Art

Moon Draws: Book Box Club Bookmarks Pt. 2

On part 1, I showed the penciled sketches for the bookmarks, which didn’t have the right proportions for bookmark sizing nor did they include a hidden fox MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey.

After some working on them, a few progress shots shared through my Instagram stories, and several late nights and early mornings working on them, they are finally done.

Each one has elements from the book they are based from, and elements based on the theme of the box they were featured in. Each one also has the hidden fox logo in them (in some it is very easy to spot in some it isn’t as easy).

Bookmark Collection 1 LowRes
Pictured above are the first four bookmarks. Enchanted Forest (The Call), Freedom Squad (The Hypnotist), Secrets & Sisterhood (The Stranger Game) and Magic by Night (Bone Gap).

The completion of them also means some news, the opening of my shop! At the moment the only thing available is a preorder of the bookmarks. The preorder closes on the 15th of October. That week, the bookmarks will be shipped to all those that preordered. After that preorder, bookmarks will be made available for individual purchase (so if you only want one bookmark or one of the designs, you can choose that particular one).

Bookmark Collection 2 Low Res
Immortal Stories (Ink), Troublemakers (All About Mia), Time Travel (Waking in Time), and Belles & Beasts (Hunted).

The designs have been digitally inked and done at high resolution (1200dpi) to ensure high quality when printing. They are one sided so that any art supply can be used without feeling guilty about it bleeding to the other side (not that it should since it is cardstock but it may).

Bookmark Collection 3 LowRes
Wizards at War (Spellslinger), Schoolroom Scandals (One of Us is Lying), Spells & Remedies (The Disappearances) and Fearless Females (Things A Bright Girl Can Do).

I enjoyed doing them and have plans for making one per box coming out. There is also the availability of custom colouring designs if you want to promote your book or are just a big fan of certain series.

If you would like to preorder a bookmark set, head out to Moon Kestrel Designs.

 

Books, Subscription Boxes

Outlaws Book Box Club

The long awaited Anniversary box for Book Box Club arrived and it didn’t disappoint.

Happy (late by the time this is published) Birthday Book Box Club, Kate & Libby, you’re awesome!

Since this is the anniversary box, let me tell you a little about my year with Book Box Club. I remember finding about the Enchanted Forest Box last year through Instagram. They had apparently sold out so I commented that it was a bummer I had missed out, but it turns out there was one last one left… So I obviously went and bought it there and then (I was at work and I snuck to buy it).

At the time I hadn’t tried as many book subscription boxes as I have today, but I was still unsure if this would be a box I would want to keep. The idea of the Clubhouse (a private group chat with the author, a month later) intrigued me and the fact that the girls were all up for the community aspect, which for a tiny account as I had at the time, I hadn’t seen much of that feeling and feltmore the blunt end of it.

The box surprised me, and I absolutely fell in love with it. That charm is still one of my favourite necklaces (considering I was and still tend to be an adamant “please do not send jewellry in book boxes” kind of person) and I am so happy about it.

You can see their first box and my not very polished bookstagram unboxing skills for taking pictures. I think they have improved in a year for sure (please, don’t tell me they haven’t if they actually haven’t, let me think I am improving, don’t burst my bubble).

Of course, the Clubhouse absolutely blew me away and the community has been one of the best things about Book Box Club. Destiny definitely had it for me to be part of the history of this box, including being part of one of the boxes and now making a bookmark set (maybe I will make a bookmark per box, how about that?).

And now, here we are a year later…

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Starting from the theme card and going clockwise:

