Book Haul TBR Unboxing

My December Book HookUp Unboxing

In 2019, my husband gifted me a subscription to The Strand’s The Book HookUp. We’d visited New York City for the first time the previous Christmas in 2018, stopping in at The Strand bookstore, of course, so it was the perfect gift. What I love about this subscription is that it’s quarterly, so not a huge commitment. Boxes ship out in March, June, September, and December. The box comes with two books—typically one is a signed currently hyped book and the other is an advanced reader copy. And then it’s packed with bookish and local goodies. So it’s a bit of New York delivered right to my door!

Did you get a chance to watch the Netflix adaptation of Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares? I binged it all in one evening and really enjoyed it! They filmed in The Strand in New York City. You can check out the trailer here!

My December box arrived on time and had a couple of books that weren’t even on my radar—as well as an item that surprised me.

Let’s wander in!

My box is a young adult box, but you can choose from a variety of boxes, including fiction, classics, and sci-fi. However, the prices differ for some of the boxes. There’s also a spoiler link on the website where you can see what the main title will be in your next box. I can never resist a peek—except I was so busy in December, I forgot to peek! Ha!

What I found inside:

The Books

Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins (Due to Covid-19 restrictions, it included a signed book plate instead of a signed copy of the book, which is perfectly understandable.) And an advance reader’s copy of Heartstopper: Volume 2 by Alice Oseman. I haven’t read the first volume of Heartstopper, so if you have, let me know if I need to pick it up before I read Volume 2. 😉


The charm and humor of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Dumplin’ in this body-positive YA love story between two boys who must spend 15 days living with each other over school break.

What would you do if you had to spend the next 15 days with your lifelong crush?

Felipe gets it — he’s fat. Not chubby. Not big-boned. Fat. And he doesn’t need anyone to remind him, which is, of course, what everyone does. That’s why he’s been waiting for this moment ever since the school year began: school break. Finally, he’ll be able to spend some time far away from school and the classmates who tease him incessantly. His plans include catching up on his favorite TV shows, finishing his to-be-read pile, and watching YouTube tutorials on skills he’ll never actually put into practice.

But things get a little out of hand when Felipe’s mom informs him that Caio, the neighbor kid from apartment 57, will be spending the next 15 days with them while his parents are on vacation. Felipe is distraught because A) he’s had a crush on Caio since, well, forever, and B) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he’s going to entertain his neighbor for two full weeks.

Suddenly, the days ahead of him that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) end up bringing a whirlwind of feelings, forcing Felipe to dive head-first into every unresolved issue he has had with himself — but maybe, just maybe, he’ll manage to win over Caio, too.



Boy meets boy. Boys become friends. Boys fall in love. An LGBTQ+ graphic novel about life, love, and everything that happens in between: this is the second volume of HEARTSTOPPER, for fans of The Art of Being Normal, Holly Bourne and Love, Simon

Nick and Charlie are best friends. Nick knows Charlie’s gay, and Charlie is sure that Nick isn’t. 

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is discovering all kinds of things about his friends, his family… and himself. 

Heartstopper is about friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us. 

This is the second volume of Heartstopper, with more to come. Volume two collects all of chapter three from the ongoing web series. 


A Journal

Say Yes: A Journal for Dreaming Big by Leah Reena Goren – this has bright and colorful drawings with plenty of room for sketches or to jot down thoughts.

Olive Oil… ?

Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil – This seemed like a strange thing to include with books, but thankfully it was sealed in its own envelope because some did leak out.


Also included was the Save The Strand magnet and Save The Strand pin, which were a fun addition to my TBR Cart!

What’s your favorite subscription box? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

4 thoughts on “My December Book HookUp Unboxing”

  1. Don’t be overwhelmed, but Heartstopper is actually the spin off graphic novel series after Solitaire! There’s also two other books that fit in, Nick & Charlie and This Winter. You definitely need to read the first Heartstopper book first, at least.

  2. This is so cool! I didn’t know about this. We love New York City and went at Christmas time in 2018! It was our second time but first was for a surgery. So we went to the Strand in 2018 and I loved it! I’m going to have to look into this. Yes! You definitely need to read Heartstopper vol. 1 first!! I’ve really enjoyed it so far. 🙂

    1. How cool! We may have been there at the same time! 😉 Thank you for letting me know about Heartstopper. I’ve seen it around, but haven’t looked into it much. I’ll add Volume 1 to my wish list!

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