Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: The City is Ours Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: The City is Ours, February 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.

February had an interesting theme that reminds me of several books so I was intrigued by it. Lets see what was inside starting top left:

  • A triket dish for Gilded Wolves which I think is absolutely stunning!
  • A hard shell card holder, which honestly I didn’t like the design on it so it immediately went into the “not keeping” pile. I think if it had had a different desing I might have kept it but I generally use softer card holoders.
  • A Crescent City umbrella, I still have their Laini Taylor umbrella so I can say they are good ones but this one is red and a fandom I don’t follow so I passed it on to someone who likes it.
  • A gorgeous postcard from The Last Falconer for Edinburgh.
  • The monthly pin, which was stunning!
  • Another great item, a gorgeous skull wooden coaster which is being proudly displayed in my office because it has my vibes.
  • And finally the book, with pink sprayed edges, A Dark and Hollow Star.

Overall it had some strong items and some not so strong ones, I think the biggest issue is we keep having items from the top 5-10 main fandoms, and not as many from others so I end up not being that into the SJM things etc,, as useful as they may be. I probably would have kept the umbrella if it fit a little better with the colours I like and I didn’t have the other one still, they are good umbrellas.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: From Olympus With Love Owlcrate

Subscription box: Owlcrate

Theme/Month: From Olympus With Love, January 2021

Ownership: Last box of my subscription. If you are interested in purchasing an Owlcrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Owlcrate was my first ever subscription box way back in 2015, and usually features young adult books in a variety of genres alongside a few bookish items. Sadly due to import fees and shipping, I have had to cancel my subscription and won’t be getting any further boxes.

However, I am happy to have had this as my last box, and I’ll start with the bottom right going clockwise:

  • A letterboard, which obviously I decided to use by setting the theme there. I did feel a bit sad that the frame had no decorations or anything, felt like a missed opportunity.
  • It also came with a cute pouch to hold all the letters and symbols of the letterboard.
  • A tapestry that is a lunar calendar featuring Artemis and Athena.
  • A pin banner, I like that they are usually decorated and thick fabric so they just dont tear.
  • A wooden bookmark, which looks like somoenes been biting it, and has two different sides.
  • Nectar of the Gods tea, which is peppermint tea and sadly nothng more interesting.
  • Theme card
  • And the book, Lore. I’ve heard mixed reviews on it so I am curious, however not high expectations since I am not huge on greek mythology based books.

Overall I enjoy this box, it had some confusing items like the bookmark but I enjoyed a lot the letterboard since I have been wanting one for a while, just sad it didnt have a design on the eadge, but still a good item and the lunar tapestry/calendar is also cool.

As mentioned above, it was a nice last box and the only reason to cancel was mostly that shipping charges went up a lot due to political climate and being in the UK and all that, so not their fault.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Historical Heroes Tales by Mail

Subscription box: Tales by Mail

Theme/Month: Historical Heroes for February 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.

This is the first box of the year and it had some fun surprises in it! Starting from the top left and going clockwise:

  • Amari and the Night Brothers bookmark.
  • Darwins Dragons which I’ve been looking forward to since last year.
  • The month’s activity pages with space for reviews and some fun challenges.
  • The Queen’s Fool, which sounds intriguing.
  • A print with a quote and a signed bookplate for The Last Bear
  • The collectible pin.
  • A weekly planning notepad which I think is adorable.
  • A bookmark for The Queen’s Fool.

I was so excited to see a book I had wanted in the box and overall thought it had two very interesting reads alongside the bonus of that planning notepad which made me smile. It makes me happy to get the box and feel like I have great reads coming.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: At the Masquerade Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: At the Masquerade, January 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 little chances of duplicate books and a lot of new reads discovery power.

Ok, were finally catching up with this years boxes, and this was a good one, so let’s see what was inside, starting at the top left and going clockwise:

  • Theme card, I like that it shows the name of the theme and the month it is from so it helps my brain remember which month it was.
  • Mask of Mirrors, which sounds amazing and I am looking forward to reading it with some buddies!
  • Some advert for the Penguin Book Club.
  • Sumptuous Supplies list, which is becoming a shopping list soon once I finish up the last few pages of my current one. Love getting this perfect shopping list pads.
  • A mini tote/lunch bag which is super cute and a wonderful size.
  • Slightly hidden under the book is a nucao, which is vegan chocolate bar. It was slightly more bitter than I expected it to be, so it wasn’t bad but wasn’t amazing either.
  • A metal bookmark inspired by Nevernight.
  • Extra surprise cute face mask. I am glad the boxes are sending fabric masks that are cute and fun to wear.
  • And finally a candle which is all gold and glittery and wonderful .