  • Maraunders/HP cards by The Imaginative Illustrator. They are utterly adorable and I am dividing between never wanting to use them and using them because they are so great.
  • A pair of Sante socks, which are really cute (too big for me). I have to say, one of the things I liked is that even though the socks are too big, they are not too girly, so I asked my bf if he would like to wear them and he was very happy to have a new pair of socks.
  • A personalised letter from Kate and Libby (see? Moon has stars around it. *swoons*) to celebrate their anniversary.
  • A shortbread biscuit by Nila Holden that looked so delicious I took the unboxing picture as quickly as possible so I could chomp away. It didn’t last long but it was delicious.
  • For this box, the girls also sent a second book, an ARC. They sent me Witch Born but there were like 10+ different options of the book you could get.
  • On top of the ARC is an Inej (Six of Crows) lipbalm by Oriandle. This is my absolutely utterly favourite lip balm. Caramel and cinnamon. Two of my favourite flavours/spices. I have been keeping it in my coat pocket to use when the wind dries my lips and then add a little bit and every time I do this it makes me smile and lifts up my mood.
  • There were also two samplers and a postcard from publishers.
  • The book for this month is a Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Baba Yadoe and it sounds very interesting, plus that cover is gorgeous!
  • John Green promoting pencils since there’s a new book coming out (you can see I am not his biggest fan, I think if I had been younger when I read his books I’ve loved them but not now sadly).
  • And finally a cute Robin Hood magnetic bookmark that is exclusive to Book box Club by Marked by Hephaestus.

It is a cosy, lovely box and I was very happy to receive it. I am looking forward to another year with you girls (because we’ve become friends and I have met good friends through this box!).

If you’d like to subscribe, you can subscribe here, or you can try Purely Books which is just the book and access to the Clubhouse. Also *wink, wink* you can use code MOON17 for 5% discount on you subscription.

 

Art

Moon Draws: Book Box Club Bookmarks Pt. 1

So this month, Book Box Club is celebrating their first anniversary and while commenting on Maja’s instagram, the idea came of making a colouring bookmark for them. Of course, me being me, one colouring bookmark to celebrate the occasion became 12 bookmarks. Why not? This is the moment I have to tell myself that I already add so many details to any design I make, so 12 is not a good idea, but hey ho!

It took a bit of brainstorming with myself to decide what exactly I was going to do. I knew I wanted one bookmark per box and for it to match the theme of the box. But then, that is such a broad idea, so what else?

I dug out all my “theme cards” and suddenly the sparks came. I could not only base it on the theme, but make sure they were a very commemorative exclusive design. Add to the design kudos to items included in the box, or Easter Eggs regarding the book included.

And so, 12 designs were born. (Feel free to guess the book if you didn’t get the box or have fun finding the Easter Eggs if you did).

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You can see Enchanted Forest (September 2016), Freedom Squad (October 2016), Secrets & Sisterhood (November 2016), and Magic by Night (December 2016) above. Followed by Immortal Stories (January 2017), Troublemakers (February 2017), Time Travel (March 2017) and Belles & Beasts (April 2017).

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Finally, we have the last four designs: Wizards at War (May 2017), Schoolroom Scandals (June 2017), Spells & Remedies (July 2017) and Fearless Females (August 2017).

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So what do you think of the designs?

They are in the process of being inked digitally (Part 2 post will show more about how this went) and should be available soon. If you are interested in buying a set please let me know as they are an exclusive design and will only be available for a short period of time.

Books, Subscription Boxes

Fearless Females Book Box Club

August’s Book Box Club box was themed Fearless Females and completes the first 12 boxes from them (this being the 12th). At first I was slightly concerned this may be Warbringer since I didn’t want a repeat, but thankfully it wasn’t, and I am happy about it.

As per usual the box was packed full of goodies (and thankfully none of the bonus extras was something I already had from YALC! Bonus points there to no repeats).

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Starting from the theme card and going in a clockwise fashion we had:

  • Cute promotional pins of a Vespa and a film (silver screen vibes for me) to promote Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennet.
  • The actual book, Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls, which I’m buddy reading this time. It is set in the suffragette time and sounds interesting but my history crazy person is going haywire saying “please, please, don’t mess this up, it can be so good”. We shall see, await a review soon.
  • The Clubhouse do not open until the end scroll which includes the time and date for the next meeting and an interview with the author.
  • A jungle like (or at least it gives me that feeling) cute notebook by Nikki Strange. As a random fact, the first box they made also included a notebook by her too.
  • Exclusive Sarah J. Maas magnet which is currently on my fridge (alongside a few other bookish magnets and some pots and pans on hooks but that is another story).
  • A “Fight like a Girl” coaster (it is extremely pink which is a bit not me but it is still kinda cool) by Munky Make.
  • A Crooked Kingdom inspired necklaceby Compton Four, I like the green charm a lot but I have yet to read Crooked Kingdom so I have to take their for it.
  • A postcard promoting the book. (I like the vintage vibes)
  • A delicious smelling Hermione candle by Meraki Candles. There’s no going wrong by having a candle made by Heather. Probably my favourite item of the box.
  • A ‘Fight like a girl’ sticker which I am considering adding to my drawing clipboard somehow.

