Good morning my beautiful monsters!
Today, I wanted to share a bit of an unusual unboxing. When I went to BookCon last month, I wanted to pick up one of the exclusive book boxes because in my Comic Con experience, Con-exclusive boxes can be super fun. In addition, I’ve ordered specific book boxes from both Illumicrate and OwlCrate and have been super impressed with those special edition boxes, and so, I was totally ready to be wowed by a book-specific box exclusive to a convention.
The only vendor I saw advertising these leading up to BookCon was FanMail Box. Now, I’ve never received a FanMail Box before, so I went into this completely blind. Lets unbox, shall we?
I went in knowing exactly what box I was receiving, because FanMail box advertised three different boxes at the convention. While I haven’t read Geekarella yet, I’ve heard nothing but great things, and I have read Heart of Iron, so I figured my odds would be best with The Princess and the Fangirl.
The first item in the box was a Space Queen beanie made in collaboration with Jordanene. While I don’t own anything from Jordanene, a lot of YA authors mention this company in their Twitter feeds and Instagram stories (MacKenzie Lee and V.E. Schwab have both recommended). FanMail Box advertised that they were working on creating an item actually in the book, and I got super excited. I honestly don’t know what I was expecting? Definitely not a beanie. So here’s the truth of it – if you like beanies, this one is super well made. But I don’t wear them and even if I did I wouldn’t want one with an embroidered tagline, so… this item was a huge disappointment for me.
Item #2 is a 4oz. candle by Snow’s Cut Soaps. This candle smells incredible. It’s a hazelnut coffee aroma and even though I don’t drink coffee, I love the way it smells. The artwork on the tin is adorable as well. The only thing that worries me is that it’s short and wide, and from a technical perspective, I’m a little worried about burn times and tunneling. But it smells amazing and honestly, for me? This was the best item in the box. I haven’t purchased from this shop before, but after smelling this candle, I’d definitely look into their products.
Item number three is a basic black button with the #SaveAmara hashtag. This item aligns with the book’s goal, for Imogen to save the fictional Princess Amara from being killed off in Starfield. This item is currently at “meh” status for me. I like buttons well enough, but I’m not sure how much I care about the book yet.
The fourth item is a vinyl sticker. I really like vinyl stickers, and after the candle, this is my second favorite item in the box. I really like the design (and have no idea who it’s done by – help!). Even though I haven’t read the book yet, I feel like I get it. As someone who grew up playing MMOs, proficiencies are important! And even if napping isn’t one of mine, anxiety definitely is.
The final merch item in the box was an illustrated print from ExcelsiCon, definitely a deep-in-conversation shot. Again, without having read the book, I feel like I’m missing something here. But the print is cute, I’ll give it that much. For me, the art isn’t quite the style I love or would pick out for myself, so this item is the type that will languish in a bin or possibly get given away if I end up doing #BooksForTrade or something.
To the written word!
This box includes the exclusive short story Once at Midnight by Ashley Poston, a Geekarella short story. I love the beautiful cover art here. I’m still debating whether its okay to read this now, or if I should wait until after Geekarella. I feel like short stories are either not spoilers at all or completely ruin the book… and nothing in-between. What do you think?
The book, of course, is The Princess and the Fangirl. It’s not a signed copy, but it came with a signed book plate. Also, unlike most book boxes, this does not have an exclusive cover, or stained pages, or anything like that. And by the way, this is how you can tell OwlCrate and Illumicrate are spoiling me – I pulled this out, looked at it, and wondered what made it so special *facepalm*.
Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.
When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.
That’s everything, my loves! If you liked this box and are interested in others like it, you can check out FanMail Box’s other options on their website.
As for me…
I purchased this box with my own money and all opinions are completely my own. I think that people who really already love the Geekarella fandom may like this a lot. But. Here are my personal issues.
This box cost $54.99. At the time, I didn’t think much of it because that’s pretty on par with other special edition boxes. I think I paid the same exact amount for my Vengeful OwlCrate and The Language of Thorns Illumicrate. But, as a result, I expected the same quality of box and I don’t necessarily feel like I got that. This FanMail Box had about the same box-quality as a monthly subscription, but definitely not one of the top tier ones. If it was $20 cheaper, I feel like that would have been a fairer price for the items included. You can’t really ride saying “you won’t find these items anywhere else” when that’s how all the book boxes work, you know?
So I’m personally out on FanMail box, but that’s okay! I found a great new small biz bath and body seller from this box (Snow’s Cut Soaps) and it’s always good to try new things, because you never know what you’re going to find!
Have you tried FanMail box before? I personally wish I had done a bit more research before jumping on board with this one, but I also know from regular subscriptions that sometimes one-off boxes can miss the mark, so maybe this was a fluke! Let me know your favorite item, and your experience with FanMail Box in the comments!