I have recently let LootCrate go because, in truth, it never had the same magic feeling of that first box. Plus, I will eventually run out of room for trinkets. But I’ll never run out of room for books!
…okay, so that last statement is definitely not true, but a girl can dream. This year, I want try a couple of different book boxes and see what its like out there in the world of literary subscriptions. The first box I’m trying is PageHabit’s Horror Box. Along with a book filled with author annotations, you also get a letter from the author, a sample or short story, a book mark, and two little trinket items,
PageHabit has two big things going for it. The first is that you can pick from several genres, including horror, YA, literary fiction, sci-fi, historical fiction, romance, fantasy and mystery. The second is that every box means a book donation to a different literacy charity every month. This month, it was Books for Africa and the Sierra Leone Foundation for New Democracy, to send books to Sierra Leone for kids in need.
The downside is that the extras (save for the author letter, obviously) are mostly the same across the different boxes. That’s no necessarily a bad thing, unless you’re looking for genre specific swag. The boxes cost $29.99 per box.
The book in this box is “One of Us Will Be Dead by Morning” by David Moody, from St. Martin’s Press. Sadly, in order to be timely (and also its almost Christmas AND I’m trying to finish up a yearly book challenge) I couldn’t read the book before writing the box review. I know, a bummer. But I can talk about some other important aspects.
For one, this book is squarely in the horror genre, which isn’t always the case with book boxes. Essentially, the story is a little like Christie’s And Then There Were None, where people end up on an island where people suddenly start dying. I was a little nervous when I read that this was the fourth book in the Haters series, but given that it’s just in the same timeline as the other books, it should be easy enough to jump in. The cover is great, and the title kind of gives me David Wong vibes. Very excited to start giving it a read!
I did have time to read the short story included in the box courtesy of Great Jones Street. A Whiter Shade of Christmas by Taylor Grant is…bad. Inoffensive but bad. The story is about a man who dreads the holidays because of his recently-deceased wife but ends up at the house of a widow who hosts homeless people for Christmas. It has little to no emotion in it, reads a little like a play-by-play, and is generally cliche as hell, shoe-horned-in love story and all. It’s just not an interesting story and I have no sympathy for the main character because he’s written like the stereotypical woobie. Only for the most Lifetime-movie-loving readers.
These totally-not-for-Christmas-but-happen-to-be-in-the-December-box stringed lights are actually pretty nice. I definitely think it’s more for a dorm-room/first apartment aesthetic, but with six feet, it does go a good way. Nice for accenting a mirror or wrapping around a window or tiny tree. Again, this is more about the season than the books chosen, but it makes sense given that there are many different genre boxes to choose from.
I am so easily amused by most things any basic white girl book nerd would love and damn, does this keychain hit the spot. The quote, “I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles” is from Arthur Conan Doyle. The material feels a little grimy, but the overall brass look of the keychain with the clear bubble and tiny fountain pen make it too cute not to use. They’re hanging on my keys as they speak.
While this book box does go to a good cause, it does leave a little to be desired in extras. Still, you get a level of interaction with the author that you would not generally get, and overall it’s a solid package.