LitCube is a book and reading-inspired subscription box. Each month's box contains a book, as well as other treats to fit the theme, like wearables, gifts, housewares, and snacks.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: LitCube
The Cost: $34.95 per month + free shipping
The Products: Hand-picked books alongside other non-book finds that fit the theme
Ships to: U.S.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Every LitCube box has a theme or inspiration. This month, it's "You've Got Mail." For those of you who might not remember, "You've got mail!" was what America Online (the Gmail of yesteryear) would say when you logged in, way back in the day. Of course, it's also the name of the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan rom-com, which is a retelling of the classic movie The Shop Around the Corner. I'll admit, I was a little surprised at this theme, just because You've Got Mail strikes me as a movie for a more grown-up audience, and this box seems to skew towards a younger YA readership. But maybe I'm just behind on the times!
The opposite side of the card lists the products in the box.
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett - Value $10.58 on Amazon (retail price $17.99)
The book this month is a yet another retelling of the You've Got Mail trope—gal falls for a guy via correspondence, not knowing he's the same person she can't stand in real life.
Book Summary on Amazon:
In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet.
Classic movie buff Bailey “Mink” Rydell has spent months crushing on a witty film geek she only knows online by “Alex.” Two coasts separate the teens until Bailey moves in with her dad, who lives in the same California surfing town as her online crush.
Faced with doubts (what if he’s a creep in real life—or worse?), Bailey doesn’t tell Alex she’s moved to his hometown. Or that she’s landed a job at the local tourist-trap museum. Or that she’s being heckled daily by the irritatingly hot museum security guard, Porter Roth—a.k.a. her new arch-nemesis. But life is whole lot messier than the movies, especially when Bailey discovers that tricky fine line between hate, love, and whatever-it-is she’s starting to feel for Porter.
And as the summer months go by, Bailey must choose whether to cling to a dreamy online fantasy in Alex or take a risk on an imperfect reality with Porter. The choice is both simpler and more complicated than she realizes, because Porter Roth is hiding a secret of his own: Porter is Alex…Approximately.
The story is told from Bailey's perspective and features clever little direct message conversations between Bailey and her online crush (a.k.a. her real-life nemesis). It's a cute, easy read, though it didn't strike me as particularly compelling. I also had a harder time warming up to Porter, the Tom Hanks of the situation, than the protagonist did. Even if you have great conversations online if he's kind of a jerk in real life, what are you doing with him girl?
This little card for the book appears in the box, too.
Here's the other side.
Exclusive You've Got Mail Socks - Listed Value $9.99
These photos of these socks look awfully blue on my screen, but they're actually a pretty pure violet shade with white writing. They aren't the softest socks ever, but they do feature the famous quote from the end of You've Got Mail: "I wanted it to be you so badly."
They're an exclusive design, so I suppose the $9.99 value they list for them is fair. If I found socks like these at the store, however, I'd probably assume they'd be just the slightest bit less expensive. That's just speaking from a quality standpoint. They're a bit more form than function.
Annie B's Handmade Popcorn in Triple Threat, 1.5 oz. - Value $2.00
You've Got Mail is a movie, after all, so what better treat to accompany it than popcorn?
I like that this handmade, gluten-free snack is made from non-GMO popcorn. What I like even more is that there are three flavors in one bag. At first, I thought that the caramel and cheese together would be weird, but it's actually fun to pick out the different flavored kernels and treat my palette to something new bite after bite. The flavors are great, too. The caramel is milkier and more vanilla-ish than other caramel-coated popcorn I've had, and the cheese flavor is mild and just salty enough.
Exclusive Shop Around the Corner Pencil Set - Listed Value $9.99
The quote from You've Got Mail where Joe (Tom Hanks) says he'd buy Kathleen (Meg Ryan) a bouquet of sharpened pencils is so darn cute (and thrilling if you're a stationery lover like me). I love how LitCube used that as inspiration for these pretty pink pencils!
The pink color is more of a stain on the wood than paint or a coating of any type. I like the texture that it creates—it's a little casual and crafty. I also really like that the erasers are white, which means they won't make any unintentional streaks when I go to use them. I love items that bring a story to life—now I can pretend I nabbed these pencils at the actual Shop Around the Corner! If you're someone with a library in your home, how cute would it be to put these in a cup on one of your bookshelves?
Emoji Coin Purse - Value $0.99?
I couldn't find this exact item online, so I linked to a similar coin purse. The info card says this silicone, ball-clasp pouch is worth $4.99, but quality-wise, it seems like a party favor you'd get in bulk.
The plastic is sturdy enough, but it looks like it's already being sliced a little by the metal hinge pieces. More importantly, when the purse is shut, there's still a gap between the two sides of the closure. In other words, there's a good chance my coins will go tumbling out of this coin purse! Like the socks, it's definitely been designed for form, rather than function. It's cute and coordinates with the digital messaging theme of the box. It just feels more like a carnival prize, rather than something I'd get a lot of value and use out of.
Set of 2 Greeting Cards by Three Letter Birds - Listed Value $7.99
I checked out the Three Letter Birds shop, and it looks like they specialize in cards with quotes from movies and books. These two cards, in particular, weren't available via the shop when I looked, but it seems like these cards are typically $4.00 each (in other words, the $7.99 price LitCube lists is right on the money).
These cards, which feature a quote from Joe and a quote from Kathleen, are great, generic little notecards that could be used for all sorts of occasions. Probably the best occasion would be sending a quick hello to a fellow fan of You've Got Mail, but I could totally see myself using the daisies one in particular for Mother's Day (which is coming up!).
Both cards are blank inside and have this cute logo on the back.
Verdict: This month's LitCube box was pretty cute. As a more mature subscriber to the box, I like that they chose what feels like a more grown-up inspiration. I could see a teenager really enjoying the book and the emoji coin purse, but I guess I'm not sure if they'd know or appreciate the movie. In a similar way, I liked the items like the pencils and the greeting cards, since I could appreciate how they nodded to the film, but I didn't really care for the items that were geared more to teen or tween minds (including the book, which skewed younger in terms of language and sophistication). The box is $34.95 (with free shipping), and by my estimates, it had $41.54 of value inside. I don't know that I got that much value from it this month, though.
What do you think of this month's LitCube? Do you think You've Got Mail is relevant to teen readers, too?