Once Upon a Book Club Is the Adorable Subscription Box Every Book-Lover Needs
I am seriously obsessed with reading.
Nerdy as it sounds, I definitely have a mild addiction to books. And while reading gives me a new and exciting way to entertain myself, it also comes with a few challenges. I have no desire to dig into a book, only to find out midway through that it's not interesting in the slightest, so I'm constantly researching and keeping my ears open for new novels that may capture my interest.
So when Once Upon a Book Club reached out about sending me one of their subscription boxes, I immediately took them up on their offer. A brand new book to occupy my time and a box filled with fun extras? How could I say no?
Once Upon a Book Club is a subscription box specifically geared towards readers. There are two separate subscription services—an adult box and a young adult box—that are both tailored to the interests of the specific audience.
Each box comes with a newly released fiction book, a 5×7 quote print featuring a quote from the selected book and 3-5 individually wrapped gifts. The point of the box is to bring the story to life, so each gift is marked with a page number and shouldn't be opened until the reader reaches that page in the book.
Created by Michelle Wolett of Chick Lit Designs and Once Upon a BookCase, Once Upon a Book Club seeks to fully integrate the reader into the story by turning the words of the book into an actual physical object. In addition, the subscription service creates a digital Book Club community. Each box includes discussion questions and read-a-long dates so subscribers can experience the magic of the story together and discuss their thoughts with other readers via Instagram.
Upon receiving my Once Upon a Book Club box, I was immediately struck by the adorable packaging. The box itself is designed to look like a book, and the inviting feel of it only increased my excitement to dig in and get started.
I received the Young Adult box for October, which featured The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White. I hadn't heard of the book previously, but my desire to see what the presents held prompted me to start reading almost immediately.
My first gift was labeled "Page 81" and there was thankfully a sticky note on the page reminding me to open it. I have a tendency to get caught up in the story and was worried that I would miss the first gift, so finding the sticky note was a nice surprise. As promised, the gift perfectly aligned with the story, even including a tiny key that had just been mentioned by one of the main characters.
As I continued reading, it was obvious the gifts had been well-planned to mimic crucial moments in the novel. As promised, the rest of the gifts were also physical representations of an important item to the characters, like a letter sent from a close friend or a necklace prized by one of the protagonists.
All in all, I received four gifts in total—a tiny clutch with a key, a copy of a letter sent from one of the characters, a book-shaped locket necklace and a jewelry box designed to look like a hollowed out book.
In addition to the gifts, I also obviously read the story. It's a retelling of the classic novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and I was immediately captivated. It's definitely a little dark, but fortunately those are just the type of books I happen to enjoy. In addition, the main character transitioned between the present and memories of the past throughout the novel, so much of the book was spent trying to piece the characters together and understand just how they ended up in their current situation.
Books that are too straightforward tend to bore me, as I'm most captivated by a little mystery and intrigue. This novel definitely provided that enigmatic storyline I love so much, but it was still simple enough to be enjoyed without twisting my brain into knots.
Considering my avid love for books, there was very little chance that I wouldn't like the Once Upon a Book Club box. However, even with that in mind, the box surpassed my expectations.
The gifts are definitely suited to the story, so they're not all that functional in a real-life setting. I could conceivably use the clutch or the book jewelry box, but unfortunately they're just not really my style. However, opening them as I read the story had the desired effect—I was totally engrossed in the book and excited to receive something that brought the characters to life.
More than the gifts, however, I genuinely enjoyed the book included in the box. I'm always on the hunt for new novels, and having one hand-delivered to me that I genuinely wanted to read was by far the best part of the entire subscription service.
The boxes start at $35 for a single delivery, and go all the way up to $390 for an entire year's supply of boxes. Although that may sound expensive, given the amount of items included in the box, it's actually a pretty good deal.
All in all, I think this box is an absolute must-have for book lovers. Not just because of its ability to bring the story to life, but also due to the fact that it expands your reading material and provides you with a constant flow of new content. If you've ever found yourself in a reading rut, you know just how valuable an exciting new book can be, and this box is guaranteed to deliver (literally).
Looking for the best way to show off your love for reading? Click HERE for 12 perfect Instagram captions for when you're caught up in a good book.