Subscription Boxes

YA + Fantasy PageHabit

Last month PageHabit offered to send an extra book on the same box, which was a good idea for me since I didn’t want two boxes.

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Let’s do a counterclockwise round this time (because I keep saying I will and never do, so here you go!), starting from the top right corner:

  • A Plague Of Giants by Kevin Hearne. This is the book for Fantasy and looks impressive and I really love the annotated part of it.
  • Light up pumpkin key chain. It is cute fun even if it is small and silly.
  • Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster. This one is the YA book and also annotated.
  • Bookmark with Einstein quote.
  • Library Card pillow case, which is really fun!
  • Author letter for YA book, I wish I had had both author letters since I had both books.
  • Short story included.
  • A Nessie tea strainer, which I am happy to get because they have been so expensive I had desisted from buying one but love the look of it (not that I will actually use it for tea. If you read my blog frequently, it is common knowledge that I have one tea strainer I sought high and low to find that was perfect and it is the only one I use, as fun shape ones are a pain to clean).

I liked the box it was simple but had some fun items, so it was good. I get PageHabit because the books are annotated which is nice and interesting. However, some people have been having issues with them, I have not and as such can only say they have been good and I am just unhappy because shipping costs a lot but there’s not much that can be done about it.

 

Subscription Boxes

Dragon Slayer LitJoy Crate

This is my first LitJoy Crate, I had heard that sometimes they get an author to curate them or something like that so decided to give it a go before they even announced the theme for October. (Yeah, by now you should know I just go and buy book boxes because book boxes, in all fairness, I do check past boxes before buying but the theme rarely ever bothers me and I only worry about theme so I can figure out what kind of items/books are there).

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Let’s do around the clock, (one day it will be counterclockwise I promise) starting with the book:

  • The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. I AM so happy this was the book because for Gollancz Festival there was an event with Kristen and I got my book signed (plus she curated this box and recognised my scarf at the event!).
  • Underneath everything is an infinity dragon scale scarf which took me ages to figure out how to wear because I have never had an infinity scarf despite having a nice collection of scarfs at home.
  • A Khaleesi Kisses lipbalm which smells delicious, warm and firey and just perfect.
  • A dagger/knife shaped bookmark.
  • Candle
  • Shakespeare quote print which also has on the toher side the author letter (this broke my heart because I usually stick author letters to the books but I can’t do this for it because it is such a gorgeous print… decisions, decisions, decisions!).
  • The Complete Book of Dragons by Cressida Crowell which is all about dragons and I think is such a wonderful companion to The Last Namsara.
  • Jon Snow bookmark, which is stunning too.
  • Content leaflet which explains why each item was chosen and has pictures identifying each one.

I was very pleased with the box, and I am very happy this was my first one. Of course I am getting more of them so hopefully this will go beautifully well and I will keep raving about it (also no customs which was an amazing bonus).

Subscription Boxes

Villainous FairyLoot

For this box, as soon as they announced the theme I knew what the book was. I had won an ARC of the book from the FairyLoot stand during YALC by running to their stall and drawing a dragon (I love drawing dragons! I love drawing! I do not love running…), so once I read the book description I knew what it was, it was still a nice box and I am just sad I didn’t get a kitty inside (in case you aren’t part of the FB group, people posted pictures of cats and pets inside their boxes and it has been a running thing which I absolutely love!).

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You can even see I struggled to fit everything and there are some items from other book boxes sneaking into the picture (money jar from Illumicrate and dragon stickers from Book Box Club). As per usual, going clockwise, starting from the fairy in the box:

  • Quote print by Evie Seo. It is a quote from a poem by Virgil but used in The Mortal Instruments.
  • Forest of a Thousand Lanters by Julie C. Dao, with an anti-heroine and an interesting story.
  • Monthly theme bookmark.
  • Signed bookplate (I like that it has the snake and flower from the cover)
  • Moriarty inspired coaster by Evie Seo, I like how it is dark and oh so gorgeous!
  • Death Eater pin by House of Wonderland (it is such a cutie, despite being a dark bad thing).
  • The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. This is an exclusive cover and I have to say I love it and kinda prefer it over the official one.
  • Postcards from The Language of Thorns, they are absolutely stunning.
  • Promotional print for Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor.
  • Maleficient candle by MerakiCandles, as per usual it has a wonderful smell and I love it is the “disney evil lime green” kinda colour.
  • The Young Elites Mirror by Little Inkling Designs.
  • Theme postcard.

