Once Upon a Book Club is a uniquely engaging book subscription box. Instead of just sending along books and bookish items, this monthly subscription box sends you one book and a series of individually wrapped packages, each with a numbered tag that corresponds to a page in the book. As you read and come across those pages, you'll open the packages and reveal items that relate to that moment in the story!
Once Upon a Book Club offers a young adult box geared towards readers 13+ and an adult box intended for readers 18+. Both are priced the same and feature newly released books. (According to the site, the books have been released within the last 3 months, unless otherwise noted.)
This is a review of the Adult box for 18+ ($34.99 per month + shipping).
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: Once Upon a Book Club Adult Box
The Cost: $34.99 a month. There is also a 3-month prepay ($100.99), 6-month prepay ($199.00), and 12-month prepay ($390.00) subscription options.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off your first box!
The Products: Women's fiction with an aspirational bent, plus gifts related to the story.
Ships to: Worldwide
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
There's a simple paper booklet inside the box. Love the polka dots and all the bright colors!
Don't forget—if you open anything ahead of time, you'll ruin the fun of the box!
This quote print is on the back of the card.
This month's book is a bestselling novel about uncovering the secrets of the past. The writing is simple, straightforward, and sincere, and the story has a rich reality to it that makes its twists and turns all the more engaging.
Book Summary on Amazon:
The Instant International Bestseller
“Jean Pendziwol’s beautifully written novel captured me from the very first page. Its descriptions of the windswept lightkeeper’s station of Elizabeth’s and Emily’s youth are so crisply rendered I felt I was standing on its shores watching the great ships cross the stormy waters of Lake Superior. Even more than its vivid evocation of a unique time and place, The Lightkeeper's Daughters is a sensitive and moving examination of the nature of identity, the importance of family, and the possibility of second chances."Heather Young, author of The Lost Girls
Though her mind is still sharp, Elizabeth's eyes have failed. No longer able to linger over her beloved books or gaze at the paintings that move her spirit, she fills the void with music and memories of her family—a past that suddenly becomes all too present when her late father's journals are found amid the ruins of an old shipwreck.
With the help of Morgan, a delinquent teenage performing community service, Elizabeth goes through the diaries, a journey through time that brings the two women closer together. Entry by entry, these unlikely friends are drawn deep into a world far removed from their own—to Porphyry Island on Lake Superior, where Elizabeth’s father manned the lighthouse seventy years before.
As the words on these musty pages come alive, Elizabeth and Morgan begin to realize that their fates are connected to the isolated island in ways they never dreamed. While the discovery of Morgan's connection sheds light onto her own family mysteries, the faded pages of the journals hold more questions than answers for Elizabeth, and threaten the very core of who she is.
The first item corresponds to page 20 in the book. I'll do my best not to give away any spoilers!
Aviator Sunglasses and Case
These blue-tinted sunnies come packaged inside a thick felt case. The case is secured with a black leather ribbon (it was giving me some real Halloween-y vibes) that doesn't tie, but does cling to the felt enough that it stays shut (so long as it isn't getting jostled around too much). The sunglasses felt a little rickety, and the frames are very thin. But they fit my face really comfortably and seem to work pretty well. I don't have a good pair of aviator sunnies right now, so I'm happy to have 'em!
The next gift is a dragonfly print inside of an old-fashioned brown paper envelope. The presentation is really fun, and I love the relation to the story, though the print itself wasn't quite my style. Plus, it's printed on a glossy sheet of standard photo paper—the kind you can put through an at home printer, I think. The immediate impact is lovely though. It does really bring you into the story.
Next up is this apron. I love the color scheme and the ruffly details, but it was a little weird that the fabric felt like the stuff umbrellas are made of. That makes it pretty waterproof, but just be aware that whatever splashes on it might dribble down and drip off the hem, too! The quality is also a little iffy—there are a number of loose threads on the seams. But it is awfully cute, and again, the fun of seeing a tangible nod to the story is great.
Wooden Matchbox and Toy Match
I love the lace-like, slide-off lid. It's so pretty! I don't know if I'd use this for matches, but it is long enough to use as a place to store pencils and pens. The "match" that's inside the box is actually just a little plastic toy version of the real thing—I'm not quite sure how to use it after the initial moment of seeing it in the box. But the thought was clever and fun.
Verdict: Once Upon a Book Club Adult box has such a charming concept. My only concern is whether the value of the items goes beyond just the initial joy of unwrapping them. They weren't branded items, either, so they all had kind of a mass-produced feeling to them. (I was having trouble finding them online.) I thought the book was an awesome choice, though—I love that it's a feel-good book with plenty of intrigue. I feel like this box could be a neat way to get yourself back into reading, or to gift to an avid reader to help them experience books in a new, engaging way.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. Sign up before the 14th of this month to receive the next month's box!
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off your first box!
Value Breakdown: This box cost me $43.49 after shipping. Subtracting the Amazon price for the book leaves a remainder of $25.16. That means that, on average, each of the remaining four items would be $6.29. That feels a little bit high for items like the dragonfly print and the apron (which felt kind of like something I'd find at a dollar store), but the value of the book discussions the subscription facilitates and the effort put into curating the experience may balance that out a little more.
What do you think of the items in this Once Upon a Book Club box?