Once Upon a Book Club - Past_Boxes_Young_2020
Hover over the photo of the wrapped gifts to see the complete unboxing underneath!

December Box

I Dreamed A Dream

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    The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre by Robin Talley
  • Page 61
    "Dad grins. 'So, what's the musical?' I geared up on the video on my phone before I got out of the car so I'd be prepared for this moment. I clear my throat and, when both my parents are standing at attention, I hit play. The music surges out. 'Dun DUN!!!! BAH-pah-bah!'"
    - a sticky note with a scannable QR code that will play the overture of Les Miserables.
  • Page 182
    "I notice a few of them are casting uncomfortable looks Odile's way, too. I glance at Odile. She's sitting on the floor with her purse beside her, a thick paperback open in her lap. Well, I don't want her to feel like we've abandoned her. 'Homework?' I ask as I approach. She flips over her book so I can see the cover, and I laugh. She's reading Les Miserables."
    - a custom designed tabletop cornhole set with pink beanbags.
  • Page 299
    "Onstage, the actors are craning their necks, watching the curtain come down with mild curiosity. A couple of them have their mouths open in little Os. A few seconds later, I see why. The curtain that's descending upstage is dark - as black as the night sky - but all over it was twinkling stars. Hundreds of them. It's a star drop."
    - a starry sky shower curtain.
  • Page 394
    "'Mel - for what it's worth, which I guess isn't much...' Soft fingertips on my shoulder. I open my eyes and turn to face her. She's biting her lip. 'I was in love with you, too.' She turns away. And a second later, she's reaching for her purse."
    - a soft wicker clutch bag with crossbody strap.

November Box

Blood-Oaths and Betrayal

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    The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige
  • Page 55
    "Last year this room had belonged to a senior named Lyric; she'd since moved to New York City to work at some social-justice nonprofit. Perhaps she'd accidentally left something behind. Scarlett yanked away more of the Ivy to get a better angle. She tugged at the object again, and it came loose and landed in her palm. Scarlett stared at it for a long moment, her pulse picking up. It was a silver necklace. The chain was kinked and tangled, and the small silver heart was tarnished. It had been two years, but Scarlett would have recognized it anywhere."
    - a small heart pendant.
  • Page 66
    "Vivi's lids grew heavy, and she was about to drift back to sleep when something caught her eye, a lavender envelope on her otherwise empty dresser top. Blinking drowsily, she reached out and picked it up, then settled back into bed. It was surprisingly heavy and unmarked except for her name in cursive and a strangely shaped wax seal on the back - an inverted five-pointed star."
    - an invitation inspired by the one Vivi received from The Ravens.
  • Page 108
    "It was Mei. She was standing in front of Vivi, pointing at a straight line of pinkish-gray salt on the floor that Vivi had almost walked into."
    - a package of pink and white bath, rose scented bath salts.
  • Page 117
    "Vivi felt something vibrate in her chest, and when she began to speak, her voice sounded rich and powerful. 'I call to the Queen of Earth. Show us your power over death and rebirth.' The pot trembled slightly and Vivi gripped it tighter. She could alsmost sense a faint pulse, like a heartbeat, and an image flashed through her mind - a quivering seed with delicate roots unfurling. Vivi opened her eyes. Her hands felt shaky, her energy drained, as if she'd just run a long, hard sprint. But in front of her was a tiny sapling, no taller than her pinky finger, with a single green leaf at the top. A plant she'd grown through magic."
    - a ceramic pot with a faux succulent plant inside.

October Box

Tethered Vengeance

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    Eventide by Sarah Goodman
  • Page 103
    "'Dump in another half cup of sugar and stir it up good until it thickens. Mind it well.' Hettie laid a faded scrap of paper on the counter and untied her apron. 'Use this recipe for the crust. I'm going to get dressed for church.'"
    - a set of plastic measuring cups and measuring spoons, a green plaid apron, and a recipe for Hettie's pie crust.
  • Page 129
    "I kneaded until my knuckles were sore and my shoulders ached, thoughts straying over to Aunt Susan's letter. When evening approached, I ate a hasty supper, then rushed outside, saying I needed some fresh air. The sun melted toward the horizon. I made for the dark recesses of the barn, settled on a pile of feed sacks, and lit my lantern. With shaky fingers, I unfolded the single sheet of paper and read my aunt's spidery script."
    - a letter inspired by the novel.
  • Page 147
    "'Let me try cutting it. Just once more,' said the woman. She bent down, a pair of heavy silver shears in her hand. 'I did a new working. Maybe this time...' The blades snicked together beside the girl's pale wrist. A bracelet fell away."
    - a pair of silver shears and a woven rope bracelet.
  • Page 315
    "The wild, pungent smell of sage hits my senses. My eyelids felt like they'd been welded shut, my entire body was stiff and sore, and I had a vicious headache."
    - a custom poured, sage and sea salt soy candle.