All in all it was a box full of goodies and from it all the only things I am not a big fan of are the prints (I just don’t do prints, there’s not much I do with them so even if they are gorgeous, they’re not my thing) and the mirror.

This month’s theme is all about dragons and then there is December which is So Regal and I am excited for both boxes (somehow I wrote foxes here, I am also excited about foxes but that’s not new, I like foxes). Hopefully you can manage to snag a box when they go on sale. Fingers crossed if you need the luck.

Subscription Boxes

Quests & Legends Book Box Club

After that long 101 for book boxes, let’s do some unboxings, starting with Book Box Club.

The theme was Quests & Legends and I was really hoping the book would be the one they actually sent since it was one I really wanted to read (and the author is such a dear).

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Let me tell you that boxes with edibles in them usually make me want to take the unboxing picture there and then because yummy must be eaten NOW (I am not the only one, right? RIGHT?).

As per usual, let’s do clockwise, starting on the theme card.

  • Gorgeous Quest & Legends theme card. I saw it and loved it, there’s such a simple beauty in it, so dreamy and makes me want to be all cosy.
  • Dragon stickers by Wild Sally, I squealed when I saw them, they are so cute and they are stickers! I am torn between adding them to my laptop or my drawing clipboard.
  • Mountain earrings by Kate’s Little Store, they are wooden and really pretty but alas my double piercings are too close together for them to work with double earrings except hanging ones. This did not stop me from wearing them a few times (but I will reserve them for special wear rather than my go to pair for everyday).
  • Wooden bookmark by Hughes Laser Designs, this is probably the only item I have issues with and it is because the bookmark is so thick it’d damage books which is such a shame because the wood is beautiful (so it is more decorative than useful).
  • Bookish postcards & bookmarks by publishing houses.
  • The book, A Shiver Of Snow and Sky by Lisa Lueddecke which is such a fantastic story and I really want to read, also the book is sparkly and beautiful.
  • Narnia Hot Chocolate Spoon/Stirrer by Maple Molly’s. Another squeal and I was so happy about this, it is such a beautiful one and has a quote on the label and it is just perfect.
  • And of course, no hot chocolate should go without a mug, so we have a mug inspired by the heroine of the book by Four Season Fox. I love the fact that the mug and chocolate go so well together. And then the mug also matches the book…

Absolutely delightful cosy box, with a gorgeous book, wonderfully matching extras and I am just loving it. I usually complain* when book boxes send tea/coffee/chocolate and no tea strainer/mug/etc or vice versa, but the girls did it and sent both. I am SO happy about this.

In case this is the first time you pop over to my blog, you can use code MOON17 to get 5% off your subscription with them. *wink wink*

*Nevermind the fact that I have more mugs than I need, enough tea to go around well and a tea strainer that is perfect for all my needs (it fits mugs, tea pots and has handles so you don’t burn your fingers when taking it out of the mug, plus fine mesh for complicated teas like rooibos or a few others that love escaping most tea strainers). I do think about subscribers that may not be as crazy about their tea as I am and will wonder what to do with either the tea or the strainer without the other.

 

Subscription Boxes

101 on Book Subscription Boxes

I love subscription boxes. This is not a secret.

I have been subscribed to at least one since 2015 (before Owlcrate was so popular I was subscribed to them). And I have tested a huge quantity of them as my first post about them shows (there is a second one in the making, I am just waiting on a couple more to arrive so I can review them).

So I will try to do a 101 on them to help those trying to decide which box to start off with, and what to consider.

What is a book subscription box?

It is a box full of magic. On the most basic level, it is a box with a book inside and some extra goodies (usually bookish merchandise). It can be simple and cheap (like Leafer Box, starting at £12.99 + shipping) or expensive and custom made (like Bookish Land, €40.00 + shipping, which sadly I can’t recommend to you anymore due to quality issues with the last boxes).

