honest review.

A Geography of First Kisses is a short story collection that follows Southern women in various stages of their lives. We have a young girl collecting boyfriends as she aimlessly tries to find her path, a newlywed couple searching for a missing horse, a young mother who must confront her views of faith and miracles when her baby disappears, another mother who finds kinship with a gorilla in a zoo. These women reflect and challenge ideas of womanhood as they learn to be more familiar with themselves and where they are in their lives. Continue reading

April is National Poetry Month and because of that I usually like to prioritize the poetry collections I’ve gotten ahold of during the year and read them. I know I should read poetry all year, especially since I’ve enjoyed the ones that have come my way. But it seems like this is a pattern that keeps repeating, and since the poetry collections I read this month were small and I find it hard sometimes to write a lengthy review for poetry collections, I thought it was the best idea to include all three in a poetry review.

Read below to see my thoughts on each collection: Continue reading

I received this book from Playwrights Canada Press in exchange for an honest review.

Grieving siblings Natalie, a palliative care nurse, and Bart, a minister, contemplate life and death after the death of their mom. When a storm hits, a disabled angel visits them and takes the siblings and the audience along to talk about death and understand the hopes, fears, and expectations around it. Continue reading