I have to say it wasn’t my favourite box from the girls, but I also understand they had holidays and YALC getting in the way of this box so it’s okay with me.

I am super hyped about the next box which is the anniversary box with the theme fo OUTLAWS. I wonder what is inside…

If you would like to join our bookish community and discuss the books we read with the author in the Clubhouse, you can use code MOON17 for 5% off your subscription. If you just want goods, you can choose the PURELY BOOKS option. Up to you.

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs.

 

Art

Moon Draws: Bookish Reflection

Let’s talk art again and in this case, also books, because today I’ll cover how the illustration on the pocket mirror for Book Box Club came to be.

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It all started with a quick description of what they’d like for me to do. The girls explained it was meant to be a pocket mirror and that they wanted a girl/woman reading in a romantic setting with lots of nature and to fit the theme of the box, Spells and Remedies.

There was no hint as to the actual book included.

The description was easy and quite open so I went and did some research in all my reference books and my own knowledge about what I could consider fitting for the theme. I knew I had to include some chamomile, maybe some dandelion and oak and a few other plants because of their healing and also I knew they were used in hedge witchcraft. This led to a search through tumblr and google (and my own books at home) for more on herbs and their uses, and which plants are used in spells most frequently.
After that, I sat down on the couch (there are two ‘desks’ I can use for drawing but I end up doing most of my sketches sitting on the couch, it means company both from bf and puppy) and sketched several options of poses thinking of how they’d fit the pocket mirror and theme.

Which one do you like best?

The girls got back to me on which one they liked most and what they’d like to change, so I took that into account and did a cleaner drawing (all of this done on paper with a mechanical pencil, my favourite drawing tool).

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I had intended to be fancy and lightbox my sketch then scan it, but because I had made the original drawing quite detailed on thick paper, it was very fiddly and the results wasn’t as good as I had hoped for. So smart me scanned both (pencil and ink) and opened both to decide which one would be better. Pencil sketch won and it soon started taking shape in Clip Studio Paint (I use several art programs depending on the effects I want to achieve, CSP is my prefered one for inking a scanned sketch).

Book Box Club - Spells and Remedies WBG
Lots of little details, including my signature as the book cover

The original plan was that the girls would then colour it however they saw fit and that was it, but when they returned their version of it, I wanted to try to colour it myself (I hadn’t realised I already had a coloured version inside my head). So I spent my Friday evening well past midnight colouring in extreme detail the drawing, despite knowing that it wouldn’t show well on the pocket mirror. For example, her eyes are light grey/blue with golden specks and the tree trunk has relief on the bark and the grass also has a lovely effect same as most of the individual leaves drawn that have a gradual colouring or shading effect.

Book Box Club - Spells and Remedies Coloured
Ample non detailed background to account for wrap around and bleed

Still, I completed the colouring and sent it away for the girls to approve, which they did of course. They also kindly informed me that I had done a lot of detail that wouldn’t show on the finished mirror, but I did not care, because I knew that if I had sent anything less I wouldn’t have been happy with myself and would’ve felt as if I had done a bad illustration for a customer.

After that it was just a matter of keeping the secret about the design (which I wanted to share) and waiting for the boxes to start arriving before I could disclose details about it.

If you liked this process of an artwork, there may be more to come, since I am currently working on designing 13 ‘colouring’ bookmarks to celebrate the anniversary of Book Box Club this September. Details on how to get your hands on them are still to come, but if you’re interested let me know.

Books

The Disappearances Review

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The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy

Every seven years something goes missing in the remote town of Sterling: people’s reflections, the stars in the sky, the ability to dream. Aila realises that her mother may be to blame for the curse. But some mysteries are buried very deep and some secrets want to stay hidden – and one young woman’s desire to uncover the truth may not be enough to save Sterling from the past.

A beautifully told story of love, loss and finding the truth – no matter how difficult that might be.

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Warning, this review contains spoilers. Read at your discretion.