September Box

Interstellar Queen

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    Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore
  • Page 56
    "Selena's is a family business, which means my parents run it most of the time, and the four of us help out after school and on weekends. Five women, and yet my dad is the one prancing around the kitchen, singing "Como La Flor" into a spatula."
    - a pink rubber and wood spatula.
  • Page 106
    "On the word "Romeo," a beanbag grazes my arm, and a shock of laughter comes from the cornhole practice."
    - a custom designed tabletop cornhole set with pink beanbags.
  • Page 351
    "Like my fairy godmother, Bruja Lupe appears. I wonder how long she's been watching. Her ubiquitous bolsa isn't on her shoulder. My guess is it's on a chair in the audience, holding her place. Even the tourists know better than to take a bruja's purse. Bruja Lupe takes the white lace mantilla from around her shoulders. She sweeps it onto mine, the fine weave fluttering in the wind."
    - a white lace shawl.
  • Page 390
    "Chicky smiles at him, and they sink back into that place where they always meet each other. But not before she touches the purple star I embroidered on her new jean shorts. The first birthday gift I've had a chance to give her in years."
    - an iron-on purple star, showcasing Meteor Tours.

August Box

Child of Loyalty

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    Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
  • Page 31
    "The speaker was lounging on a couch in front of Thaddace. She was Swanian, and the loveliest person I had ever seen. Her coily curls were shorn close to her scalp, and gold powder shimmered on her high, dark cheekbones."
    - a pan of gold eyeshadow powder and brush.
  • Page 198
    "Sanjeet blinked in surprise, then shyly drew a small fiery object from his pocket. The sunstone I had given him on Nu'ina Eve; he had kept it. Even after calling me a monster."
    - a sunstone necklace wrapped in gold wire.
  • Page 235
    "A hand mirror glinted on a kneeling desk, making the words die in my throat. The reflection wasn't right - it should have shown the smooth plaster ceiling of the apartment. Instead it showed a moving face."
    - a gold hand mirror.
  • Page 292
    "Aiyetoro's drum lay by the window, next to The Lady's mirror. I snatched it up, then looking around wildly."
    - a beautifully decorated drum (multiple colors were sent).

July Box

Rival Romance

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    Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • Page 7
    "I'm poking a simple gold stud through one earlobe when the envelope catches my eye. Of course - I set it out at the beginning of the week, and I've been staring at it every day since, a mix of dread and excitement warring in my stomach. In my fourteen-year-old handwriting, which is a little larger and loopier than it is now, it says OPEN ON THE LAST DAY OF HIGH SCHOOL."
    - a pair of simple gold bar earrings and a letter, to be opened on the last day of high school (on page 44).
  • Page 44
    "Rowan Roth's Guide to High School Success by Rowan Luisa Roth, age 14, to be opened only by Rowan Luisa Roth, age 18..."
    - a replicated list of Rowan's high school bucket list.
  • Page 94
    "But I do want something big and wild, something that fills my heart completely. I want a fraction of what Emma and Charlie or Lindley and Josef or Trisha and Rose have, even though they're fictional. I'm convinced that when you're with the right person, every date, every day feels that way. He glances back at me, and with a sweet smile, I dive forward and yank off his armband."
    - a blue bandana to represent the armbands in HOWL.
  • Page 284
    "I grab his arm and look at his watch. "What time is it?" I have a phone I am perfectly capable of removing from my pocket, but there's something adorable about the anachronistic way Neil checks his watch."
    - a smaller replica of Neil's silver, roman-numeral-faced watch.
  • Page 351
    "'I also, um, got something for you,' he says after a few moments, shifting so he can get to his backpack. 'After we split up, I passed by a QFC, and I thought it might at least make you smile if you decided you wanted to talk to me again. And that maybe you'd be hungry.' With that, he reveals the gift: a tub of Philadelphia with a red ribbon around it, and a compostable bag with two bagels inside. 'I also have a spoon, if you prefer it that way.'"
    - a metal, stemless travel wine/coffee mug wrapped in a Philadelphia Cream Cheese label with a red bow. When unwrapped, the mug is white with Once Upon a Book Club written on the bottom.