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Clockwise from top left: My Bookish Crate (out of business), Bookishland, Lit-Cube and Illumicrate (Hermes are bad in my area so they tend to mistreat my boxes but I know it is just the particular drivers I get).

How do I get one?

In general, they will open subscriptions for a box a month ahead and close for that month near shipping date (most ship between 15th-20th of the month). Some sell out quickly, so be prepared to miss out on subscriptions or having to wait until the subscriptions renew and they have some available (from those subscribers that skipped or didn’t renew). A select few will be available the whole month and you can buy any day of the month to get that month’s box.

If you are unsure when subscriptions open, usually their website or social media will say (or you can contact order support).

How do people afford them?

I have a full time job, so I use some of my income for it. What helps is I try to buy a 3 month subscription for a box (A) one month. This is because most will have discount codes if you subscribe and also the more months together you buy the “cheaper” it is (there are exceptions to this like Fairyloot, which costs the same regardless of how many months you choose). Next month I will subscribe to another box (B) for 3 months (which means I don’t have to pay that month for box A, but yes for box B), and so forth the next month (which means I’ll be able to get A,B & C all in one month). I know I am paying for all of those boxes but it is easier for me to pay one lump sum once and not have to worry about it each month. Also, by the third month, I have made up my mind about the box and if I will subscribe again or not.

Also, discount codes are your best friends. Find them! Most boxes have Reps who will have codes for 5-10% off.

For example, if you use code MOON17 on Book Box Club, you get 5% off. Or you can use KESTREL10 for 10% on a Leafer Box.

The best way to find these codes is check for their reps on Instagram. (You can also try to become a rep, but this is tricky since despite them saying followers DO NOT count, they don’t usually choose people with less than 1k followers).

And finally, you can always cancel renewal/subscription. Most won’t refund you, but will send boxes due to you.

When does the payment happen? And you mentioned renewal day?

So, if this is the first time you subscribe, it is usually paid the day you subscribed (if you subscribed before renewal day, it is possible it’ll be on renewal day rather than the day you subscribed). Again, this will be on the website of the box. If you buy it on Etsy, it will be paid immediately regardless of when the box is sent. If you are renewing, most boxes have a renewal day which is when the next payment will be taken.

In most cases, you can see when it is due to be renewed on your Cratejoy account or the box’s account website.

One-Off vs Subscription?

Some sell one-off purchase boxes as a choice. This is if you do not want to subscribe but want that particular box. I use this option when there’s no discount code and I really don’t want the hassle of subscription. Subscriptions have the bonus of being able to use a discount code so it may be cheaper for you.

One-Off boxes will always be paid when you buy them, subscriptions can wait until renewal day.

Past Boxes? No Book Box? Other options?

Some will make available past boxes from previous months on their shop. This gives you a chance to buy a specific box if you missed out and really want it. Sometimes you can also get a no book box from their site. Or you can check online on Facebook or Instagram to see if someone is selling items from the box or the full box (they subscribed and didn’t like it, etc, it happens).

I see a lot of YA, are there boxes for adults?

There a lot of YA ones, but there are also adult options (and I am not referring to Erotica and XXX content). And also junior or children’s options. Check my post or feel free to ask me about recommendations for a specific genre you’d like to find a box about. There are also a few options in country of origin language (there are a couple of Dutch boxes sending books in Dutch, for example).

Now tell me all about shipping, please…

This is probably the worst part about the book subscription boxes. Some boxes include shipping to the country they are located in for free, others have shipping aside.

Most book boxes are located in the US, so there’s a bigger variety there. If you live in the country the box is located, shipping will be straight forward (either already included or flat rate). However, if you are international, you may find they do not ship to your country (Uppercase only ships to US/Canada, for example). It may also be the shipping is costlier than the box. Or you will find a customs charge note left at your address rather than your box. This are all possibilities, so it is a good idea to check with someone who has already got the box what the shipping will be like, and if there will be the dreaded customs charges. (Note: I do not mind paying the customs charges, but it is not a pleasant surprise when you really just want your box and usually the post offices add a charge to the customs charge as a “handling” fee which usually means it doubles up and may cost as much as the box. This is NOT fun at all specially if  you already spent £30 on box + £30 shipping + £15-20 on customs, as an example).