This was a slow start kind of book. The story starts in Gardner, where Aila and Miles have been living their whole life, and it starts at the moment they are meant to leave for Sterling (the place where the Disappearances happen).

From the beginning the prose is rich and delightful and as much as the story was moving slowly at first, there were several moments when I just wanted to grab a pencil and underline or copy some of the phrases.

Thankfully, once we arrive to Sterling and get past the introductory days and being introduced to most characters, things pick up.

I have to say that the thing that stuck with me the most was how much Emily (the author) must love Shakespeare’s works. The amount of details, and the use of them through the book was impressive and left me admiring her skills. Retellings of Shakespeare’s works are relatively common, but The Disappearances does a magic act here and instead of retelling them, weaves them into the story so they are in a way the story but never a retelling nor do you feel like you’re just reading Shakespeare with fillers around it.

I loved the Variants, cringed a little on the idea of the Virtues and what Stefen kept thinking in his head (and totally wasn’t expecting the fact that he was atually related to Juliet), as soon as Tempest was introduced I wanted to try it, though I think it’d be too chicken to do it in such a public way as Aila did. I really liked the way the relationships develop and how they have found ways around issues and found hilarious the last “disappearance” (not that it was great or good to have that disappear but rather on what it implied and the consequences of it). There was some fun in it and that was enjoyable despite the direness of it all.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand what made Stefen change his mind and hint them on how to break the curse, but I am glad he did despite the way his own story ended. All in all, it was a good read, despite the slow start, and beautifully written.

Moon recommends

This is not my usual kind of book but in a similar line there is Spellbook of the Lost and Found if you want something to go alongside.

If you’d like to buy it here, or if you’d like to read my shorter GoodReads review.

 

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.

 

Books, Subscription Boxes

Spells & Remedies Book Box Club

This is the first unboxing I post here, and I am so happy it is for Book Box Club.

In case you are new to this blog or just living in another planet, this is my favourite book subscription box and I haven been subscribed to them for almost a year (I still am and there are no plans to cancel that subscription).

The theme was Spells & Remedies and it was for the month of July 2017. It was also a perfect birthday present in so many ways (more on this further in the post).

But before I start raving about them too much, let’s go directly into the contents of the box!

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Starting from the theme card and going in clockwise order, the box was packed full of delightful goodies.

First we have a bookmark from Usborne YA. It is a promotional for After The Fire, by Will Hill. I will just say that you have to read this book because it is currently my 2017 best read book.

Then we have a Hocus Pocus tea pocuh from BlueBird Tea Co. They started out in Brighton and have slowly been introducing themselves into the bookish box world (if I am not mistaken their first book box was Nerdy Bookworm Box).

Then we have a Cabeswater soap which I have yet to try, from Just Fribble. There was another option you could get which was blue. They’re both inspired by The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.

On top of the book of the month is a lovely Shakespeare inspired bookmark (isn’t it so cute and delicate?) by Holly Grace Illustration. It’s so pretty looking I don’t want to take it out of it’s protective cover.

That takes us to the actual book, which was the most gorgeous cover version of The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy. And I have just found out that this paperback cover version of the book is technically way ahead since it won’t be released until next year!

The book has gorgeous prose and at first it is quite strange but it quickly grows on you and now I want to read more and finish it. Can’t wait for the Clubhouse!

Delightful bunting from The Literary Omnistore, it is so pretty and lovely I am tempted to use it but since my bookshelves are on the living room that’s not really a good idea.

Two bookish samplers also were included, one for S.T.A.G.S and one for It Only Happens in the Movies. Haven’t read them yet but surely will at some point and they’ll probably end in my TBR list.

Then we have the scrolled invitation to the clubhouse which is a chat with the author. This are usually packed full of fun, reveals and other tid bits and they’re one of the highlights of my month.

And finally, the Bookish Reflection mirror, designed by yours truly, Moon Kestrel.I didn’t know what the book was but I was given a good idea of what the design should cover and so I did a few sketches, the girls chose the one they liked most, and then I did a final drawing by hand. Once it was approved, I inked it digitally and technically I wasn’t going to colour it, but I couldn’t resist! I over did the details too. Here’s a much bigger version of it.

Book Box Club - Spells and Remedies Coloured

And last but not least, my lovely box arrived a day after my birthday and inside there was a little extra… A birthday card and a copy of After The Fire. I was so surprised by the kindness of the girls, I was speechless.

