Once Upon a Book Club - Past_Boxes_Young_2021
Hover over the photo of the wrapped gifts to see the complete unboxing underneath!

April Box

After School Fright Club

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky
  • Page 18
    "Soon I wasn't thinking about anything at all, and as my thoughts quieted, my senses took over. There was the sound of his breathing; sharp as he inhaled through his nose and then soft as he sighed. I took in the scent of his shampoo, something woodsy. Pine and lime."
    - a bar of Mt. Bachelor Pine scented soap from Bend Soap
  • Page 67
    "I was starting to feel hot, my starched uniform shirt taking on the texture of steel wool. Sometimes being reckless wasn't a choice. Sometimes it just happened without me even thinking about it. I grabbed the first thing I saw on one of the shelves, only realizing it was a pair of scissors as I raised them over my head. Everything went dark as I plunged the flashing blades toward her."
    - a small pair of black crafting scissors.
  • Page 178
    "'Bingo!' I said a little too loudly. 'Bingo?' Thayer asked. I showed him my sheet and he waved it around, happier for me than I was for myself. 'We have a bingo here! You know what that means.' Felicity whipped her head around looking uncharacteristically thrilled. Thayer grabbed a handful of poporn and flicked it at me. Bram, weirdly, did it, too, a small smile fighting its way across his face. Freddie laughed and half-heartedly tossed some bits of popcorn on me, too. Then I learned why Felicity was so happy. She took her full bowl in both hands, walked right up to me, and dumped it over my head. 'It's tradition,' she announced, with a self-satisfied grin."
    - a custom, silicone popcorn bowl with instructions of how to use it to pop kernels in the microwave.
  • Page 239
    "He crawled toward a clunky machine on the windowsil behind his headboard, his bed squeaking from the movement. Freddie flipped a switch, sending lights dancing on my arm. 'Is that a film projector?' I whispered."
    - a vintage-inspired, phone projector.
  • Page 401
    "I patted down my clothes. All I had on me were my keys, my phone, and a MetroCard. I took out my keys, attached to my favorite key chain. It was a red key fob for Room 237 at the Overlook Hotel."
    - a red key chain inspired by The Overlook Hotel from The Shining.

March Box

Train to an Alternate Dimension

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Down World by Rebecca Phelps
  • Page 56
    "I looked behind the flour, and behind the sugar. Soon I was furiously pushing aside everything on the counter, but it wasn't there. 'Did you find it?' I clutched by backpack to my chest. And there it was - tick tick tick. The only egg timer in this kitchen was the one I had brought from school."
    - a silver egg timer inside a canvas and cork drawstring backpack.
  • Page 83
    "My mom came into my room late that night after the girls had left and sat on the edge of my bed, something she hadn't done in a long time. 'Did you have fun with your friends?' she asked. She looked so beautiful in the light from under the door, her hair pulled back and a soft black sweater on. Little blue earrings I hadn't seen her wear in years were dangling from her earlobes, and I think she was even wearing lip gloss."
    - blue threaded earrings.
  • Page 338
    "I was alone in the science lab, but I knew it was only a matter of moments before they got the door open. So I spun and ran into the tent and down the spiral staircase. This was it. If this didn't work, there was no plan B. I took one of the coins Kieren had handed me out of my pocket, walked up to the door to Yesterday, and slide it into the opening that I had thought was a peephole."
    - a penny that had been run over by a train.
  • Page 350
    "I opened the suitcase and let the top of it fall back. Inside was a small glass jar, like a beaker, narrow at the top and plugged with a cork, wedged into some Styrofoam padding that had been cut specifically to fit it. A pink solution sloshed around inside. It had a glow about it, an iridescence. I picked it up and stared at it, and I could see the liquid splash against the glass enclosure as my nervous hands shook."
    - a glass bottle containing grapefruit scented perfume.

February Box

Nebraska Skies and Broadway Lights

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Mazie by Melanie Crowder
  • Page 119
    "Saturday afternoon, when I get back from an informal tap lesson Marsha led in the parlor downstairs, there's an envelope waiting for me on my pillow. My eyes focus on the tidy letters written in ruler straight lines while the rest of me flares like a dying star, popping and crackling as it devours itself from the inside out."
    - a pair of two gold, satin pillowcases and the letter transcribed from the novel.
  • Page 158
    "'You're a capable dancer, and that voice is a thing of beauty. They're just after a different...look. You understand.' She's being kind, telling me even that much, but it stings all the same. Still, I'm an actor, aren't I? So I smile, blinking a little too fast. 'Thanks,' I manage. I toss Nana's scarf over my shoulder and push through the studio door like it didn't just kill me to do that much."
    - a rust-colored, knit scarf with a leather patch with the words "I'm going to be amazing".
  • Page 225
    "She offers a weak smile. 'We help each other. It's what we do.' Fiona takes Gloria's arm and steers her past me with a pointed glare. Kathleen's waiting for me backstage, a pincushion strapped to her wrist."
    - a cream and tan, polka-dotted pin cushion.
  • Page 225
    "Here's the deal: I have a friend who's been working on a show that'll start previews this fall in Boston, with the hopes to open off-Broadway soon. I was supposed to have a week of downtime, but now that this tour's gone long, I don't even get one day to rest-I'm hopping straight from this production into that one.' I grip the sides of my chair so hard the metal edges dig into the pads of my fingers. 'It's a revue, and they need to fill a few more spots in the singing ensemble. There's no square dancing, so I know you'll be bitterly disappointed.' I chuck my hairbrush at her, and she ducks, snorting with laughter."
    - a teal green hairbrush.

January Box

Butter, Sugar, and Love Stories

images by @The_Bookish_Runner

    Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant
  • Page 46
    "I'm planning on saying as little as possible on the drive over to Chrysalis, allowing myself to stew in my bad moon, so I can hopefully get it out of my system. But that intention goes out the window when I open the passenger door. 'Oh my god, what the heck is that?' The scent that wafts out of the car is so thick, I can lamost see it moving through the air, curlicues and clouds, like a cartoon. It's nutty and sweet and makes me feel warm inside, like I got a big hug. My bad mood instantly evaporates. He laughs and reaches into the backseat to produce a muffin tin, as if he's just pulled it out of the oven, the delicious smell getting even stronger. The muffins are studded with plump raspberries and covered with a crumble that seems to sparkle."
    - a light pink, silicone muffin tin. Inside the book club kit was also the recipe for Sam's Brown-Butter Raspberry Muffins.
  • Page 287
    "My phone goes off again in my pocket, but I fight the urge to pull it out. Instead I force myself to look at the different products on the shelves. There's dried lavender in tall plastic baggies. Something especially fragrant called ras el hanout in glass jars. Next to that are tubs of something that looks like a mix of a beautiful flower and a terrifying bug the color of midnight. I sort of feel like I'm walking through a magical shop in a fantasy novel, and I can get why Sam likes this place so much."
    - a set of four glass jars with wood kilner lid
  • Page 346
    "Instead of waiting here alone, I decide to go check out Theodore's gallery again. It was the first place I went when I got here earlier, but he wasn't there. Still, I almost cried seeing the full scale of his creations. Giant color versions of all the sketches I'd seen him laboring over this year. A girl in a dress of flowers, long locs made out of blooms, and the star of the gallery: Lavon in a simple white tank top, a crow of peonies on his head, each of his features so perfectly realized that I had to fight back the urge to reach out and touch the piece."
    - an 8x10 watercolor print inspired by Theodore's artwork.