subscription box

August’s Illumicrate Box

My August Illumicrate box arrived today and I am seriously impressed with it! Illumicrate is a quarterly YA box based in the UK. It costs £29.99 per box, with free shipping to the UK included, it ships internationally but there is a shipping cost that varies depending where you live. Unlike a lot of subscription boxes Illumicrate doesn’t have a theme each quarter so it’s a surprise to see what’s included. There’s always at least one book and about 4-6 bookish goodies.

I really liked all the goodies in this box. There’s usually one or two things in any subscription box, not just Illumicrate, that I’m not that fussed about but all of these goodies put a smile on my face. There was Nevernight-inspired The Red Church Tea which is an exclusive from T-ology, I don’t drink tea but this tea smells gorgeous and might just leave it out as potpourri or something. There’s a zip bag with a Shakespeare quote from Miss Phi which is an exclusive, an exclusive dot grid notebook with a quote from The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan on the cover from Hey Atlas Creative and an exclusive Alethiometer coaster from Hannah Hitchman Art which I quite liked because you rarely see His Dark Materials goodies in subscription boxes.

There’s bookmarks for Ringer, After The Fire and The Bear and the Nightingale. Then there’s pin badges for Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu, a book I hadn’t heard of but based on the badges I googled it and it sounds like the most perfect book for me and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. And finally, from Blossom Books there was a set of sticky bookmarks and a book money jar. I have a random tin I’d been using to put £1 in for every book I read so I’m going to move that money to the jar.

There were two books in this quarters box. The first I saw was an exclusive edition advanced reader copy of Nyxia by Scott Reintgen. I hadn’t heard of this book before but it sounds like a sci-fi space thriller so I am intrigued. Nyxia is released at the end of September and it came with a bookmark in this box. The second book was Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo! I’ve seen this book pretty much all over Twitter for the past few months and after seeing Wonder Woman at the cinema three times and loving it a lot, I was definitely interested in Wonder Woman: Warbringer. This copy is an exclusive to Illumicrate with its red sprayed edges and has an exclusive Wonder Woman pin badge.

So that was this quarters Illumicrate box! I loved everything inside it and was very impressed with the book choices and all the goodies included. Now I always say I’ll read the books I get in subscription boxes sooner rather than later, and 99% of the time that doesn’t happen, but this time I mean it! I’m looking forward to reading both books and it was a lovely surprise to see them included in this quarters box.

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July’s OwlCrate Box: Wanderlust

I ordered my third ever OwlCrate when I saw that July’s theme was “Wanderlust” – a theme that is pretty perfect for me as I love travelling and books about characters going on adventures.

OwlCrate is a YA subscription box service based in America, so because of the kind of expensive shipping costs to the UK I very rarely get one (she says even though this is her second box in three months – they’ve had cool themes recently!) Even though it comes from the US I do think it arrives really quickly and everything is well packaged so nothing gets damaged in the post.

Now onto what was included in this month’s box! #Spoilers

I’m not going to lie but I kind of rummaged to the bottom of the box straight away to see what the book was because I had a small inkling/hope based on the hints given by OwlCrate. The book was what I hoped it would be and that was The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee! I’ve seen this book on the book blogosphere and it sounds like such a fun adventure and I’ve heard so many positive things about it. I wasn’t sure what I’d been seeing was ARC’s or if the book was already out as I am terrible at keeping up with books release dates. I’m really looking forward to reading it and it might even be the next book I pick up. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue came with a signed bookplate, a cute illustrated note from the author and an art print map. Also, the cover is an OwlCrate exclusive and it’s more of a blue cover than green cover of the standard hardback which is cool.

Now onto the goodies. There’s an art print featuring a quote from Francois Rabelais and is somewhat inspired by John Green’s Looking for Alaska which was designed by Shailey Ann Designs. There’s a Lord of the Rings-inspired cloth backpack which is rather cool and a Newt Scamander keychain from Funko – if there’s a character that has wanderlust it’s Newt. There’s a pocket mirror inspired by A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab and was designed by Miss Phi. Then there’s a pocket journal from Ooly (one of eight different designs) and an owl luggage tag from Mudpuppy.