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If you find Book Box Club interesting, they’re currently selling their Outlaws September box, which is also their anniversary box. If you’d like to get a 5% discount on your subscription, you can use code MOON17 at checkout.

Disclaimer: Those are Amazon Associates links, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs.
None of the other links are sponsored nor do I get anything from promoting them except sharing the love. I am not an official rep for Book Box Club or anything like that either.

Books, Subscription Boxes

A collection of subscription boxes

As many of you may (or not) know, I tend to try and test as many book subscription boxes as I can, throwing a few non book ones in the mix just for fun.

I will list here all the ones I have tried to this day, plus the ones I’d like to try one day. Some do not exist anymore, which is such a shame…

As a disclaimer, I will post the ones that have a renewing subscription enabled (which means that after testing, they made it to the “this makes me so happy I can throw money at it and not have a panic attack” list). After that I will post (in no specific order amongst each category) the ones I tried that are still available, then the ones I tried that have closed shop, and finally the ones I’d like to try.

I will try to include one picture for each box mentioned (except the ones I haven’t tried yet) and a small general review of what they include, my review/thoughts and why I kept it or not. There are very few boxes that haven’t made me happy so most of them didn’t make it to the renewal list due to money (I do not own a money tree, sadly).
As per usual, rating is 0.5(MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey) to 5 (MoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20px).

Boxes I am currently subscribed to

Book Box Club

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Stuffed owl, fairy lights and lankyard not included (wand was).

My first box: Their very first box, launched on September 2016. Theme was ‘The Enchanted Forest’, subscriber since then.

Cost: Starts at £25 (6 months) up to £27.99 (monthly) for the box but if you only want the book (their other modality ‘Purely Books’) then it starts at £40 for a 3 month subscription.
Includes shipping? Yes (UK at least)

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Type of books: Young Adult, in various genres. We have had fantasy, contemporary, time travel, etc.

Goodies: There are usually 4-6 items included and there is always a Book Box Club exclusive that is usually personalised (I have so many lovely goodies that are Moon exclusive). If you want your personalised item to have a specific name, let them know. You also get publisher goodies and an information postcard. They really listen to your suggestions on items you’d like to have included.

This is currently my favourite book box, and there are loads of reasons for that. For starters, it was the first box to actually have an author chat (now a lot of them do it but none like they do). And the best part is that it is done exclusively in the Clubhouse, for those of us who are subscribers. The feel of community is amazing, we have a forum where we also have fun. Basically, you are not only getting a lovely book, the chance to chat with the author and ask questions (even joke around), and the extra goodies which are lovingly planned (Kate and Libby actually plan content thinking on how it’ll look all put together alongside how it will fit the theme), but you are part of a bookish community. No other box has ever given me that. I have made new friends and I am interacting more with lovely bookish people than ever before.

I am not a rep or anything, but I love it all so much, I pestered them to give me a discount code to share around so others could join in on the fun. So if you want to give them a go, you can use MOON17 for 5% off your subscription.
PS. The girls are so cool that I ended up making a lovely design for them (more about this on the unboxing post that will be my next post).

You can subscribe to the boxes or Purely books on their website.

FairyLoot

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My first box: The Steampunk box done last October (?). I wasn’t too impressed so I stopped there but renewed my subscription for their anniversary box and I am currently renewing

Cost: £26 per box. It doesn’t matter if you subscribe monthly or in 3 or 6 months, it’s the same price. The only way to get a discount is through a rep code.
Includes shipping? No, and be careful because VAT will also be included separately if you are in the UK/EU.

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Type of books: Fantasy Young Adult

Goodies: 5-6 goodies. Usually includes a candle or scented item and other goodies. They try to include items no other box has done before (like oven mittens, tea towels, fairy lights, etc).

FairyLoot is a fun box and it also has a community feel but it done mostly through Facebook. It is fantasy only, so you know what you are getting here and it is easier to guess the book. They are currently doing a bookmark collection and try to keep it fresh by including different items. To me it is about 80% hit and 20% miss. I enjoy the boxes but some are quite disappointing. There is usually at least one item I am happy to get rid of and pass on (if not more) and the cost sometimes feels a little steep. It is still good and there is the FairyChat and FairyScoop which add extras.