June Box

Agent 355

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    Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi
  • Page 76
    "'Nay, I invested it in education. Here...' He reached into his waistcoat and took out a pamphlet. 'Try this instead of Newton. But best to keep it hidden. A good Tory girl like Miss Coates would never read such seditious writings.' I reached for it, then hesitated when I saw the cover. Even in my tucked-away corner of the world, I'd heard of Common Sense."
    - a custom designed paperback journal with the cover designed to resemble Common Sense.
  • Page 184
    "With my discoveries written on a paper tucked inside my purse, I set off with Malcolm toward the Sugar House Prison. It felt like an ordinary Wednesday - the firing of the morning gun, the tinkling of the vials in the crate on Malcolm's shoulder - except today I was delivering my first spying report."
    - a green velvet purse with gold chain. Inside is a piece of paper with Frannie's discoveries written down.
  • Page 213
    "Turning my attention back to the stage, I reached for my watch and ran my fingers over the cool silver. Last night as the household slept, I had unscrewed the back plate and pried out the tiny gears and springs with a hairpin. Then I had folded and refolded the code sheet Anna Strong had given me and pressed it inside the empty case. The fit had been perfect - and I could think of no safer place to keep it then always with me, right over my heart."
    - a small silver watch on a blue ribbon. Inside is a tiny code sheet for the spies in the Culper Spy Ring.
  • Page 255
    "All I wanted to do was break the letter's seal and read it, but I'd have to wait...We whispered aout the day's adventure for a while as we slowed thawed. When I was sure she'd drifted off to sleep, I slid out of bed and tiptoed to my cloak for the letter. Lighting a fresh candle, I opened it with unsteady hands and read."
    - a replicated letter directly from the novel.

May Box

Write Your Own Happy Ending

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    By the Book by Amanda Sellet
  • Page 2
    "Apart from the mild annoyance of being interrupted in the middle of a crucial scene, I had no presentiment of doom. After fumbling for my bookmark, which had slipped between cushions, I levered myself upright."
    - a custom designed typewriter bookmark, featuring the initials WWJAD (What Would Jane Austen Do?).
  • Page 88
    "Pictures could be taken from a safe distance. Getting someone's measurements was a different story. Holding my breath, I reached around him with the tape measure in one hand."
    - a custom designed, pink tape measure featuring a quote from the novel on the back!
  • Page 115
    "Lydia placed the cover on her lunchbox, snapping the corners into place."
    - an adorable, mint green, speckled bento box lunch box with silverware.
  • Page 136
    "Our hands brushed as he passed me Cam's bag. I flinched, which made me want to kick myself - especially since Alex probably hadn't noticed the contact at all."
    - a small, felt and faux leather messenger bag with interior pocket, reminiscent of Cam's bag Alex helps Mary carry home.

April Box

Through Thick and Thin

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    The Edge of Anything by Nora Shalaway Carpenter
  • Page 23
    "Len dug through the box of assorted teas - Energizing, Total Relaxation, Peace Love Tea - until she came to the one she was looking for: Soul Clarifying."
    - a packet of Soul Clarifying tea and a tea diffuser in the shape of the most relaxed stick figure you've ever seen.
  • Page 35
    "Sage couldn't help it. She pushed open the bathroom door. The trashcan sat in the far corner. Inside, atop a mountain of paper towels, lay a fistful of brand-new pens."
    - a 'fistful' of brand new pens with inspirational quotes written on them that we think Len could truly have used that day.
  • Page 164
    "Colorful want ads and notices created a paper mosaic in the window. One flyer - a neon yellow paper right at eye level - had a picture of a volleyball."
    - the neon yellow flyer that grabs Sage's attention.
  • Page 212
    "In a fierce impulse, Len peeled off her gloves. The wind kissed the chapped skin of her hands. It was delicious. Mirroring Sage, she lifted onto her knees, eyes closed."
    - Len's gloves pulled straight from this breakthrough moment for her as she finally peels them off.

