I am no stranger to subscription boxes.
I have at one stage or other been subscribed to the three main Australian beauty boxes: Bellabox (do not recommend), Violet Box (now discontinued), and Lust Have It.
I very seriously considered subscribing to the quarterly Book Riot YA box, except that living in Australia would have meant that on top of currency conversion and postage fees I would have been paying roughly $100 for a couple of books I may already have and some random bookish stuff I might not like, so I decided against it.
Then I heard two Aussie bloggers were creating their very own Aussie YA subscription box, The YA Chronicles, and the first box was themed ‘That Superhero Nonsense’ I almost exploded with excitement. Allison (readaroundtherosie) and Rebecca (thebookhangover) created these boxes and I loved that it was bloggers doing it, so despite the price ($30, plus another $9.99 shipping) I was really keen to get involved.
(You can also buy 3 months at $84.99 +P&H which is a saving of about $5, or 6 months at $159.99 +P&H which is a saving of about $20)
I just so happened to have had a really shitty day the day before delivery so when my husband texted me to let me know the package had arrived I was really excited to get home and open it up. I almost forgot to take pictures!
Plain white tissue paper as padding – nothing extravagant.
The postcard explaining what’s inside, two bookmarks and a free ebook novella download.
A 4GB USB stick. Pretty cute! Batman’s a superhero, so it fits. I actually said to my husband, “Oh look, a little keyring! Do you want it?” because my husband is WAY into superheroes, but then I realised he was a USB stick and I was like, “Sorry, I’m keeping him!”
An antique-looking necklace from ElysianWorkshop on Etsy. This is more Alice in Wonderland than superhero, but whatever. I put it on right away, then I took it off to go to sleep because it’s quite bulky, and forgot to put it back on. Sad face.
A ‘The Rest of Us Just Live Here’ themed badge, because apparently I’m like 10 years old or something.
The actual book, The Rest of Us Just Live Here, by Patrick Ness. It’s a VERY beautiful hardcover edition and the pages have blue edges, but unfortunately I already have this book for review, so I can’t help but be disappointed. And to tell you the truth, I knew this was a risk I was taking, because there are a couple of superhero novels coming out around this time and because I already had this for review I knew I might receive this book. Previously I have read A Monster Calls and loved it, so I just hope I really enjoy the book when I do read it.
Overall, I was kind of underwhelmed with the box. I feel that the price point ($40 inc shipping) is too much for an actual teenager to be able to fork out on a monthly basis – hell, I can barely afford it myself and I haven’t been a teenager in a LONG time – so I can’t figure out if it’s targeted towards actual teens, readers of YA, or adult readers of YA. The badge seems really childish so I want to say actual teen readers, but the price point argues with me. I also find that although the hardcover is a beautiful edition, the second book is a downloadable ebook novella, which is a little underwhelming. The Alice in Wonderland necklace is beautiful if bulky, and the bookmarks would be fine for a bookmark collector, but overall I find that $40 for this box was a little bit disappointing.
On the plus side, hardcovers in Australia are ridiculously expensive (and rarer than paperbacks), so it is nice to have such a beautiful edition of Ness’s book.
I know that being a reviewer I have early access to a lot of books, so maybe this subscription service would better be utilised by people who aren’t reviewers but enjoy new releases, especially if the editions are going to be beautiful hardcovers.
Hopefully as time goes on we might find more/awesome stuff in the boxes.
Excuse me as I try to scrape together another $40 for the October box.