As I mentioned before, most boxes will ship between 15-20th of the month, with a few exceptions. If the company is big enough, they will do staggered shipping so some may ship a little earlier and others later. Give it a few days before you freak out about getting a shipping email. (Stressing about when your box will arrive and if it has been shipped and going all over social media about it, just adds stress. If you are worried, contact support, and they will probably reply. If you know someone who also subscribes to that box, ask them how shipping usually goes and how long it takes for it to arrive to your area/country).

Why does my box add VAT/Tax when I purchase?

This is an interesting one. See, if you are in the EU and the book box company is also located there, VAT may be displayed as extra charge. (Not all boxes do this). Or it may happen if you are in the US and the box is located in the US. However, international customers will not see this charge, so prices can vary between customers. This charges are to accomodate the law, so yes, they may not make it great to see extra charges (some are just a breakdown of what is VAT/Tax without additional charges) but it means you’re a lawful citizen, howdy! (this always makes me think of westerns and cowboys… don’t know why).

What about the contents of the boxes?

You will find a book in all the book subscription ones, there are bookish merchandise subscription boxes and some that allow the option of book or not book, and some that only include a signed/first edition book. But let’s go with a book box in the most generic terms.

You will find a book in the genre/style of the box. This may be YA Fantasy, YA general, Horror, ChickLit, etc. It may be a new very hyped release, or a “not released this month but this year” book with less hype. Make sure you are aware which kind of books the box you choose tends to feature. There is a group in Facebook called Book Box Sherlocks that guesses which books will be in each different box, which usually gets it right, so if you don’t mind getting spoiled about what book is in the box, you can check out the possible guesses there. Heck, you can even get an annotated by the author (with sticky notes) book from Page Habit.

Most boxes will include 2-6 bookish items alongside. The amount will depend on the box you choose and also on the month. Usually if you get costlier items in a box, there will be less of them that month. Most book boxes reveal a few suppliers so you have a hint of what kind of possibile items may be in the box. Social Media is your friend.

In general, expect a more female based approach (there is a huge possibility there will be jewelry or items that cater more for females but it isn’t always the case). Check all my unboxing posts if you’d like to get an idea of contents of book boxes.

Just so you get an idea of contents. PageHabit, Novel Tea Club (out of business), Magic Chest, FairyLoot, Leafer Box.

Spoilers? Unboxings? What are you talking about?

Unboxing is when you show the contents of the box. You can do this in so many ways but the usual ones are Instagram Stories, Instagram posts, Blog posts and Facebook posts/comments on groups.

Spoilers is when the contents of the box are revealed before you have received your own.

As a good base policy (this is not forced, just courtesy to other subscribers), warn people you are starting an unboxing in your stories (I add a picture of the box unopened and add a “Unboxing ABC Box” then another one with a countdown before actually showing the contents). If you decide to post on Instagram or a blog, you can either wait at least two weeks, or the start of the 5th of the next month before doing a full unboxing (showing ALL the contents without warning), or you can add a featured image without spoilers (say a picture of the box closed). Or you can do both. This is just a policy I use. I don’t mind spoilers in general, but understand others do, so I try to be polite about it and respectful.

Ok, so why buy them?

I buy them for several reasons. I started to help me deal with PTSD and depression. It was something to look forward to, and there is something lovely about receiving a box of goodies in the post. I also just love books and appreciate bookish merchandise. They also help me find small businesses (which I love supporting) and discover things I didn’t even know where made or that existed. They give me joy when I open them. (I admit if a box makes me sad every box and I am not feeling happy with it, I do consider not renewing subscriptions, and I have it for some boxes).

Reasons can be very varied.

But what if I don’t like all the items in my box? What do I do?

This is normal. Remember, this is a box curated by the person behind it. You’re different to that person. And we don’t all like the same things. I usually have at least one item per box I won’t keep or that I don’t like. (I get concerned when I only liked one item from the box, and disliked most of it).

Once again, there are a lot of options. You can use the items as giveaway prizes. You can use those items as gifts for someone else. There are also groups on Facebook specifically to trade book box contents, so you can buy/sell/trade there. You can also donate to charity.