You can subscribe to the boxes on their website.

Illumicrate

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My first box: August 2016. Have a subscription since then.

Cost: £29.99
Includes shipping? Yes for the UK.

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Type of books: Varied Young Adult

Goodies: It says you get a book and 3-5 goodies but I always find two books and lots of goodies in it.

I was shocked by the amount of goodies and content in it and the fact it had not one but two books, one being an ARC. They are a quarterly subscription so it feels less heavy on your pockets when you get it and there is definitely a good value for money in the contents of the box. It has a good effect on me and usually makes me smile when I receive it.

They are currently sold out but you can subscribe on their website.

Yume Twins

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My first box: June 2017, Birthday Box

Cost: From $27.50 to $29.99 USD.
Includes shipping? Yes, worldwide

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Type of content: Kawaii (cute) items from Japan

Goodies: Usually around 4-5 goodies with a plushie included. At least one of the goodies is an options one (as in you could get one of many variations of the product, it is random).

I am still umming and erring on this box. The content is super cute and the plushies are good quality, which is delightful. It makes me feel cosy and cute all over. But I don’t collect plushies or use most of what it includes so it is tricky. I want it but I also don’t want to spend on something I don’t use. Thankfully they post most of the items included (not all of them) on the box, so you can decide if you want it or would rather skip (the surprise factor is in the items not mentioned and which version of them you got). I have done this for August’s box since nothing really made me go “I want it” but there are some items from September I want so there we go.

You can check them out on their website.

Boxes I have tried that you can try

This is a mix of boxes. Some I buy one every now and then when the theme is something I really really want (and can afford an extra box). Some I tried and they just didn’t make me happy so I didn’t renew. A few I have liked but the cost was too steep to keep it up so I had to stop. Here is this collection of boxes.

Owlcrate

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You can see that my unboxing picture skills needed a lot of improving

My first box: Myths and Legends, November 2015

Cost: Monthly subscription is $29.99 USD.
Includes shipping? No, it is added afterwards.

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Type of books: Young Adult

Goodies: 3-5 goodies

Owlcrate was my first subscription box, but as you can see, I started doing them almost two years ago. There weren’t as many choices at the time so I kept this going but it came to a point when the goodies felt rehashed, it wasn’t good value for money and I had so many issues getting my box delivered to my home (and it was just this box, other deliveries were fine) that I stopped my subscription in August 2016. Also most of the books included weren’t the wow factor except maybe This Savage Song which was a repeat I got (another book box had sent it a month before Owlcrate did) and I have to say that since then there hasn’t been a box I feel I missed out on.

You can subscribe to their box  on their website.

Lit-Cube

My first box: Beauty and the Beast themed

Cost: $34.95 per box.
Includes shipping? No.

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Type of books: Varied, not exclusively Young Adult though it does have some of those.

Goodies: Bookish goodies to make a magical experience. I can’t remember exact quantities.

I loved the B&B box I received and then that month they had to make a tough decision and stop sending international boxes so there died my subscription. I have only recently found out that they are doing international shipping again, so I looked at the September theme and decided to give this a go again. Depending on results I may consider more of them. The only downside is that it is on the pricier side of the scale and from America (all boxes from America generate customs issues or delays, and it is not the boxes fault at all).

Also sadly I do not have a matching picture of the unboxing but you can check out their website for more info on them. They also make a Stars-Hollow monthly box if that peaks your interest (which I haven’t tried so yeah).

Ninja Book Box

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My first box: Summer Box

Cost: £26 per quarter
Includes shipping? Yes if you’re in the UK.

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Type of books: Indie

Goodies: Bookish goodies

This is an indie books box, and as such is more low key. Still, the one box I’ve tried which is their summer reads (which is totally different to the usual box as in it didn’t have any goodies alongside except bookmarks) and I was pleasantly surprised with it. It even included one book I had been eyeing up for a while so definitely recommend.
I have missed out on the next boxes for one or another reason and they end up being sold out before I make up my mind about getting it.

You can check them out on their website.

Magic Chest

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My first box: I think it was May’s box and it was Against All Odds.

