Sunday, February 18, 2018

Once Upon a Book Club - My First Unboxing!

So, something I discovered in the last few years that I've always found fascinating but never got a chance before to try are book subscription boxes.  They have all different varieties at different price points and some offer single box purchases as well as monthly, quarterly, or annual subscriptions. 

So what are they?  Well many of them offer a signed or exclusive first edition hardcover of a newly released book with five to six themed bookish goodies included in the box with the book.  If you want to check them out online, some of the biggest are Owlcrate, LitJoy, or the one I'm going to discuss today, Once Upon a Book Club.

Once Upon a Book Club is an amazing interactive reading experience.  They have two boxes each month.  One that features an adult fiction book, and one that features a young adult fiction book. Then, here's how they differ from other book boxes, they include wrapped "presents" that are items you unwrap as you reach marked pages while you read the book! They are curated to match the important pieces of text and it really brings the book to life.  Plus, Once Upon a Book Club now does discussion questions for their readers and arranges for a Q&A with the author of the featured book.  Very, very cool.

I really wanted to try this box out, but I was nervous to try the newest box (they do not tell you the book title ahead of time, only give hints) so I purchased an older box from their website that featured a book I was dying to read anyway, Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody. It was their August 2017 YA box.

Spoilers ahead!!! 

So as I read the book which is about a girl who runs the freak show, full of her own living, breathing illusions, in the moving carnival-city of Gomorrah, there were four places where there were sticky notes that prompted me to open one of the gifts in the box. 

As Sorina gets frustrated with her new friend Luca, she storms outside his tent and kicks over the wooden sign he has outside proclaiming his talent.  Included in the box was a version of this wooden sign! Very cute.

Next, I was prompted to open a gift when Sorina finds a bag of fifteen gold coins that she didn't realize she had collected from someone and lo and behold, there was a bag of "gold" coins included in the box!

The third prompt was to open a small box when Sorina takes Luca's pocket watch for close inspection after he's been arrested.  The box contained a replica of the watch described... including the damning inscription that alerts Sorina that something about Luca is not what it seems...and it works in real life. So cool!

The last prompt came right at the end of the book so I don't want to spoil things in case you choose to read the book (and I would recommend it; I enjoyed it!) but I will say that the gift was a red sequined mask which was very fitting.  Sorina wears a variety of masks throughout the book.

So, here's my full unboxing (revealing what the box contained):

Daughter of the Burning City
Hardcover copy and poster
Wooden sign reading "Gossip-Worker" 
Bag of 15 "gold" coins
Pocket watch (that actually works!)
Red sequined mask

All in all, this was a GREAT box with a fun to read book, made even more special because of the interactive method used to read the book.  I kind of wish I had gotten the box when it first came out and other people who had gotten the box did the readalong, etc, as that would have been even more fun, but I enjoyed it all on my own!

I will definitely be trying this box again sometime in the future. I may even be asking for a gift subscription when my birthday comes around this year. 

Full disclosure: book box purchased, I did not receive this for review or endorsement, all opinions are firmly my own.

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