Hi, everyone. I am doing something a little different today. A few months ago I signed up for my first book subscription box. No doubt you’ve heard about them. Basically you sign up for a subscription to a service that sends you a box every month (time frames vary from box to box) that contains a book and maybe some bookish items (candles, bookmarks, etc.). The most popular ones seem to be those catering to fans of young adult. While I love YA, I wanted to branch out a bit and find something different. While I really liked the pictures I was seeing on Instagram of various boxes, I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit to a box that had a lot of merchandise in it for fear or ending up with a bunch of stuff that I wasn’t going to use. Cost was also a factor. The more stuff in your box, the more it costs obviously. For my first box, I wanted to keep costs low to see if I even liked being sent random books every month. As an avid reader and book buyer, I was a little worried about getting books I already owned.
I settled on BookCase Club, which was $9.99 a month + shipping. I chose BookCase Club because it was inexpensive and only sent books (no other merch) and it had several genres to choose from. I looked up some reviews online first to get a feel for the club. From what I saw, the club keeps fees low by sending books that have already been out for a while. Most of the books I saw had already been out for at least a couple of years. They probably buy stock at a discount and then pass those savings on to their club members. I was a little worried about this one just because I buy a lot of books and there was a high probability that I might already own what they were going to send. I decided to risk it though since the cost was pretty low. Below I am going to review the two boxes I received plus the box that my friend Kimberly (The Windy Pages) passed on to me when there was a mistake on her subscription and she ended up getting 2 of the same box.
BookCase Club has several genre options to choose from including mystery/thriller, sci-fi/fantasy, young adult, romance, paranormal romance, and a few more. I ended up going with their Blind Date box which is supposed to be paranormal romance. However, the first box I received was actually one that my friend received two of. Due to an issue with her plan, for one month they sent her two of the same box instead of one box from each of two categories. The box above is the Strange Worlds box which is their sci-fi/fantasy box. I received Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho and Departure by A.G. Riddle. Of the two books I’d only heard of Sorcerer to the Crown. I actually had an ARC of this at one point but ended up giving it away when I last moved. I hadn’t read it yet and still do so I was OK with getting it in the box, though I would have been disappointed if I’d still had my copy.
My second box contained Truth Seeker by C.E. Murphy and The Traitor’s Daughter by Paula Brandon. I hadn’t heard of either of these books but both are the first in their series which was a definite plus. I checked out both books on Goodreads and they actually both sounded interesting, too. I don’t know if I would have picked up either of these on my own but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. One of the reasons I wanted to try out this box was to discover new authors. I’d give this one a win because they were both the first in a series and I didn’t have either book yet.
The next box contained books by authors that were more well known. Like many, I devoured the Anne Rice vampire books as a young teen. Rice also occasionally writes erotica under the pseudonym A.N. Roquelaure. I read a couple of her Sleeping Beauty series when I was a teen. At that time I hadn’t read much romance and no erotica so it was definitely a different kind of book than I was used to reading. Who knew that 15 years later I’d be a huge romance reader. Beauty’s Kingdom is the fourth novel in the Sleeping Beauty series. I think I read two books in the series as a teen but I really don’t have any desire to read more. This one is going in the charity pile. The next book was Crave The Night by Lara Adrian. I just looked it up and Crave The Night is the twelfth book in the Midnight Breed series. Having never read any of the series before, I was pretty disappointed to receive a book so far into it. It’s also a hardcover which I don’t prefer when it comes to paranormal romance. I enjoy the small paperbacks that most of my UF and paranormal books usually come in. This book just takes up too much real estate and I can’t even read it until after reading 11 other books. This one is also going into the charity pile.
I stopped by subscription after the third month (I signed up for 3 months in advance). The low price point makes BookCase Club an ideal club for those who are unsure if they’ll like a subscription box or don’t care for extras. The boxes were a bit hit or miss for me. I was happy with some of the books but box 3 was a total bust. I didn’t spend a lot of money on these so I wasn’t too annoyed but it also didn’t sway me to keep up the subscription. If you don’t buy a lot of books and are willing to receive books that may not be the first in a series, this might be a good club for you. For me there was too much risk that I’d already have the book in my library. If the packaging and contents are too spare for you, you may want to pay more and get one of the more elaborate subscription boxes. Those usually feature new releases and have fun swag included. I doubt I’ll be signing up for another club anytime soon.