Cost: €29.99 for a monthly subscription
Includes shipping? No

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Type of books: Fantasy books

Goodies: 3-5 bookish goodies

Sweet box for fantasy books, with cute content though I couldn’t justify the cost considering it comes from Germany so I have put it on the side burner to see when a theme is something I really want.

You can check them out on their website.

The Bookish Box

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My first box: Ravenclaw House Box (2017)

Cost: They have one time boxes and a regular subscription, Ravenclaw box was on the quite expensive side.
Includes shipping? No

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Type of content: Bookish goodies

Goodies: 3-5 bookish goodies and usually a wearable (if I am not mistaken). You can add a book for extra cost.

I was a little disappointed with the content for this box. Definitely it wasn’t a good value for money and this one time box made me decide not to keep trying. IT was also delayed a lot to be delivered (I had even forgotten I had paid for it and was supposed to receive it until it arrived, which isn’t very encouraging). The T-shirt is nice and the candle smelled delicious but otherwise I wasn’t wowed by it.

You can check their other boxes and options on their website.

The Accio Box

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My first box: I am not sure which month, but I know I emailed them to see if they would open international shipping just for me (I was willing to pay the shipping just to get this box).

Cost: From $34 per month to $39.99
Includes shipping? No

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Type of content: Exclusively Harry Potter themed goodies, no book.

Goodies: 3-5 indie goodies, hand curated. High quality.

This is not your usual subscription box. It doesn’t have lots of items, but the ones it does have are quite high quality. They are the kind of things I would favourite on Etsy but never buy because I would think they are too expensive even if they are lovely. There is no book to be included in the box either.
The only reason why I stopped my subscription is that customs was becoming very difficult to navigate. The actual custom was very small but the “handling” charge the post office was adding made it become at least half the price of the box which was most definitely not fun.
I sincerely recommend this box to anyone in the US & Canada, or if you don’t mind paying customs on top of the box price. The content was indeed high quality (highest quality tote bag I have ever received, even better than some I have bought independently) and most of it has been used nicely (for example, soap dish is happily being used in my shower and the bubble bar I am trying to ration to make it last because it is so lovely!).

You can check them out on their website.

Anime Quarterly Meraki Candles Box

My first box: Ghibli themed box

Cost: £21.99
Includes shipping? No

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Type of content: Candles and other goodies related to the theme.

Goodies: I think it is 2  4oz candles and about 3-5 other goodies.

I love Ghibli and also love Meraki Candles. Heather is amazing at making delightful candles that smell oh so good, so this was a no brainer for me. I didn’t regret it at all though I just realised that I never took a picture of the content which is very silly of me.
I didn’t buy the next box mostly because of the theme rather than because I don’t like the content, Yuri on Ice doesn’t do anything for me. But I have bought other of her candles and have loads more in my collection.

You can check her Etsy, but at the moment it is closed temporarily.

Bookish Teas Box

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My first box: Magical London

Cost: £22.45
Includes shipping? No

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Type of content: Tea and other goodies

Goodies: Three different kinds of bookish themed tea and extra goodies.

This is the best tea I have ever tried. It is amazing! I was blown away by it when I received my box, and now I want to buy more because I need more of these wonderful tea. Zilan includes a Tealicious pamphlet which has recipes you can do to use the tea in fun ways. I am not subscribed mostly because of being picky about the themes of the boxes but I buy her tea separately anyway because it is so good.

You can visit her website to find more lovely tea.

Scrawlr Box

Scrawlr

My first box: Sometime around December 2016

Cost: £15 per month
Includes shipping? No

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20pxMoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Type of content: Art supplies

Goodies: Several art supplies, a bookmark detailing contents, and something to use your supplies on.

This is an art subscription box and for the price it wasn’t too bad, it is good value for money. But as an artist I don’t use every supply, so some of them were more like “oh I don’t do this medium but I guess I can try it” and then I contacted their customer service and had a bad experience and empty promises so that put me off and I didn’t renew after 3 months.

You can check them out on their website.

Chimasu

Chimasu

My first box: Can’t remember exactly when I think start of this year, February/March

Cost: Prices start at £16 per box
Includes shipping? No

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Type of content: Asian snacks

Goodies: Loads of asian snacks, loads.

