Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Stranger than Fiction Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: Stranger Than Fiction, August 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 12 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Book Box Club subscription, you can do it on their website.

Book Box Club is a young adult subscription box, the unique thing is the Clubhouse where you can chat to the author a month (or so) after the box was shipped and ask questions and just chat around. It also includes several goodies and usually the choice of book is one that is unique and not in other book boxes so very few chances of duplicate books and a lot of new reads discovery power.

A double book box for August and it was definitely full of items. Starting from top centre and the theme card:

  • Theme card.
  • Splinters of sunshine promo
  • A water bottle with measures to check how much you’ve had already.
  • Time Lord tea
  • Lightbulb clips, love funky clips so this was really nice
  • Tote bag with a quote about how strange we all are.
  • The Upper wOrld pin
  • Clubhouse invite
  • The Upper World which is an intriguing book with an interesting concept.
  • and the second book being Every Line of You, also quite interesting.

Overall, a lot of content and items, probably my favourite was the light bulb paper clips because they are cute but it is a hard choice since it was all cute and for a double book box, it did really well.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Magical Level-Up! Yume Twins

Subscription box: YumeTwins

Theme/Month: Magical Level-Up!, November 2021

Ownership: One off purchase since I really enjoy the contents but it becomes too much for me on a monthly basis. I am not as cutesy and cuddly as the box is, so I pick and choose the ones I cannot resist.

Yume Twins is a monthly subscription box focused on the kawaii and cute of life. It is focused on fandoms and makes sure to include a lot of items from a variety of them. They are a favourite and you can see reviews of their boxes from even as far back as 2018 because they are always good quality.

So after the Magical Girl theme tempted me too much and I couldn’t resist it, here are the contents of it:

  • Underneath everything, there is a small blanket from Sakura CardCaptor, it is relatively small but it fits comfortably over a lap or to warm your feet.
  • Sailor Moon set of cards
  • Ghibli stationery set which is cute
  • Tiny round Sanrio figurine, you got a random one from a selection of potential options.
  • Coffin of notes, at first it surprised me and felt odd but I think they are cute and in a nice little tin.
  • A squishable super soft magical cat pillow which I adore

As usual, the cutness of this wins a lot and I am very happy with everything that came in the box. No complaints, so if you’re into cute boxes, this is a lovely one. Shipping is fast, and reliable.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Dark Academia Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Dark Academia, August 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

Being someone who enjoys some dark academia books, this box sounded right up my street, but was it? Starting from the book on the left and going clockwise:

  • The Devil Makes Three, with a stunning cover and sprayed edges
  • First collectible teacup and saucer, this won my heart because the artwork is Mucha style, a goddess and it is about tea…
  • A reading journal, very fancy hardcover
  • Dark Academia page tabs to mark things int he book to your academic delight.
  • Monthly pin, which looks very interesting.
  • A Guid to Secret Societies ceramic book pot, which is quite pretty.
  • Academic and bookish washi tape to help with he reading journal.

Honestly if they had included a fountain pen and some tea, this would’ve been the perfect box, and so aesthetically and thematically pleasing. But even without those items it is a very good box and fighting for the spot of favourite box of the year from Illumicrate.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Dark Academia Owlcrate

Subscription box: Owlcrate

Theme/Month: Dark Academia, August 2021

Ownership: One-off purchase since the shipping and tax have made Owlcrate too expensive.

When they announced the theme of Dark Academia and the hints for the book alongside the fandoms I had to order it even if it was a bit expensive. And I do not regret my choices. So let’s unbox it and see what was inside, starting from the top left and going clockwise:

  • A stationery set that looks like a school journal kinda thing and it has page tabs, sticky notes, a pen and a notepad in it. All very cute.
  • Raven Boys Book Sleeve.
  • From the Library Of stamp which is a nice design and you just need an ink pad in your favourite colour to mark all your books so no one steals them when they borrow them.
  • Riddle’s Tea Shoppe blend based on Truly Devious series.
  • Book tin from V.E. Schwab’s Darker Shade of Magic series, White London in this case. Sadly I don’t have the rest but this one is gorgeous.
  • Monthly Pin with a typewriter
  • A very delicate moon bookmark based on The Secret History.
  • The main book was A Lesson in Vengeance in a very soft and not dark academia type of cover which was a surprise for me.

