Book Haul – November


Okay, okay, I know. It’s already DECEMBER and I’m still posting about November? But whatever. I’ve been a little down lately, so November was hard to do much of anything. But better late than never! I’ll get some other posts up, too, when I get the chance, including my new formatting plan for the coming year! (We’ll see how that goes…) For now, here’s my book haul!

I’ve been lucky enough to get NINE BOOKS this month (three came in two different subscription boxes and two were impulse splurges, so it’s been on the high side this month)! They’re in several different genres (though all are YA), and I wanted to take a moment to mention them.

First, contemporary YA:

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor | Reality Boy by A.S. King

Second, paranormal YA:

Ex-Library edition, Hardcover

Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Third, horror YA:

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting | The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting | Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting | Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Fourth, sci-fi YA:

Poor quality binding, to be honest. The cover didn’t actually cover the whole book… there’s this little strip where the pages are longer. I don’t think it’ll really matter in the end, but it annoyed me a little.

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Strutskie

Fourth, Wonderland YA:

I got a special edition of this! I’ll show some pictures of what I got in my box a little later, but this one was pretty awesome. 🙂

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

(Sorry, Goodreads was down! I’ll try to update that link later.)

As many of you know, for my Halloween Read-a-Thon (which was a terrible, terrible bust…) I had a whole spooky TBR list. On it happened to be The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. I’d been on the fence about getting it, but decided to give it a try. Well, I ended up loving it so much that I went hunting for the rest of the series. I figured it was going to cost me a small fortune, but I found all three of them as ex-library copies from the same place for free shipping at $3.97 each! What a steal. And as a bonus, since I bought three, I received a fourth book for free. Since I’d already found the whole Body Finder series and I had to buy from this store to get the discount, I went digging through their stock to find another book I wanted.

I couldn’t find some of the ones I was hoping for (the second book in the Unleashed series was the one I was looking for most), I settled on the second book in the Raised by Wolves series by Barnes. I’d read the first book a while ago and decided I liked it more than I had originally expected. Since I had the chance and found the book here (and it was free), I went ahead and followed through with that one!

I’ve mentioned Fear The Drowning Deep several times now in posts, so I’m sure you’re all aware of how I’ve been absolutely dying to get my hands on it! (I know a couple of people have RAR copies, but I know some of those aren’t supposed to be shared… and I really wanted a physical copy, too.) I found it for a slightly reduced price – regular price is listed as $16.99 and I found it at only $14 – plus free shipping, so I jumped on it. I’m sure if I waited a little longer for it, I’d have found it for a better price, but I was feeling impatient (and a little on the sad side… buying books helps). So splurge it is!

The Abyss Surrounds Us was just sort of an impulse buy. It wasn’t on any of me “need to read this as soon as humanly possible” lists and quite honestly hadn’t shown up on my radar at all until I was dinking around looking for books I needed in my life. They had me sold with pirates, lesbians, and sea monsters. I mean, come. On. How can you not want to read that? So I’m really hoping it’s as good as it sounds.

I’ve already mentioned the books I’ve gotten from my BookCase.Club subscription box this month – Maybe One Day and Reality Boy – so no need for an in depth explanation there. They were both completely random.

The other book subscription box was OwlCrate and it had a wonderland theme. The book was Heartless by Marissa Meyer! I’m actually super excited about this one, because I’ve been eyeing it for a while. In addition to that, it’s a special edition! You can’t find it anywhere else! Woo-hoo! All that aside, I am pretty excited for the book and it’s super pretty. I’ll post pictures of it once I get them off my phone. I’ll show the other neat stuff I got there, too. It was an expensive box, but I think ultimately I enjoyed it more than BookCase.Club and despite the deal, I think I’m going to just forgo the boxes altogether…

Hate to say it, but I’ve spent a LOT of money on books this month. Like, more than I should have… But I make the money, I do the budget, and I want my books. They make me happy. And more to the point, my significant other and I accept that there are just certain things the other needs in their life. Books are mine. Yes, they are expensive. But they are also wonderful – and sort of important to my job, right? Justifications aside, sometimes you just have to splurge.

I won’t have the same chance next month, and probably not the month after, but at least I’ve got some good stuff to tide me over until then.

If I get the chance, I’ll try to take a group picture of everything sometime and put it up on here.


E.C. Orr


Monthly Subscription Boxes – yay or nay?


Recently I visited one of your lovely blogs (I can’t remember which one, but I’ll look for it!) and saw that it had a post about a monthly book subscription. And I was like, “what is this magic?!” So I started digging…

A monthly subscription box is just what it sounds like. Once a month, you receive a box. Within this box are magical contents having to do with literary genius… (Or whatever other monthly box you get – makeup, superhero paraphernalia, etc.)

