Once Upon a Book Club is a unique subscription box that delivers an interactive reading experience to your door every month.
Each box will feature a newly released book, along with 3-5 individually wrapped gifts. The gifts will have page numbers attached to them and be strategically designed around something that is mentioned in the book. Readers are instructed not to open the gift(s) until they have reached that particular page. You’ll also receive a 5×7 quote print related to the book, as well as discussion questions and read-a-long dates for live discussion with fellow subscribers. Once Upon a Book Club offers both a Young Adult Fiction Box (ages 14+) and an Adult Fiction Box (18+).
Disclosure: Box was received for review purposes. Post may contain affiliate links.
Subscriptions are $34.99/month plus shipping. — For a limited time, you can save 10% on your first box with coupon code “BOOKNERD“!
Let’s see what’s in the April 2019 Once Upon a Book Club box!
Everything was shipped in a purple, black & white box cleverly designed to resemble a book.
A peek inside!
An info sheet revealed this month’s featured book, as well as the schedule of read-a-long & discussion dates.
April’s selection was a fantasy novel by award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst. A signed bookplate was tucked inside.
Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where they can. Mayara, one of the island’s fearless oyster divers, has found happiness in love. But on the day of her wedding to the artist Kelo, a spirit-driven storm hits the island with deadly force.
To save her loved ones, Mayara reveals a dangerous secret: she has the power to control the spirits. When the storm ends, she is taken into custody by the queen’s soldiers and imprisoned with other women like her.
They vary in age and social status, but to many they are heroes who will aid the country or witches that will sacrifice themselves trying. No matter who they are, the women are sent to a terrifying place—an island filled with bloodthirsty nature spirits, and left without food, water, shelter, or any tools except their own instincts and magic. Whoever survives the Island of Testing will be declared heirs to the queen. But no matter if she wins or loses, Mayara knows that the life she dreamed of is gone.
As promised, each gift was individually packaged and printed with the corresponding page in which it’s referenced on.
The first gift was to be opened at page 170. A sticky note placed on the page made sure you wouldn’t miss it!
The item was packaged in a crystal-themed box and the passage near the note made mention of “pink and black crystals”….
Skeleton Cave Crystal Soap
It’s crystal soap! How cute! 🙂 Two “bars” were included — one pink & black like the crystals in the book, and one light pink with little white cubes inside. I personally wasn’t a fan of the scent (a very strong generic anti-bacterial soap type smell), but they’re definitely pretty!
The second gift was to be opened at the end of page 237.
The item was wrapped in a black & white package with a large “PAGE 237” printed on the front. The end of the page mentioned a character removing her mask…
Tucked inside was, yep, a paper mask. Not exactly the most useful item, but it certainly tied in with the selected passage.
The third gift was to be opened at page 276.
The item was packed into a green & white box and rattled when shook. The page made mention of draping/hanging charms around one of the character’s studios…
Seashell Wind Chime
As you can see, the journey through the postal service was NOT kind to this wind chime. One of the larger shells at the base was broken and all of the smaller ones were completely tangled up in knots that were absolutely impossible to undo. 🙁 I don’t know what the red twist ties were for, but they didn’t exactly help the situation. Ah well.
The final gift was found on page 311, on the last page of chapter 25.
The item was tucked into a small blue drawstring pouch printed with the page number. Page 311 mentioned a “vial of purple liquid”…
Lavender Essential Oil
Unlike most essential oils I’ve received in subscription boxes, this one looks like it’s intended to be used as a moisturizer of some sort. At least, that’s what I’m guessing from the label(?). It’s mineral oil based and also contains preservatives not found in pure essential oils (ethylhexyl palmitate & phenoxyethanol), so I think I’ll pass on this one.
Every box also includes a 5″ x 7″ print featuring a quote from the selected book. I’m digging the pretty watercolor design on this one!
The interactive element of Once Upon a Book Club makes for such a fun experience! While the items themselves weren’t quite my cup o’ tea this month, I still enjoyed seeing the creativity they used in choosing them all. I also thought it was neat that they included a signed bookplate, as well as provided specific dates to chat live about the book with fellow subscribers. 🙂 — Remember, if you’d like to give this subscription a try, you can save 10% on your first box with coupon code “BOOKNERD“!
What do the stars mean?
★ = Crummy ★★ = Just Okay ★★★ = Good ★★★★ = Awesome ★★★★★ = Extraordinarily Awesome