Book Boxes are ALL the rage these days and, quite honestly, rightfully so. Is there anything better than getting a box full of beautiful books delivered to your doorstep? The excitement paired with not knowing what exactly might be in that box, is almost overwhelming. So how, you ask, can you get in on this experience? Well, Quarterly has it all figured out with their authors (as well as other curators) and they’re adding in the element of surprise to go along with the curator’s box.
Here’s how it works: all the reader knows when signing up is who is curating the box you’ve chosen that quarter, which means you can assume (if you choose a book box) that you’ll be getting that author’s latest book–but what else? That’s what I meant about the “fun” part! You have to go along for the ride–and trust us, opening that box is FUN!
So, once a quarter, a new box shows up and you’re treated to that curators likes and loves! This quarter’s Literary YA curator is Beth Revis, a YA Science Fiction author, known for her Across the Universe series, and most recently A World Without You, the inspiration for this book box — and we’re giving 10 lucky readers their very own box from Quarterly and Beth Revis!
ENTER to win Beth Revis’ curated book box HERE (or below)!
There will be 10 lucky winners!
*Editor’s Note: Subscribe by August 15, 2016 if you would like to receive this Literary YA Book Box from Beth Revis in a special limited second run from Quarterly. Use “BOOKTRIB” for an exclusive 10% discount off your first box!*
BookTrib got the chance to chat with Revis about her own personally curated Literary YA book box for Quarterly and the inspiration behind each item. Read on to hear what she had to say about the fantastic items included in this box:
BookTrib: What is your favorite thing about your curated Quarterly book box?
Beth Revis: The annotations, for sure! It was all Quarterly’s idea to have me handwrite notes on Post-Its that they then inserted on the corresponding pages. I re-read A World Without You with an eye of revealing what inspired each scene, what clues I’d hidden, connections I’d made. This book was very personal to me–loosely inspired by my relation with my brother, who had a mental illness–and there are tons of little details in the text that meant something important to me, and it was so special to be able to share that.
BT: What was your process like while picking what went into the box? Did you have a shortlist of items you definitely wanted included? We LOVE the picture wire!
BR: Quarterly gave me free reign to pick the items, with very few restrictions on pricing and size. There were definitely several days where I was scouring the internet, trying to find the right gifts to include in the box. A World Without You is a bit of a strange book–in it, Bo believes that he has the power to travel through time, but the school for superheroes that he’s attending is actually a school for mentally disturbed youth. Reviewers have compared it to both Shutter Island and It’s Kind of a Funny Story; calling it both an adventure and an analysis of mental health, a romance and a tragedy–with such varied comps, you can see why it was hard to narrow it down to just a few items to represent the whole book, and not just one aspect of it!
I cycled through a few ideas before I got on the string picture display. In A World Without You–and in all the other books in the box–there’s a theme of connection, and finding the connections you have to people. Having a string photo display was a real lightbulb moment for me, because it enabled readers to make a literal display of the people they loved and how they’re connected. When I took that to Quarterly, they helped me find one with a red cable; red is a very symbolic color in my novel, which made it even more perfect.
The card came last when something else I wanted to include in the box fell through because the vendor couldn’t provide enough in time for delivery. I had the idea of including a blank card because I wanted to challenge my readers to reach out and reconnect with people, another big issue in all the books in the box. Quarterly had a few ideas for what the card could look like, but the Emily Dickinson one jumped out at me. Not only is she my favorite poet, but her poem, “The mind is wider than the sky,” was a big influence on A World Without You.
BT: How did you decide on the two other books? What made you ultimately choose each?
BR: It was so difficult! I downloaded as many books that seemed like they would fit as I could and read as fast as I could. Quarterly was so patient with me; they really wanted me to pick the right books, so they worked with me so I had time to read through a mini-library and pick just the right ones.
I chose Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer first; the language was so beautiful that it sucked me right in, and I’d been thinking a lot about Sylvia Plath (particularly her poem “The Fig Tree”). Belzhar‘s title is inspired by Plath’s The Bell Jar, a book the students read in the novel. That book also featured teens who were questioning what was real and what wasn’t, so it absolutely fit with A World Without You.
I found The End or Something Like That by Ann Dee Ellis next. I had been worried about making this box too dark–with themes of death and mental illness, it would have been very easy for this box to be depressing. I almost put down The End of Something Like That when I read the description–a girl’s best friend dies, and she tries to reach her through spiritualism–but I’m so glad I gave it a shot, because Ellis’s voice is just so funny. The themes of loss and connections and even what’s real and what’s not are still very much present in this book, but the narrator’s sardonic tone gave the box the perfect balance.
BT: One of the best parts about the box is the sticky notes included in each curator’s book! Was it difficult making the decision on what notes to include on certain pages?
BR: It was more difficult limiting them! I felt like I could explain every sentence in the book by the time it was published, but I wanted the notes to be more special and really only highlight the stuff that added something to the story, but even so, I had to cut my original list of notes down from about thirty or so to what’s in the book.
There were a few things I knew from the start I wanted to include in a note–the symbolism of the red string, the historical notes on the Salem Witch Trials, a scene that happened to me in real life. Many of the other notes were a bit of a surprise; as I was re-reading A World Without You, I relived how I felt when writing it, and shared that with the readers. It’s a very personal touch.
BT: We went crazy over the box when we opened it! What has the feedback been like for your Quarterly Book Box so far?!
BR: Everyone seems to really love it! I’ve been blown away by the response, especially the unboxing videos! But I can totally see why people are freaking out–the box is so well put together, and Quarterly makes it so exciting to discover the contents! They’re doing something really special with this service, and they really stand out from the crowd. I’m so honored to have worked with them on this box!
CLICK BELOW TO ENTER TO WIN!
**Editor’s Note: To purchase, subscribe by August 15, 2016 if you would like to receive this Literary YA Book Box from Beth Revis in a special limited second run from Quarterly. Use “BOOKTRIB” for an exclusive 10% discount off your first box!**