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 for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About this Book Subscription Box
The Subscription Box: Once Upon a Book Club Adult Box
The Cost: $34.99 + shipping a month. Save with longer subscriptions.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off your first box!
The Products: Women’s fiction with a powerful message, plus gifts related to the story.
Ships to: the US for $9.50, Canada for $17.00, and Worldwide for $26.50
Once Upon a Book Club June 2019 Review
There’s a simple paper booklet inside the box. I like that this subscription hosts book “discussions” and "read-alongs" 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 month, I also noticed that I received the box much later than any of the read-along dates. I'm not 100% sure, but I think I received my box much later than regular subscribers. Many times subscription companies send comped boxes later to reviewers to make sure that regular subscribers all get their boxes without issue. That's completely understandable. But, if you are a regular subscriber and would like to comment on the timeliness of this subscription, please feel free to do so in the comments below.
Sometimes there is a little envelope included with OUABC "Perks" which provide savings on related products and services, but this month there is just a little bonus book. It seems like a lot more fun, but it is also promotional material as it is only the first mini book in a series. It's almost like getting a teaser chapter. Fun, but if you get hooked you're going to have to buy the rest of the books!
This postcard featuring a quote from Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" was also included. Intriguing!
What a neat book! It was quite the page-turner. It's the story of Ayesha, a Muslim-Canadian poet who turns to teaching as a means of living and paying back a wealthy uncle for her education. She is lonely and yearns for love in her life, but she resists the traditional notions of arranged marriage. Her sister, on the other hand, seems to be getting marriage proposals all the time! She gets a little bit smitten with Khalid, but finds him annoying in his conservative manners and beliefs. That is, until her sister winds up engaged to him! The story is compelling, but I do think the plot gets a little out of hand towards the end in terms of multiple storylines. There is a nod to Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" in the beginning that draws a little bit of a parallel, so if you enjoyed that book you will likely enjoy this one as well.
I love getting signed book plates from the author! I immediately stuck it to the inside of the book!
Page 1: Ayesha's Red Ceramic Mug
This is a nice ceramic travel mug. It's good and heavy. I can always use more travel mugs! I love the elaborate red design, and the quote from "Pride and Prejudice" sets the stage perfectly, just as it is set at the beginning of the book!
Page 197: Pride and Prejudice Journal - Retail Value $21.15
This is a reminder of the similarities between this book and "Pride and Prejudice," but I didn't really feel the comparison was super strong through a lot of this part of the book. However, this is a really, really nice journal! It's very high quality and nicely bound. I'm impressed!
Page 272: Letter From Khalid
I think I have said it before, but I don't really understand the point of this type of inclusion. It's not actually part of the story, really, so I find it confusing. This doesn't add any value to me, personally. I would love to hear from subscribers who appreciate things like this! Maybe I just don't get it.
Page 306: Tarek's Flash Drive
The final gift was this super cool flash drive! I've never seen one like this. Again, it's another nod to "Pride and Prejudice." So cute! And I will not spoil anything by going into the details, but there is a video on the flash drive! How fun!
The Verdict: This was another fun box from Once Upon a Book Club! The book was really the best part, as it should be. It was a fun read! I also really like the journal. I think the idea behind the Once Upon a Book Club subscription is a pretty clever one, and I like the idea of getting gifts at different points in the story. I sometimes wish I didn't have to open them all at once to photograph them!
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 $43.49 after shipping. If I subtract the known retail value of the book and the journal from that amount, I’m left with $6.34. I feel confident that the value of the mug and the flash drive combined 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.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the items in this Once Upon a Book Club box?