Fascinated by these magical boxes, I went in search of one of my very own! I decided on two different subscriptions to try out and after this month (November), I’ll go ahead and pick one to stick with.

The first subscription that I signed up for was the one that started it all. It was the one received by the blog post I stumbled upon and I was so taken with it that, despite it’s rather steep price (I thought, anyway), I would give it a try. The second was a more affordable option that seems far more reasonable for my meager income and will likely be the one I stick with.


So the first subscription is OwlCrate. This is the one featured on the blog post and the reason I fell in love with it is that it contains so much stuff. The contents include the obligatory book (because, really, why else would I get it given my search parameters?), but additional items as well. Book marks, teas, nick-nacks, jewelry, post cards – you name it! Each box has a theme and, oh gosh, you don’t understand how much I love themes. All of the items within the box center around this theme.

This month is Wonderland and I’m pretty darn psyched for it. It hasn’t arrived yet as they tend to arrive towards the end of the month (from what I understand) while the other subscription arrives early on in the month (I’ve already received it and I’ll get to that in a moment). As soon as it gets here, I’ll do an additional post on that.

Until then, here’s a complete “contents” list for the items in the OwlCrate box:

  • Brand spankin’ new YA novel
  • 3-5 bookish items (jewelry, bookmarks, stickers, prints, toys, accessories, etc.)
  • Exclusive items from the author

All of this comes out to $29.99 + shipping (which came out to $6.99 for me).

Um, wow. That’s a lot. I know it’s not a lot, a lot, but it’s a lot, you know? Especially since you only get ONE BOOK.

Yes, true, you get all those nifty other things, too! And I love those other things. But that’s still a big chunk of change to be throwing down for something that… well, just might not have that much reading enjoyment. I mean, for that price, I could get two, maybe three books, and if I do it on Amazon, I’ll get free shipping, too.

And that’s if they’re all new.

So is it really worth it?

I don’t know yet. I haven’t received the box, so it’s hard to say whether or not I’ll find it worth the price. On some level, I hope that it is, because I want my money’s worth. On the other hand, I kind of hope not. Why? Because then I won’t be tempted to do it every month. Because I don’t have the sort of money to just spend on this monthly and it’ll sort of make me sad if I have to be a grown up and put this little whim aside when I like it so much.

So here’s hoping that I do like it – and that I don’t!


The second, more affordable option that I decided to try is a little thing called BookCase.Club. They have no frills, but what they do have are TWO books. Every month. You can choose your genre to receive (obviously mine was Teenage Dream, so all YA books) and the box arrives around a week or so into the month. Pretty nifty.

The downside is this: You only get the books.

The upside is: It’s only $14.99 including shipping.

I mean, even if you purchased two used books, you’d probably be spending that PLUS five bucks in shipping (unless you’re lucky enough to have a bookstore near to you that carries anything other than nonfiction and adult romance…). So looking at it like that, it’s still a steal. Of course, you don’t get to pick the books (I’ll get to this in a moment) which can be a little scary, but it’s also a treat because you might end up with something you wouldn’t normally try on your own!

Additionally, for every subscription (and subscription renewal), a book is donated! That’s a charity I can definitely get behind – and it’s for something I’m going to do anyway. I’m all for that, so the price and the charity definitely make this one a great option. Yes, it sucks a little that you don’t get all the trinkets with it, but I don’t think they’re enough to make up the price difference – not when I’m as broke as I am. (Responsibility is calling; it wants your books back…)

As I mentioned, I already received my package from BookCase.Club. It arrived just the other day (the 6th, I think) and as promised contained two books. One was hardcover, the other soft.


I didn’t like the cover at first… but it grows on me every time I see it.

Reality Boy by A.S. King


This one may be more my speed…

Maybe One Day by Melissa Kantor

I hadn’t heard of either of them before and to be honest I was a little… disappointed. There’s a really good chance that these are both awesome books, but they aren’t ones I would have picked out for myself. Like, ever. Or if I did, they would be *way* down on the list.

This makes me a little upset, because we go back to the “I paid money for this” and now I’ve got two books that maybe I won’t like at all.


I will say this: I will give these books a chance. If I don’t like them, I’ll give them away or sell them or donate them. Whatever. Someone else will very likely enjoy them, even if I don’t. And you know what? I’ll have branched out. I’ll have tried something new. And maybe next month I’ll get something more my speed. Because for fifteen dollars a month, two books delivered right to my doorstep isn’t so bad.

What do you guys think?

Yes, there are definitely more subscription boxes out there. I looked through a bunch of them and picked these two because they seemed to be the best of the quality options for the prices they were, but at opposing ends of the spectrum. But do you have a subscription that you prefer? Do you think maybe this is all a little silly, risky even to pay for books you may or may not like?

Let me know in the comments below!


E.C. Orr