After unboxing a box, I will make separate piles (book to bookcase, items to decorate bookcase, things that go to certain rooms in my house, etc, and a pile of items I don’t want ot keep). Once I have a “I won’t keep pile” I set it aside. I check trade groups to see if someone if searching for that particular item and offer to send it if they are interested. Sometimes I will post on them offering them for sale. Most of the time I will either send to friends, or to my mum who teaches English to poor orphan children (where English isn’t their mother tongue) so she can give them out as prices and incentives to the children. Trust me, they LOVE it and my mum is very happy to have this extras to encourage her students.

What about repeat/duplicate books?

Most boxes will try to get exclusivity to a book in their country (or they may have an exclusive cover), so this shouldn’t be a big issue, unless you choose to subscribe to several of them that do not guarantee this. It is a risk you take. If you buy international boxes, there is a higher risk of this happening.

In the two years and all the different boxes I have tried, I have only had duplicates 3 times. Two of them were because UK box had exclusivity to the UK edition and then a US box also did the book. If you are into collecting different editions, this is a “bonus”. This also applies for exclusive covers (at the moment only OwlCrate and Fairyloot do exclusive cover books in their boxes, and Fairyloot isn’t every box). The other time was when a publisher had given exclusivity to box A, but box B bought the books from a bookshop rather than directly from publisher. This is rare, since most boxes will try to contact publishers directly rather than buy through third-party. Of course, box A had a signed bookplate which box B didn’t.

You will most probably NOT get a refund if this happens. The very first few times this happened, the boxes involved did a discount and offered some incentives, but this was back then. Now they try to make sure to keep things clear with publishers.

Last but not least, a list of book subscriptions I know about.

If the box is in bold, I am currently subscribed to them. If it is strikedthrough, it is out of business (these do not include further information). Cursive means I have yet to try it (this is probably due to shipping costs). Underlined is that I have tried it already but I am not currently subscribed (it doesn’t mean it is a bad box, I have to be selective, can’t afford all of them). If it is just normal text it means it is not possible for me to try because of my shipping/other restrictions. An asterisk (*) alongisde it means it has a special focus (diverse, indie, gives back, sends books in language other than English, etc). A plus sign (+) means they have recently launched or are about to launch.

Alongside it, I will state genre (if there is a / it means it does separate boxes, one for each part), country of origin, a link if it is available, code if I have one available, if box isn’t a monthly one, I will also include what kind of schedule it does. I am not including boxes that do not include a book in this list, but you can find those in my Collection of Subscription Boxes posts.

