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.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: WhoDunnIt? Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: WHODUNNIT, May 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.

This box was all about solving the mystery and our favourite cases or detectives, so let’s see what was inside, starting from the bottom right corner and going clockwise:

  • Clubhouse invite, still personalised.
  • A Moustache you a question? bath bomb which I thought was in part kudos to detectives and also it is a fun word game.
  • A set of Detective Notes
  • Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder, an interesting little murder mystery book.
  • Professor Plum candle, which is absolutely glorious
  • Theme card
  • A “labyrinth” type of pen with a quote which I always forget which it is but it is a fun pen.
  • An a little enamel pin

Overall I totally felt all the points to detectives and solving the mystery, plus the adding a Professor Plum and clue reference was cute and the colours fo the items kinda kept in theme of an old era vibe, really nice box.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Change Your Stars Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Change Your Stars, May 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.

This is probably the one box I was looking out for the most because I love Tasha’s books but of course, this would be the one box that got lost in the post and therefore I had to wait for a replacement for a whole month, but now I have it and I am a very happy critter, so what was in the special box?

  • The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri, you can find my review here, but this one has edges that have a botanical motif and are gorgeous.
  • The monthly pin is inspired by it and it is basically the building where a lot of the story happens.
  • A weird Illumicrate key that is probably my least favourite part of the box.
  • A gorgeous book sleeve which I think is inspired by the Winterwood series.
  • A dress pin, it is cute but not entirely sure I want it as a pin.
  • A notebook inspired by V. E. Schwab and probably Addie LaRue, but I like the botanical style and the quote overall.
  • The theme leaflet
  • And finally a tea caddy which is now holding some Earl Grey I got gifted for my birthday.

Overall I really enjoyed the box except for the weird key, however I have to say I am not particularly sold on the fact we had a monthly pin, another pin and the key taking space as items in the same box, it feels a little bit like the same type of item, but otherwise it was good and quite nice, and the book wins over everything.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: This Ravaged World Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: This Ravaged World, April 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.

The box for April had two books which is always a fun thing, I like extra books. So let’s see what was in the box, starting from the bottom centre and going clockwise:

  • Clubhouse invite.
  • The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne bu Jonathan Stroud. Now, I did not really vibe with his previous book so I also did not get along with this one much sadly.
  • The Supreme Lie by Geraldine McCaughrean. This was a very interesting read, better than I expected.
  • Bite me, eco tooth brush, I like it when boxes include ecological items that will be used and have an end life or some kind of purpose beyond looking pretty.
  • A sleeve or sandwich bag with art inspired by the Handmaid’s Tale
  • Small cup with a quote, I like that this would go well as a cup to put your toothbrush in.
  • Conditioner bar, which I appreciate as being a very ecofriendly option.
  • And of course, the theme card.

Overall the box was very ecofriendly and conscious and the books talked about what might happen in the future, so it was definitely in them and well thought out.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Dearly Departed Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Dearly Departed, April 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.

Apparently, I have a backlog of boxes to show and share, and since the bookplate for the book came in the July box, might as well go through this one, starting on the top right corner with the theme card:

  • Dearly Departed theme leaflet.
  • Nevernight inspired book bag, not entirely sure what the right name for it is, but basically, you can turn it into some kind of self-standing basket, and honestly, I love it. Because you can also turn it into a floppy bag that you can carry upstairs, so I have it downstairs to hold items I need to move upstairs, and then it gets emptied and comes back. It looks amazing instead of just a lot of clutter to be sorted, but I can see other uses for it, and obviously, I like it since I rarely ever write so much about an item.
  • Monthly collectable pin, a skull made of flowers, which is a good concept.
  • Woodmarks, which I was less interested in even if they are Mucha style.
  • Gideon and Harrow the Ninth magnets.
  • In the Ravenous Dark as the main book.
  • And a mason jar for drinking out of it. I am not really crazy about them since it is difficult to drink out of the rim and without a lid, you cant easily transport the liquids in it, so they rarely ever get used at home.

Can you guess what my favourite item was? In case you had any doubts, it was the Nevernight basket bag. It was a cohesive in theme box and not bad though I do wish there was more death oriented items without being too fandom exclusive.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Lands to Get Lost In Tales by Mail

Subscription box: Tales by Mail

Theme/Month: Lands to Get Lost In for June 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.

The funny part is that I went on a book shopping trip and told my best friend I had got the box which, she gets too, and she kindly had to stop me from buying both books since they were in the box, so I cans ay that this was a well-chosen box. So let’s see what was inside, starting from the bottom left corner:

  • Activity pages with theme card. I love collecting those in the little binder, and that they have space for mini-reviews of the books.
  • Children of the Quicksands.
  • Tote bag with the theme picture which I really like so I was happy to have it in a tote bag I do wish every now that instead of tote bags we got a backpack or a small shoulder bag for mobile, paperback and keys/wallet, but this is not a Tales by Mail wish more of a general book box and anyone that gives tote bags away).
  • Promotional bookmarks for both of the books included.
  • The Nightsilver Promise. I have had this one on my list since I knew it was coming out so it was a delight to receive it in the box.
  • If you are eagle-eyed you will find the theme pin on the tote bag too.

Overall, a well-fitting box with a useful item, aka the tote bag, and books I am looking forward to read.