Monday, 29 February 2016

Uppercase Box Review

I've been super intrigued by subscription boxes for books for a long time now. I was a subscriber so a couple of makeup related subscription boxes for a while and loved the fun of seeing what I'd get each month and playing, but things happened and I was getting bored after over a year, so I had to cancel them. But books! And the amazing swag they put with the books! What could go wrong?

Well, I had a few hold ups. For one thing, what if I already had the book? Or if I'd already read the book and didn't like it? What did I do when I had no interest in the book? And don't I get enough books? It just seemed like a lot of money for results I couldn't be sure of. 

Then Lisa at Uppercase Box contacted asking if I wanted to do a review of this month's box. I hesitated for a moment, but this was a way to answer a lot of my questions, so I jumped on the chance. There was some hold up with the box getting to me, which I mentioned to Lisa on Wednesday and then a box showed up on Saturday. So from the start, I know customer service is aces.

The box itself was actually a bag! The book and goodies were all tucked into a bag with the Uppercase Logo, which is honestly more practical than an actual box. Plus, I have to break down boxes to recycle them, but I don't have that issue with the little bag.

This month's book was Starlight by Melissa Landers - a book I haven't read, don't have, and am interested in. So I feel pretty good about this being the month I got to try it. And, the book is signed! The box also included nail wraps featuring details from the cover, a pretty little print, a bookmark, and an Anne of Green Gables scarf. 

I don't use nail wraps, so they're kind of wasted on me, but I can toss them in my swag bag for later use. I haven't read Anne of Green Gables, so though the scarf is a beautiful quality and SO my colors, I'll probably be passing this on as well. But the bookmark includes page numbers, codes and a URL to turn it into an interactive reading experience, which is a fun little addition. Finally, the print is beautiful and I love the quote, but because of how its packages, the print was folded in half and now has a mark in the middle, which is kind of irritating. 

So, what do I think? All in all, I'm pretty impressed. The packaging was great - aside from the folded print - and the book selection works really well for me. This month's swag was mostly a miss for me, but I loved the concept behind the products and know it can't be perfect every month. Lisa is quick to respond to emails and sort out any shipping issues. Ultimately, it was a really positive experience.

Would I do it again? Well, for now? I'm still not sold. This month's book selection was great, but I still don't have any guarantees. And if I'm not loving the swag either, then the whole month is a bust, even if just the excitement of a surprise package would make me happy. It was one thing to spend $11 a month to get my makeup bag of samples - it included many products, usually at least one full size, and an easy to reuse and cute bag that made it more than worth the cost. But book subscription boxes aren't nearly as cheap and don't have the same guarantees.  Plus, I'm not working at the moment and burning a LOT of money on my monthly train ticket and food/beverages so I can sit and kill time while waiting for trains and classes. And of course, I need to buy books for the NYC signings I go to. I can't really afford to spend any money on something that's not a guarantee.

But that's just ME. I think for the average reader and even for the well read blogger who does have the money to spare, I think Uppercase Box is great. Great customer service, great, very customized swag that's also really high quality, and their book choices tend to be #quietYA, which you know I approve of! If you want to learn more about them, I'm posting some more details below for you to think about. But check it out fast! The window to sign up for the March box ends tonight! 

Uppercase started in August 2014, and we've selected some great YA books so far. You can check out our past boxes here: uppercasebox.com/past-selections.

We offer two options: Expert and Book Exclusive box. The Expert box is $23 a month and includes a recently published YA book we think everyone will enjoy. The Book Exclusive box is $17 a month offers the same book content and publisher-provided goodies as the Expert box, just without the bookish item.

Lisa has been a part of the YA community for four and a half years through her YA book blog, Read.Breathe.Relax. She personally reads and recommends all Uppercase box books, and she absolutely loves sharing my passion of books with my subscribers.

 --Julie

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