  • Book Box Club – YA, website, UK.
  • FairyLoot – Fantasy YA, website, UK.
  • Leafer Box – Various box per genre, website, UK, No subscription but can buy for 3 or 6 months in one go.
  • LitJoy Crate – YA/Children’s, website, US.
  • Owlcrate – YA, website, US
  • Owlcrate Jr. – Children’s, website, US
  • Unicorn Crate – YA, website, US
  • Hootloot Box – YA, website, US, bi-monthly
  • The Bookish Box – YA/Adult, website, US
  • Enchanted Book Box – YA, website, US
  • The Bookie Box – YA, website, US
  • Shelflove Crate – Fantasy and Sci-fi YA/Children’s, website, US
  • Shelflove Reads (+) – Part of Shelflove Crate, but does general YA.
  • Whimsify Box – Fantasy YA, website, US
  • Uppercase – YA, website, US (only ships to US/Canada)
  • Illumicrate -Usually YA but has exceptions, website, UK, quarterly.
  • Once Upon a Book Club Box – YA/Adult, website, US
  • Spearcraft Book Box – YA, website, US
  • The YA Chronicles – YA, website, Australia
  • Celebrate Books (*) – YA, website, Netherlands (also does Dutch editions)
  • LitCube – Adult Fiction, website, US
  • Book of the Month Club – Various, website, US
  • Nocturnal Reader’s (*) – Horror, website, US
  • Coffee and a Classic (*) – Various/Classic, website, US
  • My Book Box – Adult, website, US
  • Cozy Reader Club (*) – Adult(women’s fiction), website, US
  • Magic Chest -YA, website, Germany
  • Romance Reveal Book Box -Romance, website, US
  • Book Case Club – Various/Children, website, US
  • The Bookworm Box –  Various, website, US
  • Ninja Book Box (*) – Indie, website, UK, quarterly
  • Wildest Dreams Box (+) – YA, website, UK
  • Rainbow Book Box (+,*) – Diverse reads, website, UK
  • Bookish Land (*) – Various, website, France   *See Note at end of list
  • The Book Matchmaker (*) – A mystery book, website, UK
  • DragonBookBox (+) – Adult Fantasy, website, UK
  • Page Habit – Various, website, US
  • Mark the Page – YA, website, Australia
  • Blue Spiders Attic (*) – Secondhand various, website, US
  • My Guilty Pleasures Book Crate (*) – Various, website, US
  • Bookmarked Box – YA, website, US
  • Mirror Book Box (*) – Diverse, website, US
  • Send me Swooning – Romance, website, US (only ships to US)
  • Novel Editions – Various, website, Canada (only ships to Canada)
  • The Book Crate – YA, website, Australia (only ships to Australia)
  • Never Never Book Box (*) –  Spec Fiction, website, Australia
  • The bookstabox (+) –  YA, instagram, US
  • Absolutely Booked –  YA, website, Pakistan, bi-monthly
  • Story Trunk – YA, website, India
  • The Big Book Box – Various, website, India
  • I Am A Kid (IAAK) (*) – Funko+T-shirt/Book, website, India
  • Aurora The Box Of Dreams – YA, website, India
  • Book Box – Various/Short Stories & poems, website, India (only ships to India)
  • Books N Beyond  – Various, website, India
  • Yureka Books (*) – Book Match/Various, website, US
  • Pop Reads Box (*) – YA+Funko Pop, website, US
  • Parnassus Next (*) – YA Signed Book, website, US
  • The Book Hook Up (*) – Various Box per genre , website, US
  • Goldsboro Book of the Month(*) – Signed Book, website, UK (only book)
  • Willoughby Book Blub – Various, website, UK (only books)
  • And the Story Begins –  Various, website, US
  • Nerdy Bookworm Box
  • My Bookish Crate
  • NovelTea Club
  • Blue Tome

Last month I would’ve recommended Bookish Land Box since they had sent a fun box to me, it was a bit pricey but it was fun and lovely. So I encouraged Maja to try a custom made one and we both asked for one centered around An Enchantment of Ravens (I mean, fairies, wonderful magic, enchantments, it sounds good, right?). However we were both sent Halloween themed boxes, with cheap items (Maja’as book was damaged, mine wasn’t but it was the only item that matched what we requested), both of us were blocked by the account and told different stories about it (To me she was never in hospital until this week when her story changed when I asked for a partial refund because this was definitely not what I had paid for, to Maja it was a ping pong you can read more about in her blog post, our experiences are basically almost the same).

Neither of us has got their money back, and we both tried several times to contact them about it and making amends privately. A “discount” for the next box means I have to spend into something I can’t trust (which they insist was offered but it was never offered to me, no discount, no refund, no nothing). We were told owner was sick, but I would’ve appreciated an email warning us our orders would not be customised as expected, then I could’ve decided to wait until it was all good again or to cancel my purchase. I wasn’t offered this opportunity. So I just make you aware that if you buy from Bookish Land, you are going to receive an overpriced box full of cheap things, bad customer service and get blocked if you complain.

As you may have noticed, I buy a lot of book boxes out of my own pocket, no one sponsors me, so it is difficult when something like this happens. And I do not wish it on anyone.

20171029_160245.jpgClockwise from top left: Leafer Box (sideways), LitJoy Crate (sideways), Book Box Club, Nerdy Bookworm (out of business), SpearCraft Book Box, and FairyLoot.


Have any more questions? Feel free to comment them here or use the Contact form. I am happy to answer all your questions if I can.

Subscription Boxes

October’s Fantasy & Sci-fi Leafer Box

As you may know, Leafer Box is one of my “permanent” boxes. There are a lot of good reasons why I love it:

  1. It’s cheap, each box costs £12.99 plus shipping (UK is £2.99) and you can use code KESTREL10 for 10% off so even cheaper!
  2. It doesn’t have a crazy hype and there’s like zero chance you’ll get a repeat with another book box.
  3. You can buy the box of the month any day of the month! No missing out because it sold out in a few hours and you couldn’t connect at the time, no problems if you only get paid until the end of the month. As long as you order during the month, you get that box.

