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The Book Drop Review – January 2021

Haley Faye
ByHaley FayeFeb 22, 2021 | 2 comments

The Book Drop January 2021 shipping box

The Book Drop
4.1 overall rating
7 Ratings | 2 Reviews

The Book Drop is a monthly book subscription box service created by Amanda Zirn Hudson, manager and book buyer of Bethany Beach Books, an independent book store in Bethany Beach, Delaware. Their mission is to help bring the spirit of the independent bookstore to readers all over the world. If you are interested in seeing what kinds of books they send, you can browse their shop, where they list previously featured books.

This is a review of the "Books for Tea" subscription category, which includes historical/contemporary/literary fiction books.

The Book Drop January 2021 packaging

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.)

Check out all of our reviews of Book Subscription Boxes for more options, too!

The Book Drop January 2021 all items

About this Box

The Subscription Box: The Book Drop

The Cost: $16.99/month + $3.99 shipping

The Product: Subscribers receive one paperback book each month. The book you get depends on which subscription option you choose, and you can switch between plans anytime (or skip) before your plan charges for the month. Currently, they offer nine different plan options:

  • Books for Tea: Includes historical/contemporary/literary fiction books
  • Books for Bubbly: Includes books about romance, chick-lit, friendships, and heartbreak
  • Books for Coffee: Includes thrillers, mysteries, murder, and psychological books
  • Mix of Tea + Coffee: Alternates between the Books for Tea and Books for Coffee selections month-to-month
  • Mix of Bubbly + Tea: Alternates between the Books for Bubbly and Books for Tea selections month-to-month
  • Mix of Coffee + Bubbly: Alternates between the Books for Coffee and Books for Bubbly selections month-to-month
  • Books for Young Adults: Includes books about fantasy, teen life, love, and drama ($11/month)
  • Books for Middle Grade: Includes books about adventure, friendship, fantasy, and coming-of-age ($8/month)
  • The Book Droplet: Includes hardcover children's picture books ($17.99/month)

Ships to: The U.S. for $3.99, Canada for $19.99, international for $26.99

The Book Drop "Books for Tea" January 2021 Review


Every Book Drop includes a note sharing why they loved this book and chose to include it.

The Book Drop January 2021 Book cover

The Bride of the Sea by Eman Quotah - Retail value $16.95 (found here for $13.99)

Book Summary from Amazon:

During a snowy Cleveland February, newlywed university students Muneer and Saeedah are expecting their first child, and he is harboring a secret: the word divorce is whispering in his ear. Soon, their marriage will end, and Muneer will return to Saudi Arabia, while Saeedah remains in Cleveland with their daughter, Hanadi. Consumed by a growing fear of losing her daughter, Saeedah disappears with the little girl, leaving Muneer to desperately search for his daughter for years. The repercussions of the abduction ripple outward, not only changing the lives of Hanadi and her parents, but also their interwoven family and friends—those who must choose sides and hide their own deeply guarded secrets. And when Hanadi comes of age, she finds herself at the center of this conflict, torn between the world she grew up in and a family across the ocean. How can she exist between parents, between countries? Eman Quotah’s Bride of the Sea is a spellbinding debut of colliding cultures, immigration, religion, and family; an intimate portrait of loss and healing; and, ultimately, a testament to the ways we find ourselves inside love, distance, and heartbreak.

The Book Drop January 2021 book back cover

This book surprised me; I haven't read a book quite like it before. First of all, I love the colors and art on the cover! Regarding the story, I have to admit that I didn't find the characters immediately likable - when you meet them, both Saeedah and Muneer have their own issues and their marriage is uncomfortably disconnected. The book begins when Muneer has brought Saeedah to live in Cleveland, Ohio from Jiddah, Saudi Arabia so he can get a college degree. Saeedah gets pregnant, and they divorce shortly after their daughter is born. Muneer moves back to Saudi Arabia and Saeedah stays in Ohio. As her daughter, Hanadi, gets older, Saeedah gets more and more anxious about losing her because it's customary for daughters to live with their fathers at the age of 7 in Saudi culture. She ends up taking them both off the grid and the book spans across decades as you follow Hanadi as she feels torn between both Ohio and Saudi Arabia, explores both places, and comes to terms with what her mother did.

The writing is very rich, and every character in the book feels complex and well-developed. That includes the fact that every character isn't perfectly likable - they feel like people you'd know. I loved how the author guided me through the different settings and how she brings a lot of life out of each location. I also enjoyed learning more about the Saudi ex-pat experience and their culture because it's not something I've read about before.

Also in my Book Drop was a note from the author, Eman Quotah, that was specifically written to Book Drop subscribers receiving his book this month. I love how the author speaks about desiring to avoid reductionist descriptions of locations, wanting to instead make the settings and places characters themselves.


Also included this month was a flyer of Indie Next List book recommendations.

Verdict: This was my second experience with The Book Drop, and I'm happy! I don't know if this is a book I would have picked out for myself, but I really enjoyed this read, and that's exactly what I like to get from book subscriptions. I'm looking forward to more deliveries from this subscription because I see a few books that they've previously sent in their boxes that have been on my to-read list! Also, I really love how The Book Drop sets up their genre categories to suggest which drink to enjoy while reading to maximize the vibe of the book. It adds fun and original flavor to their service. Has anyone else read this book? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this book if you sign up today? No, but it may be available as an add-on next month!

Check out all of our Book Drop reviews and see what other book subscriptions made our favorites list!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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The Book Drop offers a variety of book boxes for women, men, children, and young adults! Receive a hand-picked book once a month, hand-chosen by our book-loving staff at Bethany Beach Books! 

Haley Faye
Haley Faye
Haley Faye first discovered the wonderful world of subscription boxes in 2012 and began writing for MSA in 2014. Over the years, she has found many subscriptions to love. Now a mom of three, her favorite boxes are ones that dress her kids, help her get organized, feed her family, send her snacks, and offer educational fun for her children.

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These are FULL size paperbacks of good quality, not mass market (small) paperbacks. The list price on the book has been higher than what I’m paying for the subscription. This is great, considering that part of the price is paying for someone’s expertise.

I’m subscribed to Books for Coffee and I’m loving it! Can’t wait to see this months caffeinated selection. I enjoy receiving books recommended by a book seller and being introduced to new authors. So far, not a dud in the bunch.

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Too expensive for a paperback club.

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