Overall it had the right vibe with all the items in it and it felt delicate and yet dark, even if the exclusive cover was a bit of a surprise, but I liked the items and felt it was worth getting however it was still a bit steep for a regular box. Probably worth it if you are in the US and shipping isn’t prohibitive.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Reads: Never Enough Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Never Enough, July 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

The box to complete the sapphic trifecta with a very summery look and some interesting item choices, starting from the book and going clockwise:

  • She Who Became The Sun, trying to rival the sun with sprayed edges and looks of the book.
  • A Descendant of the Crane fan, very good of a hot summer day to keep cool.
  • Poppy War inspired mug, which is very loved by me.
  • Another of those odd print in a glass kinda portrait holder. I like the portrait holder, not so much the print and I do not care for the fandom.
  • A compact mirror inspired by Dorian Gray
  • Lila Bard bust which I mean, a bust is cool but I don’t need it, see no use for it except gather dust and honestly not crazy about it, however I do appreciate the artwork.
  • The Upper World taster.
  • Monthly in which is stunning
  • And finally the theme leaflet!

As much as the previous box was really up my street, this one was a huge miss, between fandoms and the items, it just failed to hit the spot with almost everything except the mug and fan, which seems to be something that happens when there is a mug included, I am less keen on the rest of the items. Hopefully the box for August is more up my street.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Explore Okinawa Sakuraco

Explore Okinawa SakuraCo

Subscription box: SakuraCo

Theme/Month: Explore Okinawa, August 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 3 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Sakura Co subscription, you can do it on their website.

SakuraCo is a new box that focuses on Japanese tea, sweets and snacks from local makers for you to enjoy. And the idea is that you take a unique snack journey around Japan with the contents of the box. I’ve been subscribed since the first box and so far enjoyed the journey.

This box was all about purple potato, and interesting more savoury flavours. So let’s see what was inside, starting from the top left and going clockwise:

  • Kombu Arare Crackers, crispy and with sea flavours.
  • Beni Imo Pie, which has a crispy puff pastry and a potato sweet paste inside, it is odd but tasty.
  • Sanpincha Tea
  • Beni Imo Tart, this looks like they had just made you a little pastry and poured the fresh pastry on it. Tastier than the pie.
  • Owan Bowl with a sakura pattern, currently have mine willed with sweets.
  • Brown Sugar Shisa Candy, perfection. Hard shell, soft caramel sugar goodness inside.
  • Okinawa Tofu Chips, nice chips and crispy.
  • Lightly Salted Red Bean, a bit dry but delicious.
  • Yuzu Monaka, citrusy and delicious.
  • Kogane Shikuwasa Manju, also a bit dry but not too sweet or sour or bitter.
  • Shikuwasa Jelly, refreshing.
  • Apple and Mango Melange Jelly, delicious, I want more of this please!
  • Brown Sugar Manju, I am probably not the fondest of manju but the brown sugar part was delicious.
  • Issa Cracker, they are more refreshing and light than I expected. Seaweed flavoured.
  • Snow Salt Chinsuko, very soft and flaky, almost melt in your mouth.
  • Sata Andagi Beni Imo Doughnuts, very nice, wished for more because it is like little doughnut holes filled with a sweet potato paste.
  • It also came with a postcard and the leaflet with a description of everything alongside more details about why they included them, etc.

Probably not my favourite one as it was a bit repetitive and a lot of manju therefore a bit too dry and not as tasty but still quite good.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: The Stranger The Better Tales by Mail

Subscription box: Tales by Mail

Theme/Month: The Stranger the Better, for August 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Tales by Mail subscription, you can do it on their website.

Tales by Mail is a bi-monthly middle-grade book box that comes with two books, some activity pages you can collect, or copy or use in various ways, a pin and one or two items.

With a very interesting theme, let’s see what was in the box, starting on the top left corner and going clockwise:

  • A Raven Heir promotional bookmark.
  • Crowfall by Vashti Hardy, which looks very intriguing to me.
  • The activity pages for the month which go into the collectible ring binder.
  • The most adorable keyring, which is the mascot for the box and I was so taken by it.
  • The Tentacle Boy which wasn’t in my radar but looks intriguing and creepy weird.
  • Promotional bookmark for The Tentacle Boy and Pizazz
  • The collectible pin

It was a very cute choice and maybe not my favourite box of the year but my absolute favourite was that keyring which I thought was super sweet and honestly, it won my heart.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Just Imagine Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: Just Imagine, June 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 12 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Book Box Club subscription, you can do it on their website.