My list could go on but I’d rather just show you my bundled Fantasy & Sci-Fi box.

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Starting from the chocolate bar because chocolate and going clockwise:

  • A Galaxy chocolate bar, this is one of the big ones and that makes me so happy, they don’t go small on chocolate and yummy goodies.
  • Sci-Fi book, Champion of Mars by Guy Haley. I don’t know why but it makes me think of mythology despite knowing it isn’t exactly that…
  • Botanical bookmarks (they are not part of the box but rather a thank you gift from them because I rave so much about them)
  • Glow in the dark constellations! I always wanted glow in the dark stars on my ceiling but never got my parents to get some for me, and as an adult forgot, but now I do!
  • A space/Mars pen (usually their pens are fine point and have beautiful ink and write lovely)
  • An Alien necklace that made me laugh when I saw it, it is cool.
  • Now for the Fantasy box contents, a summer wax melt tart thing that definitely smells like summers and picnics and just good!
  • A thunder and lighting necklace, also quite lovely and cool.
  • A golde twig/branch hair pin which looks amazing on my hair and people have been complimenting when I wear it.
  • And the book, The Fifth Season which was already on my “I’d like to read that book” list so I was very happy to get it in this box.

As you can see, the box(es) was packed full of goodies and it is a great bang for your buck. Absolutely recommend it and there are several other genres you can try.

 

Subscription Boxes

Pixel Me Gaming Spearcraft Unboxing

So, one of the books I really wanted was Warcross, and when I found out the theme for Spearcraft I was sure it’d be the book I wanted, so I fished discount codes and tried to get it as cheap as possible (because it is on the expensive side with expensive shipping to the UK).

On a funny note, I ended up winning a giveaway for Warcross, so now I have both hardback editions (US & UK). UK edition is the colourful one, US is a robin egg/turquoise colour and smaller.

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Starting from the book and going clockwise:

  • US edition of Warcross by Marie Lu. (link provided is for the UK version)
  • Pacman earrings (they are quite cute).
  • Nerve sticker (the film was interesting but I wasn’t really into the story even from the book).
  • Ready Player One bookmark
  • Mario Bros inspired soaps (cute, I like them, Mario was one of the first games I played n a console, alongside the shoot the ducks one)
  • Hunger Games quote magnet
  • Character card
  • Ready Player One quote print by treehousebooks
  • Triforce wax melt
  • Mario Bros keyring, which is now with my keys, to show my geeky gaming side.
  • Hunger Games quote postcard

**Start of rant about gaming**
I have to admit with such a massive gaming industry and such a diverse choice of games, I was expecting less of the same one (there’s two of each, Hunger Games, Mario Bros and Ready Player One) and more variety. And to me Hunger Games is out of place because it is not a pixel game nor is it console or anything, it is a book fandom (and film if you want to go with that).

I may rant but I love gaming and love games and it was a little like “but why is HG here when there is so much more that could be here instead? So many series of games, so much Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft and all other gaming developers have brought out that we love, why not include them in here?”. PS. I restrained myself from reciting all the possible games that could’ve inspired an item because you’d be stuck in a vortex hole of game names and weird old stuff like Chips or Carmen San Diego and that red hat… Plus the 8 bit music… **End of rant**

Ignoring the gaming bit, it was a nice box though I do prefer when the boxes have less “paper” items and I am happy to get my Warcross book. Due to shipping + box costs, it is not good for me so I haven’t kept it but it will probably be quite good for others in the US.

Subscription Boxes

Young Adult PageHabit

So after choosing a Fantasy PageHabit, I won the chance of adding an extra book and some goodies to my box, so I was crazy and got another PageHabit, but this time YA.

I don’t regret this extra box at all and was very pleased with it.

