Posted by on in Quarterly Co. Reviews, Riot Read Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews | 12 comments

Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription Review #RRD02

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Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription #RRD02

First things first – I do not recommend this subscription if you are looking for a good retail value. The goal of the subscription is to get you a new great book every month, but Book Riot and Quarterly can’t compete with Amazon, so you are paying a premium to get a monthly curated book sent to you each month. It’s not for everyone – but it does seem to be for a lot of people – it’s the 8th most popular subscription on Quarterly, and they are launching a YA and Nonfiction version soon!

Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription Review #RRD02 Items

The Subscription Box: Riot Read – Book Riot’s Monthly Book Club

The Cost: $30 a month

The Products: 1 new book (released within the past few weeks) selected by Book Riot.

Ships to: US (free shipping), Canada ($10 shipping), Worldwide ($15 shipping)

Check out all of my Riot Read reviews!

Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription Review #RRD02 Letter

Each Quarterly box comes with a letter from the curator detailing their selections. The Riot Read team discussed why they picked Land of Love and Drowning this month, gave a brief synopsis of the book, and also reminded readers that on August 27th there will be a live chat with author Tiphanie Yanique on the Riot Read site.

Riot Read Monthly Book Club Subscription Review #RRD02 Land of Love and Drowning

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique – Retail Value $28, on sale at Amazon for $18.

Amazon‘s synopsis of this book:

In the early 1900s, the Virgin Islands are transferred from Danish to American rule, and an important ship sinks into the Caribbean Sea. Orphaned by the shipwreck are two sisters and their half brother, now faced with an uncertain identity and future. Each of them is unusually beautiful, and each is in possession of a particular magic that will either sink or save them.

Chronicling three generations of an island family from 1916 to the 1970s, Land of Love and Drowningis a novel of love and magic, set against the emergence of Saint Thomas into the modern world. Uniquely imagined, with echoes of Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, and the author’s own Caribbean family history, the story is told in a language and rhythm that evoke an entire world and way of life and love. Following the Bradshaw family through sixty years of fathers and daughters, mothers
and sons, love affairs, curses, magical gifts, loyalties, births, deaths, and triumphs, Land of Love and Drowning is a gorgeous, vibrant debut by an exciting, prizewinning young writer.

Verdict: After last month’s box, I was thinking about canceling my subscription because the value wasn’t there – but I didn’t get around to it. (I still love getting surprise books and packages in the mail, so maybe that’s why I dragged my feet). I think Book Riot can improve the value of this subscription by making the Book Club online info password-protected for subscribers only. That way there’s another item of value with this subscription that you can’t get unless you are a subscriber. (Currently you can just wait to see what the book selection is each month, buy it for yourself on Amazon for a lot less, and enjoy the free online content).

I guess I should also mention that I’m pretty excited to read this book! I’m almost done with Landline, so a book a month works for me!

What do you think of Riot Read?

Written by Liz Cadman

Liz Cadman

Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She’s been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. I cancelled my sub after the first book because of the lack of value. However, I just went on Amazon and picked up this book for myself. So basically I can “pretend” to be part of the sub for ~$10 less. 🙂 I like their selections and I’m always looking for new titles and authors.

    I love the BookRiot Quarterly box and I also subscribe to Powell’s Indiespensible. Those two subs are very different (I see Powell’s as being more high-brow “literary” works to build my library and BookRiot as more fun “popular” works) but I’ve got a wide range of literary interests so both work for me.

  2. I agree with everyone’s comments. I love my Book Riot Quarterly box so I was really disappointed when I found out that Riot Read was US based only. I do however think that the additional content should be exclusive to club members. Perhaps they could have an option when you pay say a $5 monthly subscription to access the content as an international subscriber and then access could be included as part of the US Subscribers price. Then only people paying towards to curation of the club can access the content.

  3. I was disappointed by the value of the first box after receiving it and learning that the “premium content” wasn’t exclusive to subscribers. Book Riot hadn’t explicitly stated that, but they implied it when they launched the box when they touted the value of the content. The gist of it was: “$30.00 is what you’d pay to get a hardcover shipped from an indie, and plus, we have all this great online content.”

    I expressed my disappointment on Twitter, and I had a brief chat with one of BR’s founders. He said that the online content is available to anyone because they didn’t want to exclude folks outside the US, since Riot Read only ships to US. OK, I get that, but why would I, as a subscriber, want to pay more than anyone else in the world and any US non-subscriber to buy a book and access online content? Especially since Landline was announced as the first RR pick before it even had been shipped out.

    I don’t understand the business model. If they can make a profit from this, more power to them.

    Finally, I will echo everyone praising Indiespensable. I LOVE that sub.

    • Btw, this is what Powell’s sent in their most recent box: the signed hardcover with gorgeous slip cover (all their books from the sub are packaged like this), a booklet with an interview with the author (also standard), tea, and this book-themed water bottle. I certainly didn’t need another water bottle, but this one was adorable.

  4. Wow, totally signing up for Indiespensable(from Powells). I live in Portland and had no idea this existed. I just looked at past deliveries and they included items from some of my favorite chocolate shops. The next delivery looks great.

    • I may have to try that too! I’m looking into it now. Yay Portland!

  5. Tiphanie is a good friend of my bf’s (we’re both writers) so this is so exciting to see her book featured by Book Riot! I had thought about subbing to this myself (though I’ve gone for their regular Quarterly instead), but I wish they would do something a little more special the way Indiespensable does. Still, I love that they’re recommending a new book each month. Wish there was a way to make the extras a bit more valuable. But I’m thrilled to see Tiphanie’s book featured! I just picked up the book myself, so I’m excited to read it!

  6. $30 a month for one book seems awfully steep unless it’s a book in a series or by a favorite author that I’ve been highly anticipating. I can use my local library to order books online for free and just walk in and pick them up (I take my kids to the library for story/song time weekly) or buy them half price via amazon. The value on this one just seems so low considering that there isn’t any special exclusive content available only to the subscribers.

    • High five for libraries! I take my kiddo around for library programs too. I haven’t purchased a book in a long time, between the library and Project Gutenberg.

      • Now I’m off to Google Project Gutenberg.

  7. Try the Powell’s book club 6 wk delivery club. It is awesome!

    • Pus its signed, first edition & comes with other goodies

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