Overall, I enjoyed the contents a lot, they felt sumptuous and like you were going to a masquerade. A face mask is an interesting spin to a masquerade attendance but why not? Quite good and February is meant to be awesome, so looking forward to it!

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Rebellious Royals Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Rebellious Royals, January 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.

January’s theme starts the year with a bang and a great featured read for sure, but lets consider each item in the box, starting with the main featured book and going clockwise:

  • Winter’s Orbit which is super exciting read and I am thrilled about this!
  • You should see me in a crown Fuzzy socks, who doesn’t love soft fuzzy socks?
  • Theme card/leaflet.
  • Monthly pin
  • A collection of very pretty artwork of Sarah J. Maas bookmarks. If I was into the fandom, I’d be so into them but alas I ended up gifting them to a friend who actually likes the fandom.
  • A bag of mint tea, which I haven’t tried yet but I think is just pure peppermint tea.
  • A super awesome puzzle in a box for Folk of the Air Series that looks like a book and I utterly love it!
  • This last one was a shadow box, which I have to say I have opinions on. First, I like that it is kinda building your own but it took ages and a lot of effort as the wood was “cheap” and not done so well the actual shadows are awesome, it was just the interlocking parts that wouldn’t fit well and took a lot of pushing and prodding and wondering if it would break before it was built… Also not sure I would put a tealight inside if I put the lid on top as I was worried it’d smoke or you know just leave a heat mark that would wear it down. Maybe it’s just the size of this particular one, but I was not fully convinced by the item as a whole. As I said, the actual “shadows” are awesome, it is how the shadows happen and how to build it I struggled. However, huge kudos for adding a different kind of item, I loved the concept of it for sure!

As per my opinion above, I like it included new items, that puzzle box is stunning, and fuzzy socks are great too alongside the shadow box, but some of the execution could be better, however I can’t wait to see what new ideas come through and what comes in February’s box.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Love is a Battlefield Owlcrate

Subscription box: Owlcrate

Theme/Month: Love is a Battlefield, December 2020

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

Owlcrate was my first ever subscription box way back in 2015, and usually features young adult books in a variety of genres alongside a few bookish items. Sadly due to import fees and shipping, I have had to cancel my subscription and won’t be receiving it starting with February’s box.

But since we still have this box and another, let’s make the most out of it and explore the contents of Love is a Battlefield which is an intense title to go for, did the contents match it? Starting at the top left and going clockwise:

  • These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong, which seems to be a popular book to be in book boxes and I should read it at some point soon.
  • Owlcrate theme card.
  • Legwarmers, I think I squealed a little when I realised what they were as legwarmers help with pain management in winter keeping my legs happier than if I didn’t wear them.
  • You can’t really see well but it is a puzzle based on Ember in the Ashes series. I’ve enjoyed their puzzles before, especially now that they come in cute boxes rather than pouches and prints you easily loose.
  • This one is hard to see but it is a “winter” themed mini rolling pin for decorating pastries. My success rate with this kind of rolling pin has been negative so as much as I think this is really cute, I am not keeping this item and passing it on to someone with more patience and baking pretty success.
  • A wooden Christmas ornament, which due to the box arriving after Christmas didn’t actually make it into the tree, but hopefully this year it will.
  • The monthly collectible pin.
  • And finally a wintery peppermint hand cream, which is nice to get hand cream in winter months and this is pretty mild in scent in a good way as in you can smell peppermint but it is not overbearing.

Overall it was a very wintery box but I have to say it didn’t feel like a box that fit the theme, I did not get “wow, loving is hard, or a battlefield or a minefield or anything like that” basically I didn’t even get much of the love vibe except for the puzzle, which is confusing because as a whole I liked the box but as a theme, it kinda doesn’t do it well.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Secret Societies Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: Secret Societies, November 2020

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 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 unqiue and not in other book boxes so very little chances of duplicate books and a lot of new reads discovery power.

For some reason I got my monthly boxes mixed up and didn’t show off the November one! Who knows why? Still, nevermind let’s see what the contents were starting at the bottom left and going clockwise:

  • Theme card
  • The main book, The Magpie Society: One for Sorrow by Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch. I have liked previous books by Amy so was excited to read it, I have read it now and well, review to come.
  • A Starless Sea sticker of bees and books, it is very cute.
  • A book sleeve, which to be fair I have used more as lunch bags and stuff, but they are really good and strong.
  • A cute little Unashamedly Bookish notebook for all those secret society meeting notes 😉
  • Clubhouse invite
  • Chocolate orange key, you’ll definitely lose this key in your stomach!
  • And a patch, which I can’t remember what it was about, you can totally see I am not big on patches, right?

