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).
This box was sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About This Book Box
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
Once Upon a Book Club February 2019 Review
There’s a simple paper booklet inside the box. I like that this subscription hosts book “discussions” and "read-a-longs" on their social media pages! It makes it a lot like an IRL book club. You'll notice, however, that there is no info about the box contents. That would spoil the surprise!
This postcard featuring a quote from this month's author was also included. I like the black and white packaging of everything this month!
I read all 342 pages of this book in under 24 hours. Yes, it was that compelling! It's not the best book I've ever read, but it was really good and such a page-turner! It was definitely a few steps up from an airport murder mystery or a romance novel (and this book had both!), but it was still a fairly easy and interesting read. I was able to figure out some things in advance, but it was definitely not obvious. The book is about a teenager who falls off a bridge, both from her point of view and that of her mother.
I am always, always so happy when I receive either a signed book or a signed bookplate like this one. I immediately stuck it to the inside of the book!
Sass & Belle Cream and Gold Jewelry Trinket Dish - Retail Value $12
I love this trinket dish! It's so cute and such a nice sentiment! In the book, it's a kitchen plate that someone has used as an ashtray, hence the wooden cigarette. I kind of don't know why the cigarette was included because I don't know what it might be good for, but it goes with the plate in terms of the story.
Page 222: Charm Bracelet
As charm bracelets go, this is a nice one! It is more heavy and solid than you might expect. The bracelet features prominently throughout the story, but the heart charm makes its first appearance on this page. Cute!
Page 251: Hand Lotion
I could not find this lotion for sale online anywhere, but I did find it as a hospitality item, meaning that it is sold wholesale to hotels. It is lightweight and fragrance free. It also absorbs easily. It was a nice surprise gift for this part of the book.
Page 338: Baby Wall Hanging
This definitely goes with the book, but I can't imagine anyone having any use for it. You would have to either adore the book or adore babies in general, I think, to want to hang a picture of a random baby in one's home. I don't really understand that aspect of this gift.
The Verdict: This was a really fun box from Once Upon a Book Club! The book was awesome, I could not stop reading it! The other items really went along well with the parts of the book they correspond to. I really liked the dish and will use the bracelet and lotion. I kind of don't understand the point of non-useful items like the baby wall hanging and the wooden cigarette and personally would prefer they not be included, but everything else is great!
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!
Value Breakdown: This box cost me $43.49 after shipping. If I subtract the known retail values of the book and the dish from that amount, I’m left with $15.49. There are four items otherwise - the cigarette, the bracelet, the lotion, and the wall hanging, so the average cost for each of those would be $3.87. I feel confident that the value of all the items collectively exceeds that, but I'm not even sure the value measurement is relevant to this subscription box. The value comes from the experience of reading the book and getting related surprises along the way, the experience as a whole. If you would be bothered by a subscription that does not have a big value surplus, then this might not be the right box for you.
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Check out all of our Once Upon a Book Club reviews to learn more!
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What do you think of the items in this Once Upon a Book Club box?