Once Upon A Book Club Box, YA: April
I've been a fan of Once Upon A Book Club Box even before I held the first box in my hands. The combination of a new novel with gifts pulled straight out of the pages of the book is just the kind of bookish adventure I want to go on.
Though I absolutely love the Women's Lit that is at the center of these boxes, my two favorite genres are YA and Mystery, so when Michelle broke the news that she would be launching a YA themed box in addition to her awesome adult boxes, I did a little dance!
The YA box debuted in April and delivered the same high quality experience I've come to expect from Chick Lit Designs.
Megan Brown’s brother, Tyler, is dead, but the cops are killing him all over again. They say he died of a drug overdose, potentially suicide—something Megan cannot accept. Determined to figure out what happened in the months before Tyler’s death, Megan turns to the things he left behind. After all, she understands the stories objects can tell—at fifteen, she is a gifted collage artist with a flair for creating found-object pieces. However, she now realizes that her artistic talent has developed into something more: she can see memories attached to some of Tyler’s belongings—and those memories reveal a brother she never knew.
Enlisting the help of an artifact detective who shares her ability and specializes in murderabilia—objects tainted by violence or the deaths of their owners—Megan finds herself drawn into a world of painful personal and national memories. Along with a trusted classmate and her brother's charming friend, she chases down the troubling truth about Tyler across Washington, DC, while reclaiming her own stifled identity with a vengeance.
First, I want to start by saying that the gifts that were inspired by things in the book were absolutely inspired, I think this book was a great choice for interesting items.
As far as my feelings on the story itself, this one felt a little thin to me. At no point, despite the intense subject matter, did I really connect with any of the characters. Everything felt just superficial enough for the story to feel wholly fictional instead of a world that I could sink into and become a part of it all.
I empathized with Megan and her processing the loss of her brother. I'm always extra sensitive to stories where someone is working through the loss of a loved on, but fundamentally this story didn't work for me. I'm all for well executed magical realism or even suspending my disbelief for the sake of a great tale, but this story didn't dazzle or change me.
A pair of bird shaped scissors- I LOVE that this look exactly how Megan's scissors in the book are described and they are adorable!
A button on a necklace- In the book Megan creates all kinds of collages, particularly with found objects. After taking the button from one of her brother's coats she creates a little collage on it and wears it like a necklace.
A bag and wallet- I love that Michelle includes functional items that are also fun accessories. Inspired by Megan's bag, and the wallet from which she pulls out the business card of a detective she's been in contact with, these two items feel like they've been pulled straight from the page and into my closet. It's the extra little details like the business card that make it feel so special.
Black gloves- these gloves may be inspired by a creepy and malicious guy, but in real life this gloves are utterly perfect. As someone who lives in an area where it's winter half of the year (if not longer! It's only 43 degrees here today and we might get sleet tomorrow) I appreciate cute cold weather accessories. The bows are adorable, and the insides are so fleecy soft. The fact that they have the touchscreen finger pads are just a happy bonus!
Book Quote Card- Included in every box is a unique piece of artwork celebrating a quote from the book.
While I may have only given the story of the novel 3.5 stars, I give the book box experience 5 gold stars for how charming and fun everything is.
Readalong dates start today, May 8, on Facebook and Instagram, and continue throughout the month, as well as discussion questions from May 16-20th, so follow the Once Upon A Book Club accounts to participate!
The teaser for the May YA box is Hurricanes and Heartaches, which sounds like quite the emotional adventure.
There's still time to sign up for the May box, and you can use code "caseyrosereads" to get 10% off your first box.