Overall, once again the box puts a lot of effort into fitting the theme, getting a variety of fandoms included and a balanced mix of cute items and useful items. I do like the ideas they have behind choosing each item and the book was an interesting read, so all good.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: A Legacy to Protect Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: A Legacy to Protect, December 2020

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.

Decembers theme was anything but festive but it was still a box packed full of goodies I do admit to feeling nostalgic about the boxes that used to be actually crammed full with items and had way more items than we tend to get nowadays). But let’s unbox it and see starting on the top left and going clockwise:

  • The Cousins by Karen McManus, so far I have enjoyed her books a lot and this one has black sprayed edges, excited to read.
  • The monthly collectable pin inspired by The Ravens.
  • No Peak Clan photo magnets, the idea is interesting the problem is that I don’t see a huge appeal to have these around on my fridge.
  • A Daevabad inspired mug which is super exciting to see as I don’t have a lot of items form this fandom and I like it.
  • Yip Yip nail file, my husband needed one so this was perfect timing and he’s a happy man.
  • Destiny is a myth notepad inspired by Poppy War and I like the feel of it.
  • The Ravens with pink sprayed edges, another exciting read!
  • And finally a print album. I like the idea behind this as I sometimes don’t know what to do with prints but I was confused by it initially and also it’ll depend on having a standard size for all the prints preferably or not too big ones.

Overall I liked the box, it felt a tiny bit disjointed in the contents and not as theme focused as others have been and I was less excited by the items but I have learned that boxes with mugs usually aren’t that exciting otherwise and to be fair this had two books and a mug which is like double nice bonus. Those are my favourite things from it!

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Growing Wild Owlcrate

Subscription box: Owlcrate

Theme/Month: Growing Wild, November 2020

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

Owlcrate was my first ever subscription box way back in 2015, and usually feautures young adult books in a variety of genres alongside a few bookish items.

I have to admit that given Brexit, I had to cancel my subscription with reluctance as it has made it a lot more expensive and it was already quite high cost due to shipping if I was in the US itd be fine). However, I’ll be getting two more boxes before my subscription runs out.

Meanwhile let’s see what was inside, starting on the top left and going clockwise:

  • Promotional print.
  • A flower press kit, this is an unusual but pleasant surprise to find in a book box and one of the reasons why I enjoy their boxes so much, they find quirky items that fit with the book and theme and include them.
  • Middle Earth plants postcards
  • A dandelion seed in glass necklace. I have a similar one from another book box from way back when and I love it, I think it is quite cute.
  • Stickers! They are really cute botanical ones and I am super happy.
  • Theme spoiler card
  • Enamel pin, they send one monthly and it is inspired by the main book in the box.
  • The yearly reading planner, I like they send it in November as it gives time for the box to arrive around the world so you can start it right in January. I am not huge on reading planners or any kind of planner but I still think it is cool, just sad it wasn’t exactly botanical themed.
  • A gorgeous edition of Among the Beasts and Briars which I’m hyped to read and have been for ages since I read about it.

Overall a well themed and thoughtful box with a good variety of items. My only not so keen part was that the planner felt out of the theme and everything but I do understand it is the usual month it is included in so wish it had been more in topic, but otherwise I liked it quite a bit and can’t wait to use the flower press at some point.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Miracles at Midnight Book Box Club

Subscription box: Book Box Club

Theme/Month: Miracles at Midnight, December 2020

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 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 unqiue and not in other book boxes so very little chances of duplicate books and a lot of new reads discovery power.

I like the December boxes because they usually have a treat feel to them and this is not the exception, starting on the top left and going clockwise, lets go through the contents:

  • A sampler of eight awesome reads, there is a link to them and also just a bit of info on them. I like this one as it gives me an idea of new reads and when to expect them.
  • Theme card.
  • Personalised clubhouse invite, which I think is a lovely detail!
  • Cute star pin
  • Night circus inspired ornament which went straight to the Christmas tree.
  • Bibbidi bobbidi boo soap
  • Mystery proof, I like that you get a random one out of a choice if a few so you never know which one you will get and then asking others which oen they got!
  • A cute calendar full of quotes for 2021
  • Reading socks! I love socks in book boxes.
  • The main book, Paris in Starlight by Robert Dinsdale, the author of Toymakers which was interesting so quite intrigued by it.

Overall, I enjoyed the box, it had a festive quality to it and it was full of midnight and miracle vibes so I felt it matched well the theme. I totally recommend it as it has the bonus of the clubhouse, and it was through them I found a lot of friends.