Book Box Club is a young adult subscription box, the unique thing is the Clubhouse where you can chat to the author a month (or so) after the box was shipped and ask questions and just chat around. It also includes several goodies and usually the choice of book is one that is unique and not in other book boxes so very few chances of duplicate books and a lot of new reads discovery power.

June’s box was all about the power of imagination and therefore full of fandoms that had to do with imaginary worlds or similar things, so let’s see what was inside starting with the theme card and going clockwise:

  • Just Imagine theme card, there was also a clubhouse invite.
  • Joe Cool Alice in Wonderland socks, which makes me happy because they are so comfy and nice. Love it when I get socks
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow bookmark which is adorable.
  • A quote print about imagination and reality, a bit too pink for my taste but still cute.
  • Coraline keychain
  • The main book, Strange Creatures which was definitely not what I imagined, see what I did there?.
  • And finally, a tin of hard boiled sweets, very old style, with a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory motif.

Overall very dreamy, very much appealing to memories and imagination, cute. The book was an interesting surprise and very much for me not my book as it was a bit too intense and just not my kind but I could see why it was chosen and it had an interesting concept.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Out of the Woods Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Out of the Woods, June 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

Despite last month’s box being my most anticipated read and a great box, I think this is one of my favourite boxes of the year from them, so let’s see why I think so, starting from the leaflet in the middle of the lower row:

  • Out of the Woodes leaflet with the photo challenge and contents detailed.
  • A wordmark with a quote about it, but I love the sleepy fox and yes I won’t use it as a bookmark but the design wins me over.
  • The main book which was stunning, The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid.
  • A creepy kinda print which goes well with some others and I just like the artwork.
  • The Lord of the Rings puzzle in a “book” case, my puzzle-loving heart is extra happy since it is from LOTR.
  • A beautiful and delicate glass bottle with birch trees and a quote woven around, the design of it looks amazing when you fill the bottle.
  • The monthly pin, which as per usual is a nice pin.
  • A woodpin for We Hunt the Flame
  • Probably my least favourite item, a print that hangs in a fancy hanging way for Holly Black, I think?

Overall, the theme and items completely matched and the vibe was spot on with it, the designs were delicate and forest and had a tinge of the creepy and the beautiful. I felt like the whole box was a good one and I am very happy.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Hokkaido Summer SakuraCo

Hokkaido Summer SakuraCo

Subscription box: SakuraCo

Theme/Month: Hokkaido Summer, July 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 3 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Sakura Co subscription, you can do it on their website.

SakuraCo is a new box that focuses on Japanese tea, sweets and snacks from local makers for you to enjoy. And the idea is that you take a unique snack journey around Japan with the contents of the box. I’ve been subscribed since the first box and so far enjoyed the journey.

As per usual, the box is crammed full of snacks and delicious treats, so let’s start unboxing from the top left and skipping the repeated snacks that ended away from their twin:

  • Melon Soft Sand, crispy crunchy wafer with a very thin layer of melon cream, but still very flavourful.
  • Butter Mochi Senbei, crunchy and slightly honey sweet mochi
  • Hokkaido Grilled Corn Senbei, sweet and full of corn flavour but not the way you expect.
  • Yubari Melon Jelly, a fresh summer melon, sweet and extremely pleasant, almost like biting the real thing.
  • Okina Dorayaki, just a nice fluffy dorayaki.
  • Hearty Age mochi, savoury mochi with a sea like taste.
  • Yubari Melon Cream Sandwich Cookies, the cookie kept confusing me but the cream was delicious.
  • Postcard
  • Yawaraka Rum Raisin, boozy and delicious, a contrast to the rest of the box for sure but a good one.
  • Hokkaido Milk Cheesecake, I prefer this type of cheesecake so much more. Absolutely delicious.
  • Milk Mochi, sticky and chewy and delicious.
  • Melon Mochi, I love these bags of mochi, absolute pleasure and last long enough even if I have to stop myself from eating them all at once.
  • Peach Matcha Tea
  • Kibi Dango, another mochi with chewy and sweet flavour.
  • Hangetsu side plate. It matches a tray in a previous box and fits nicely to present food.
  • The monthly leaflet with details fo each snack, ingredients, allergens and a bit of history of some of the choices or why focusing on melon and the region.

This box definitely gave me a summer vibe feel to it and I have enjoyed my way through it. It also had some familiar types of snacks but other new ones that surprised me, and I am slowly still figuring out what type of things I like the most. That cheesecake felt risky to eat at first but each bite made it just a favourite more and more.