With all unboxings my intention is to help you determine if the box is worth your money. I go through each product included in the box first and assign a rating at the end. Each item is rated out of 3: usefulness, quality, and do I personally enjoy it? Often I will give bonus points for extra items/ exceptional covers/ exceptional pins … etc.
This was my first Once Upon a Bookclub YA book box. Just like their adult fiction book box, you are sent one newly released (within 3 months) book and about 4 gifts that are to be opened on designated pages. These gifts tie in directly to the events unfolding on the pages and bring the story to life.
It is a really cool concept and it is a lot of fun to spread out the enjoyment of your book box, but truth be told I’ve only ever waited to open the gifts once. I usually just open everything up because I am an impatient four year old on a good day.
So let’s look into the March 2019 YA box.
The book pick this month is Lovely War by Julie Berry. I am really excited by this pick – it has romance, mythology and is set against the backdrop of WWI and WWII.
I like that each month they pull a quote from the book to place on a 5×7 print card – this month’s pull quote read: “The first casualty of war is the truth.”
The first gift was found on pg 31 and is the 8×10 recreation of a theatrical playbill, in this case, Orpheus.
The next item, from pg 386, is a small faux leather notebook with a re-creation black and white photo of a woman holding a child. This is the kind of thing OUABC likes to do to really make their books come to life – include these re-created details (photos, letters, etc). They don’t have any real value or use but are meant for fun.
The third gift, from pg 410, is a comb and mirror set meant to represent a similar one used in the book.
The last gift, from pg 431, is a small china trinket plate with the Aphrodite quote “Love is stronger than war” in rose gold foiling. Included with this is a small rose gold ring.
Lastly are the paper goodies included with each box. The Book club perks envelope usually includes a few coupons, this time to the bookish box, and announcement fliers. Also included is a read along and discussion question guideline timetable for their instagram discussions.
Overall Rating: D
Theatrical playbill 8×10: 2/3 I actually like this item as it fits my style, will look great in a frame and placed in one of my wall murals. The card stock is heavy and overall it is well done. While it is useful to me I can see some people not gravitating towards this.
Faux leather journal with re-created photo: 1/3: While there is nothing inherently wrong with this notebook it is just really cheap, really bad quality faux leather that STINKS to high heaven! Unfortunately it isn’t useable for this reason.
Mirror and Comb Set: 1/3 I really don’t like giving bad ratings but this item is terrible quality! When I opened the package a TON of beads and gemstones fell out and many had collected in the box. It is a plasticky material (not metal as it would appear) and I really don’t know what use this could have … a moustache comb? I do, however really like using it in my pictures for instagram! (Hence the 1/3)
Trinket Dish and Rose gold ring: 3/3 I really liked this item. It is a very pretty plate with rose gold foiling lettering (I actually mounted it to my wall in one of my collages) and I really like the simplicity of the ring and it’s comfortable to wear.
Overall this box is a miss product wise. I am really excited to read this book – however it is disappointing that it doesn’t come signed which seems to be a pretty standard practice in book boxes today. Luckily I can reuse the disastrous mirror & comb set in my prop kit … it would have really been aggravating to throw away both it and the smelly, cheap journal.