This is a fun subscription box if you like food and snacks and asian things. I found it to be great for trying new things and then going and buying the ones I liked at the asian supermarket nearby. I found a lot of snacks I wouldn’t have tried otherwise and also some I had wanted to try but hadn’t dared.
I stopped my subscription because I wasn’t eating all of it by the time the next box came so I felt like it was going to waste. This is mostly because it is just so full of nice stuff. And I do consider rejoining at some point.

You can check out their website if you’d like to try some snacks.

STICKII Club

My first envelope: Sometime early this year (2017)

Cost: $10 per month
Includes shipping? No

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Type of content: Stickers

STICKII is a bundle of cute stickers (you can choose from three types and each gets a different theme each month) and sometimes extra stationery. I like it a lot but for financial reasons cut it short and now only buy a theme if I am dying to have it. They usually send spoilers so have an idea of part of the stickers you will receive.
No picture because for some reason I never took one (even though I have received 5+).

Check their website out if you’re interested in stickers.

LootWear (For Her)

My first box: It was Bioshock related

Cost: £14 per month
Includes shipping? Yes

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Type of content: A wearable specific for females

This was a fiasco. A big one. I tried it twice and both times they sent the wrong item or the wrong size and I had to contact support and get them to send the right item (I got to keep the one that was wrong) and the delivery took ages and it was just not great. Items were also not such great quality so didn’t continue.

LootCrate J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World

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My first box: Their launch box

Cost: £39 (it was much higher when they started at over £50)
Includes shipping? Yes

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Type of content: Harry Potter/ J. K. Rowling wizarding world themed

Goodies: 5-7 items

This was also a sad affair with Lootcrate. As I mentioned before, the box cost a lot more before, so it was most certainly NOT good value at all. I can’t say how it fares now. But what I can say is that most of the items were cheap quality and most certainly had not much of “exclusive” (I had seen items almost the same at Primark for a fraction of the price, and hey look Primark has even launched an HP themed line). Most of the items I gave away since I didn’t enjoy them at all and they felt so cheap I was not happy with how much I had paid for the box.

You can check both LootCrate boxes on their website alongside more of their options.

Boxes I have tried that have stopped their services

I try a lot of boxes and there are a few that haven’t made it and stopped their services. Most of them were very good and I wish they had had a better chance.

My Bookish Crate

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This was a UK based box that first introduced us to TJ Lubrano’s artwork and it used to have good content. I was sad to hear it say they would stop their services and the last box was a slight disappointment. The picture is the first box I bought from them (my unboxing skills still evident). This was last year and I had an ongoing subscription until the last box.

 

Nerdy Bookworm Box

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Anther good UK box that didn’t make it. It had more indie content and was less popular but still good. Sadly I didn’t keep a subscription and just bought boxes here and there…

 

Novel Tea Club

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A box from Canada that was focused on sending pampering goodies, it used to have an indie book, some tea/coffee, pampering goodies and a bookmark and I used to love it very much until they stopped at the beginning of this year. I was sad to see them go since they always made me smile.

 

Boxes I’d like to try

Most of these I haven’t tried due to them being from America (customs and shipping are killers), some of them because of how expensive they are, and a few I haven’t had a chance to grab one and they are sold out each time I try to get one.  They are still on my wish list for now.
I am not reviewed in detail any of them until I have actually tried them so this is more of a “these boxes exist, may be worth trying”

ShelfLove Crate

Bookish Land (it has a fox, I need this but price has kept me from buying it)

Enchanted Book Box

Unicorn Crate

Leafer Box (I am awaiting my first box, I chose sci-fi)

SpearCraft Book Box

Once Upon A Book Club

So the tally is 20 boxes tried, 7 to try.

If you have any boxes that you think I might like to try please let me know. I am willing to try to review boxes if they pique my interest.

Disclaimer: These are my opinions and only that. I have tried so many boxes I know what I like in a box and what I don’t. What makes a box is the wow factor and the “this makes me happy and I don’t feel like I wasted money on this” feeling. Please know that for most boxes I subscribe for at least 3 months to give them a good chance, so I form my opinion over several boxes, there are a few exceptions were one box was enough for me to decide not to try them any further. It is up to you to decide what you want on a box and if the content is good value for money to you. I pay for the boxes from my own pocket so I try to choose wisely. None of the boxes mentioned here have sponsored me to review them or given me a free box to review.