March Box

The Show Must Go On

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    Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman
  • Page 57
    "I don't know what makes me remember it's there, tucked away in the glove box like it's the One Ring calling to Gollum. But when I pull out Simon Tarbottle's business card, its silver words glinting beneath the multitude of streetlights, my heart flutters."
    - a replica of Simon Tarbottle's business card, perfect to use as a bookmark through the rest of the novel.
  • Page 104
    "With my best attempt at being light-footed, I manage to get myself off the top bunk without waking Vivian, who sleeps wearing an eye mask decorated in a pair of sparkly cartoon eyes, which is honestly terrifying."
    - Vivian's cartoon eye sleep mask.
  • Page 292
    "We're both smiling at each other, sharing a joke I didn't realize we had. And then he hits play on the iPod, and we're up in the static trapeze, our bodies moving like mirror images of each other, the tension and heart and passion of the music breathing life into every pose. It's poetic and beautiful and Vas in so many ways."
    - a faux-wood, wireless bluetooth speaker, perfect for taking to the beach, tailgating, or to just play the songs that melt your heart wherever you might be.
  • Page 400
    "She disappears, and I turn back to the table, scouring the pile of stage makeup for face wipes. I know they're here somewhere, because I just used them last - The entire world spins when my eyes fall to the pot of flowers sitting on the edge of my table. Bubblegum-pink orchids."
    - a small white vase with black speckles containing a sprig of bubblegum pink orchids to make your world spin.

February Box

A Court of Magic

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    In the Shadow of the Sun by E.M. Castellan
  • Page 8
    "'Four maidens come to the palace,' she said. "The wueen of hearts is light as air, and of having her heart broken she should beware. The queen of spades is full of fire, but the higher she rises the harder she'll all, and she should be wary of her desire. The queen of clubs is as constant as still water, but secrets and betrayals will undo her. The queen of diamonds will shine the brightest, but the world won't hold her light for long on earth."
    - A custom designed deck of playing cards, with the back featuring Louis XIV crest.
  • Page 79
    "She sat on my bedcovers as I lay back against my pillows, sipping hot chocolate from a blue-and-white porcelain cup with Mimi in my lap."
    - a blue and white mug with gold detailing containing a recipe for royal hot chocolate fit for the a queen!
  • Page 153
    "I veered right, my silk stockings slipping on the flagstones, my legs pumping and my lungs on fire."
    - a pair of silk stockings similar to what Henriette wore in the chase through the palace.
  • Page 184
    "Undeterred by his temper, Anne d'Autriche kept her grip on him and her voice smooth. Despite her nightdress and black mourning robe, with her sash hastily tied around her waist and her graying hair in a plait, she still managed to look regal and at ease in face of the situation."
    - a black silk robe featuring the words "La Reine" on the back in gold for the queen in all of us.

January Box

Tapestry of Magic

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    Woven in Moonlight by Isabel IbaƱez
  • Page 95
    "I reach for the wool in the basket and then thread a strand around my finger. A bright tomato red. I glance at the window and look for the moon. Will Luna be pleased? Will the moonlight still turn to thread in my fingers if I use dyed wool? There's only one way to find out. I push aside my white wool, fighting off the stab of guilt, and weave the red thread thread, over and under, until I reach the other end. Next, I add a watermelon pink and an eggplant purple. Up, over, and down, up, over, and down...after some considering, I add a swarm of bees to the tapestry in a honey-hued string as a way to distract from the message. Or maybe because I want to use the bright yellow color."
    - a large tapestry inspired by Ximena's woven tapestry in the book
  • Page 194
    "The guard lazily casts an eye around the garden before leaning against the doors, his arms folded across his chest. I reach for the small cnavas bag I took from my room. It's filled with moondust. Choosing the right moment to use it will be tricky...I tiptoe over and hide behind the sprawling greenery. Quickly, I blow the moondust in the sentry's direction. All it takes is one breath. The sentry yawns again and I smile into the night. In seconds the guard slumps to the ground."
    - a canvas bag containing a 'jar of moondust' (bottle of bath salts) perfect for helping relaxation and rest.
  • Page 275
    "I settle onto a wooden stool. I study the rest of the hospital wing. Drawings of various herbs and plants hang on all four walls. One catches my eye - a tiny sketch, and though it doesn't shine like the other drawings, it's still the same flower as the one in the diagram hanging in Sajra's den. 'What's that flower?' Rumi looks over his shoulder. 'Killasisa. It's a legendary flower people have searched for throughout the years.'"
    - a 5x7 art print of the Killasisa flower.
  • Page 350
    "'Why don't you give ME a chance?' Catalina asks. She digs into her pocket and pulls out a thick silver bracelet. The ametrine gem sparkles in the sunlight, half amethyst, half citrine. The Llacsan rebels gasp behind me. The Illustrians tense, waiting for the condesa's signal. I can't drag my eyes away from the cuff."
    - a silver and druzy stone bracelet inspired by the ancient and powerful Estrella.