Quarterly Literary YA Subscription Box Review + Coupon – July 2017
This is one of two literary boxes offered by Quarterly. (They also have a fiction box for adults.) The YA Fiction box features novels from a new noteworthy YA author each quarter, as well as handwritten notes and other bookish goodies.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
The Subscription Box: Quarterly YA Box
The Cost: $50 a box + shipping (ships every quarter)
The Products: At least 2 YA books in every box plus book-ish goodies.
Ships to: US and International
This box includes a letter from this month’s featured author, Aditi Khorana, about how she curated the box and other inspirational info.
There’s also a bookmark from PageHabit, another book subscription box. I always like having a spare bookmark around.
PageHabit also provides some information about their July Book selections and the ways they’re helping out causes in South Sudan.
There’s also some ephemera from Riveted, a digital reading community. I’ll have to check this out.
Oooo, a puzzle! I love puzzles and will totally spend wayyy too much time figuring this unique word game out!
I couldn’t find this exact design by Stina Persson on the Tattly online store, so I linked to another one of her designs that seems to be about the same size. This dreamy temporary tattoo is about 4.5 inches tall and has such beautiful colors and details in it. Especially in summer, when skin is out, it’s fun to explore unconventional “accessories” like temporary tattoos. This design seems a bit more traditionally feminine, romantic vibe—I wonder if all of the boxes share that, or if they’re relatively gender neutral.
The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana – Value on Amazon $13.04 (Retail price $18.99)
Here’s the book by the featured author. I love the cover design. You can see on the first photo one of the notes that the author used to annotate this book. I love that these kinds of sticky notes appear throughout this box. It makes it feel like you have a personal connection with the author and their story.
Book Summary on Amazon:
A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn
“Aditi Khorana has whipped up the perfect book recipe: a rogue princess, a freed oracle, and a library with the power to change your fate!” —Justine Magazine
No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn’t enough.
The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on one another. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them.
Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?
I love these kinds of fantasy stories, and my interest is definitely piqued by the fact that this fantasy is rooted in Indian culture (rather than the usual Western legends).
There’s an autographed book plate, too!
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson – Value on Amazon $6.40 (Retail price $10.99)
The next book is a paperback that’s a President Obama “O” Book Club pick!
Book Summary on Amazon:
Jacqueline Woodson’s National Book Award and Newbery Honor winner, now available in paperback with 7 all-new poems.
A President Obama “O” Book Club pick
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
Includes 7 new poems, including “Brown Girl Dreaming”.
Praise for Jacqueline Woodson:
A 2016 National Book Award finalist for her adult novel, ANOTHER BROOKLYN
“Ms. Woodson writes with a sure understanding of the thoughts of young people, offering a poetic, eloquent narrative that is not simply a story . . . but a mature exploration of grown-up issues and self-discovery.”—The New York Times Book Review
I love that this box is full of stories from diverse authors! I’m really excited to experience this much-lauded book.
Orleans by Sherri L. Smith – Value on Amazon $8.06 (Retail price $9.99)
The final book in the box is a paperback. The cover is so striking that it caught my eye right away in the box.
Book Summary on Amazon:
First came the storms.
Then came the Fever.
And the Wall.
After a string of devastating hurricanes and a severe outbreak of Delta Fever, the Gulf Coast has been quarantined. Years later, residents of the Outer States are under the assumption that life in the Delta is all but extinct…but in reality, a new primitive society has been born.
Fen de la Guerre is living with the O-Positive blood tribe in the Delta when they are ambushed. Left with her tribe leader’s newborn, Fen is determined to get the baby to a better life over the wall before her blood becomes tainted. Fen meets Daniel, a scientist from the Outer States who has snuck into the Delta illegally. Brought together by chance, kept together by danger, Fen and Daniel navigate the wasteland of Orleans. In the end, they are each other’s last hope for survival.
Sherri L. Smith delivers an expertly crafted story about a fierce heroine whose powerful voice and firm determination will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
I love the heroine-in-a-dystopian-future trope, but I feel like the same basic Divergent-style plot has been done over and over and over again. I love that this shifts the setting to a totally different environment with a different tone.
Read Fancy Straw – Value $2.00?
This blue straw is so cute! I love how fun fancy straws like this can be, though they are a real pain to clean sometimes. I could see bringing this to the pool with me for a bit of water-side reading/sipping! (I just guessed at the value as I’m not sure where this straw hails from.)
Chronicle Books Bag – Value $2.99
I’m a big fan of the quirky, offbeat books that Chronicle publishes, and now I can say I love their bags, too! This is made from a smooth, satiny, semi-sheer fabric in vivid blue and orange hues. It’s got a little hook inside it for storage, and it has a small inner pocket for hanging on to coins or coupons. I’m definitely using this bright bag the next time I head to the store!
Verdict: This box has a value of around $37 (using Amazon sale prices). Considering I paid $57 for this box, that value is a bit of a bummer. I do love the value that the curation provides—you really feel like you’re connecting with the author and getting a peek into their perspective. But I do with one or two more higher-value items would’ve been included just to bump that value up just the slightest bit.
What do you think of this month’s Literary YA Fiction box?