Once again there’s a lot of cool stuff in this OwlCrate box. Newt is going to be joining the rest of my Funko collection on my bookshelves and I’ll definitely be putting the pocket mirror in my handbag. I’m super excited about The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and I think the rest of the goodies will be things I’ll use.

Next months OwlCrate theme is “Something Wicked This Way Comes” so if you like things that are magical and something evil then maybe August’s OwlCrate box is for you. If you got this months OwlCrate, do let me know what you thought. Are there any other bookish subscription boxes I should try?

Ninja Book Box – A Grand Adventure Summer Reading Box

Last week my first ever order from Ninja Book Box arrived. Ninja Book Box is a UK-based quarterly subscription box that focusses on independently published books. The book featured each quarter are from a variety of genres and are not particularly YA focussed, so if you like the idea of a subscription box but aren’t a huge YA fan, then the Ninja Book Box might be for you.

At the moment, they have a special box for sale called A Grand Adventure Summer Reading Box which contains three books but none of the usual goodies you find in the usual subscription box – this is the box I got. I chose to get this box because while I like the goodies you get in subscription boxes, the main draw for me is the books. This is a cool one-off box and you can choose if you want adult books or kids’ books or a mixture of both – and you can stipulate the age range for the kids’ books.

So that’s what the Grand Adventure Summer Reading Box is so let me show you what was inside.

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May’s Illumicrate Box

My May Illumicrate Box arrived earlier this week while I was visiting a friend abroad so it was a nice surprise waiting for me when I got home.

Illumicrate is a quarterly YA box based in the UK. Unlike a lot of subscription boxes this one doesn’t really have a theme each quarter so it’s always a surprise to see what’s included. There was a lot of stuff in this month’s box.

There were two books included in this month’s box. There’s a signed copy of Truth or Dare by Non Pratt which sounds like a super interesting book. I believe it’s got the same story from two points of view so you read it like a normal book and then you flip it around and read the over characters side of the story. It’s all about friendship and internet fame which since I’ve read Eliza and Her Monsters I’m a lot more interested in. The other book was an advanced reader copy of The Waking Land by Callie Bates. It’s a fantasy story with magic and warring kingdoms and I think it’s released later this month. Book books came with a letter from the author and The Waking Land also came with a signed bookplate.

Now the goodies were pretty cool too. There’s a Feyre mug from Merwild, who I believe is a character from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series but I don’t really know I haven’t read those books, but I really like the design and you can never have too many mugs. There’s a Mermaid Lagoon Candle from Flickerink which has a really strong and sharp tropical scent – I love it but my mum’s not a fan so that’ll be one I use when she’s out.

There’s a very cute keyring from Nutmeg and Arlo which has the “Swish & Flick” quote from Harry Potter along with a wand – my house keys used to have a felt bird on them but that fell off a while ago so have been meaning to find a new keyring for them so this could well be the replacement. There’s some lovely Beauty and the Beast artwork and door hanger from TJ Lubrano which is so pretty. Though I’m always unsure as what to do with art prints.

Then there was a map bookmark from Penguin Co which is quite clever and sits on the corners of the page you’re up to, and then some extra goodies for Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith, Taste of Blue Light by Lydia Ruffles and The Gender Games by Juno Dawson. I am very tempted to put The Gender Games pin badge, which has the quote “Let the Gender Games Begin” on it, on my work lanyard just to see what the reaction may be – I work at an all-boys school so it could be interesting.

So that was all that was in this month’s Illumicrate box! It was definitely jampacked and I feel I will use most of the stuff featured. I think I’ll be reading Truth or Dare sooner rather than later and I am intrigued by The Waking Land.

Now my bank balance can take a break after I ordered three different bookish subscription boxes this month!

May’s FairyLoot Box – Warriors & Legends

My FairyLoot box arrived over the weekend and I was looking forward to seeing what was inside it. I don’t get a FairyLoot box every month (because of the cost and I have the naïve belief that it’ll give me more unread books on my TBR but I do that myself to be honest) but I had to get this month’s box because the theme, Warriors & Legends, sounded fab.