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Starting from the card at the bottom and going clockwise:

  • PageHabit donates books to other countries for every box bought so it is also a charitable and fun effort to get this box. On the other side of the card it mentions all the books in the different genres that were includd this month (I liked this since it helps me see if the box I have is the one I would’ve enjoyed most or not).
  • Time Traveler patch (same as previous box)
  • Bookmark (same as other box)
  • Comic book pin (also same)
  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova. I had my eye on this book so it was awesome to receive it as the bonus book I had won.
  • Feather pen, it has a super fine tip which made me swoon (fine tips and ultra fine tips are awesome)
  • The short story of the box.
  • A Horcrux keychain.
  • The actual book of the box, Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Kassel, another interesting read, which came with author’s letter and annotated, so it is fun.
  • And a cat/fox coaster.

I enjoyed the box so much I decided to subscribe again. Finding out it had almost the same things as the other box, I decided to just get one box and add an add-on book. I’d definitely recommend it since it has a broader range that most book boxes so you can choose different ones and pad up as you’d like.

Subscription Boxes

Fantasy PageHabit

I don’t remember how I found out about PageHabit but I love the idea of an annotated book so I jumped into the bandwagon with this.

After purchasing it, I started hearing bad reviews about the service and applying codes and discounts and worried a little, but I have to say, their customer service was top notch and really helpful. My tracking email got lost and they quickly gave me the tracking link and helped me cancel my subscriptions (I wanted to receive the box before it renewed so I could make up my mind about it).

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Starting from the book and going clockwise: (one of these days I am going to do it counterclockwise, just to play with your heads)

  • Magicians Impossible by Brad Abraham. It also included a letter from the author, where he explains that the title came from a blunder, instead of saying Mission Impossible, it came out as Magicians Impossible. This made me laugh but also made me curious. There are sticky notes on the pages with annotations from Brad inside the book which makes it even more interesting!
  • A short story specifically commissioned for Page Habit, Wild Things.
  • A cute fox/cat coaster (I think it is a coaster but it could also be a mug cover, to keep your drink warm, I am unsure).
  • A comic book pin, very colourful, cute and I was pleased to see a pin there (yes, I like pins, very much).
  • A Time Traveler iron on patch, I don’t really have anything I iron patches on (I rarely ever use an iron, I refuse to iron, so I have a permanently crinkled look on all my clothes or buy clothes that don’t require ironing, I’d rather be reading!) but I still like the patch, maybe I will stick it to my drawing clipboard…
  • A quote bookmark which I kept showing upside down during the unboxing because it is tricky to unbox and film and talk, and my coordination is limited but it is a gorgeous bookmark.

As you can see, it is isn’t a bulging book box but the value is there and I loved all items so I was very pleased to receive this box and now I want another.  What do you think?

 

Subscription Boxes

September’s LitCube

If you read my post about all subscription boxes I had tried, then you are aware I had tried LitCube before. I decided to give it a go again since the theme was ‘Apple Spice and Everything Nice’ and it is autumny and it just makes me feel cosy. (I confess I love Alpine Spiced Apple Cider instant mix even if I don’t add sugar to my tea or coffee or any other beverage).

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Starting from the theme card and going clockwise:

  • Apple Spice and Everything Nice card, it is quite lovely and it made me feel excited about contents.
  • Apple Cider lip balm by Black Tie Market, I haven’t tried it yet but anything with apple cider flavour is a win in my books so looking forward to trying it (and I do like lip balm tins, it reminds me of childhood and shared secrets).
  • Apple Cinnamon Donuts candle by Novelly Yours. It smells like just baked apple cinnamon rolls and it makes my mouth water and I felt like I was in heaven.
  • The Simplicty of Cider by Amy E. Reichert, which I didn’t know about but will surely read, gives that autumn vibe perfectly.
  • Bare baked apple slices with cinnamon. They didn’t last long and were just right, not too crsipy not soggy and not too spiced but also not bland.
  • Fingerless gloves. These were the item I wasn’t so sure about and then I put them on and really liked them, they are soft, don’t feel flimsy/badly made and look pretty rather than bulky and horrid (for the record, I have small hands not child like but small, in all fairness most of me is small).

So I enjoyed this box a lot, the only downside is that there was a customs charge which made it a lot more expensive. I think I will only buy one-off boxes when the theme is something I really want to get, but if you are in the US I’d say, go ahead and enjoy it.