Beauty and the Bin by Joanne O’Connell


Sometimes you sit reading a book and think I can’t wait to tell the world about this one! Beauty and the Bin by Joanne O’Connell is most definitely one of those reads! There is so much more to this story than first meets the eye!

I currently smell like the dessert trolley at a 5* hotel, the aromas of fruit and cream are wafting through the air. For a change however, I haven’t scoffed all these culinary delights to the point of uncomfortable full-up-ness! Instead I’m sat typing with a blend of yoghurt and strawberries plastered all over my face and an overripe banana and oats concoction slathered all over my feet. I have the softest elbows and knees thanks to the discarded avocado skins from lunchtime and my lavender bath bombs are setting in the kitchen.

If only you could sniff your screen to smell this review, it would be a real treat for your noses!

I’m hoping I’ll look ten years younger by the time I’ve finished writing thanks to the inspiring antics of Laurie and her sister Fern in this environmentally friendly, funny romp of a read.

Laurie is torn. Torn between supporting, living and breathing the eco warrior way of life her parents have brought her up in and feeling embarrassed about sharing it with her friends. As a year 7 pupil, she wants to fit into her peer group and is not sure that bin diving, the really free market or hydroponic growing farm in her hallway are going to help her do just that.

An entrepreneurial competition at school gives Laurie the platform to share her home-made beauty projects outside of her own kitchen. Beauty products made from home grown fruits, herbs and veg and finds from her family’s regular supermarket bin dives. She teams up with the school social media star and all round popular, beautiful and influential year 9 pupil Charley to create the brand ‘Beauty in the Kitchen’ for the contest. Hopeful that Charley will deliver her products to the masses in a more conventional, mainstream fashion than her own eco warrior roots.

Without giving too much away, the story sees Laurie battle with complex decision making in her quest to save the world one bath bomb at a time. But, is it worth sacrificing her true beliefs to fit in?

Joanne O’Connell manages to highlight the seriousness of the global food waste problem and climate change in a relatable way for her young readers. Adding humour without ridiculing the situation but instead raising awareness of the throwaway society we live in.

Beauty and the Bin will open the eyes of a whole generation of middle grade readers and inspire them to do their bit to improve the future state of our planet. And as for the literary future, well, Binderella is on the way and I for one can’t wait! A sneaky read of the first chapter suggests it’s going to be another corker!


Joanne O’Connell

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