I think the box was really well put together and had a lot of cool stuff in it. There’s an exclusive blend of loose leaf green tea from The Tea Leaf Co – I don’t drink tea so no doubt I’ll be finding it a good home, but I do love the design on the container. I’ve become slightly addicted to candles lately so I love the box included one. There were two different candles you could’ve ended up with from In The Wick of Time, one called Flame and one called Mist. The Mist candle was in my box and I love the scent, it’s warm stone and woodsmoke and it’s a lovely subtle scent.

The box also included an exclusive wooden Lord of the Rings bookmark from Ink and Wonder, a pair of Celtic patterned socks, a metallic feather pen from Flora’s Wonder Emporium and a chapter sampler of Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff which sounds like a feminist fairy-tale.

There were actually two books in this month’s box. The first is World Mythology in Bite-Sized Chunks by Mark Daniel, a cool introduction to different myths and legends from across the world. And the second was the main event – Flame in the Mist by Renée Ahdieh. I’ve heard so much about this book on social media over the past few months but never realised it was a Mulan-inspired story set in feudal Japan. Someone should’ve told me that and then it would’ve been right up my TBR! Flame in the Mist came with a signed bookplate, bookmark and a letter from the author and I do like how FairyLoot put the book in a little bag so it doesn’t get damaged on its journey in the post.

I do like FairyLoot boxes. They always feature cool things that are to a high quality and stuff books that I wouldn’t normally get myself but nearly always enjoy. Next month’s theme is Elementalists and I think there’s still some boxes left if you’re quick.

May’s OwlCrate Box: Comic Explosion

I ordered my second OwlCrate recently because the theme, Comic Explosion, was just my sort of thing. OwlCrate is a YA subscription service based in America and it’s the shipping costs of $20 that makes it a box that I pick and choose when to get it. I have to say I was very surprised at how quickly it arrived on my doorstep. Especially as I received an email at lunchtime today saying it was on its way and I could track it, I click on the tracking number and see it had arrived at 11am! Turns out the email might have been a bit delayed and my box was actually posted last Monday – still, it was an excellent surprise to come home to.

If your May OwlCrate box has yet to arrive – beware spoilers below! (more…)

August’s FairyLoot Box

This month’s FairyLoot box arrived a last week and after seeing much excitement on Twitter about what was inside it I was looking forward to getting my hands on it. This was my second FairyLoot box, I got May’s box (and completely forgot to blog about it because it arrived just before I went on holiday) which I liked and I knew I had to sign up for August’s box as the theme was Dark Deeds and I love a villain.

FairyLoot is a monthly YA subscription box based in the UK that tends to focus more on fantasy stories. You can find out more about the box here.

The book in this month’s FairyLoot box is Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and it came with a signed bookplate, an art poster, a bookmark and a letter from the author. Now you may have seen that that book has already come into my possession through my subscription to another YA box, Illumicrate. Yes, it’s a shame I got the same book but it’s understandable. Each subscription box wants to have the newest and most anticipated release and if you’re subscribed to multiple boxes it is only a matter of time before you end up with the same book. I’m sure I’ll find a good home for my spare copy soon.

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The goodies that came with this box were great. There’s a candle that smells of The Dark Side – turns out The Dark Side smells like Fruit Loops (glad the card that came with the box told me that as I’m a Brit who’s never had Fruit Loops in her life) which is an interesting scent but I like it. There’s a cool Harry Potter coaster with a quote from Draco Malfoy by BookOtter and a bar of soap inspired by Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses which smells lovely from Behind The Pages. There’s also some evil-inspired nail decals from House of Wonderland and then there’s the Animorphia notebook that I’m absolutely in love with. I’ve been thinking about getting an adult colouring book for so long but haven’t got around to yet so this is perfect, it’s a notebook but there’s beautiful animal illustrations you can colour! I honestly love it. It’s my favourite thing in the box and the fact I already have Nevernight doesn’t even bother me because this notebook more than makes up for it.

FairyLoot is a great box if you like fantasy books and related goodies and each month has a theme. It’s not too expensive but I know I just can’t keep on top of monthly subscription boxes so I’ll only get one if the theme takes my fancy.