Let’s Talk… OwlCrate

This is an unboxing of the August 2020 box. I am not sponsored by OwlCrate (but my love can be bought) and they did not ask me to do this. I am doing this purely because I love books, subscription boxes, and giving you guys the inside skinny on whether you should buy this or not. All opinions are my own.

I’m not sure when I first heard about OwlCrate. It may have been Instagram, it may have been Facebook, but eventually I started seeing enough ads that I figured I would give it a shot. I have talked about many subscription boxes (see this), but I never took the plunge on this one. When I did, I initially was put on a waiting list which only made me miss one box. This August box is the first OwlCrate I have ever received.

Firstly, the packaging is adorable. While I wouldn’t rank it as high as Once Upon a Book Club, I think the packaging (due in large part to the owl tracks along the side of the box, which are not pictured) is far and above Unplugged Book Box, Uppercase, and Book of the Month. I think it is on par with the Bookish Box, although I could be swayed into thinking it is better. Not the point, but I’m super excited!

Picture 1: While I know that this might not be super exciting for most people, I literally said “whoa” as I opened it. Such a beautiful pen, and I almost don’t want to touch it because I don’t want to get my fingerprints all over it.

Picture 2: I am not a pin collector, but I have noticed that this is a VERY popular gift in these types of subscription boxes. It is an incredibly beautiful pin, but it will probably be going into my bowl of collected pins. Not my type of gift, but still really cool.

Picture 3: I was today years old when I learned that I suck at taking pictures of bandana. Would you have guessed that’s what that is? It is silk, and it seems like very high quality. I actually have been telling myself that I need to get bandanas (’cause my quarter life crisis is real), and this is more than I could have ever hoped for!

Picture 4: Okay, this is the clear winner for me! I love me a book sleeve, and it is so incredibly pretty! You can bet your bottom that I will be using this in the very near future!

Picture 5: I will say that I definitely was not expecting a clipboard. While it is the size of a smaller wordpad, I am excited to use this. While sometimes it seems like I talk out of my butt on this blog, I actually take a lot of notes about things to talk about, so I will definitely be using this.

Picture 6: Inside the bottle is pushpins, which I don’t use that often. HOWEVER, they suggested that once the bottle is empty, to put fairy lights inside which I AM HERE FOR. So, this will be in my new set-up, but sans pins.

I haven’t read this book yet (obviously, Elizabeth, since you just opened the box), so I’m going to post the synopsis as available on Goodreads:

The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy. 

If you are looking to buy it and are confused because it is not purple, it is the same book! OwlCrate’s exclusive version has the purple cover, and all the pages are purple gilt edged, which makes the book look more spooky. While I am, admittedly, not a huge fantasy person, I am excited to give this one a chance, purely because it is so beautiful (yes, I judge books by their covers, sue me).

One of the reasons why I have limited the amount of subscription boxes I am still subscribed to is due to the number of gifts I received that I never used or knew what to do with. There are upsides and downsides to be subscribed to these types of boxes, which leaves me in a tough position. I feel like once my three month period is up, I probably will not renew. I am at a point in my life where I really need to downgrade (ew, am I getting old?), so I don’t necessarily think I need all of the items that are given in the box. HOWEVER, I cannot explain to you how surprised (in the best way) by this box. Compared to other boxes I have gotten, this box has A LOT more items that are more my style. So I leave the ball in your court, dear reader. You can get your own OwlCrate at owlcrate.com starting at $29.99/month, and let me know what you guys think!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Let’s talk…. Subscription boxes

In May of 2018, I went on a huge shopping spree. I signed up for way too many subscription boxes so that I could get books delivered to my front door once a month. Here is what I have learned:

Bookish Box

$18-$40/month

I was subscribed to this box for a brief time while I was in college. While it was fun, it just produced a lot of clutter. I re-signed up in May and felt the same lackluster feeling. For people interested in knickknacks, this is a great box, but for those who are interested in something meaningful, this probably isn’t the best box. By the way, I have a ton of enamel pins if anyone wants any. This box offers both adult and young adult options, as well as many different t-shirt sizes.

Uppercase box

$35/month

I absolutely enjoyed this box when I first started getting it. One of the biggest draws, for me, was the interactive experience. Every month, they send you a book, along with other bookish items, and a bookmark that lists 5 pages and the codes for that page. Then, you go on their website, look up that code, and hear something from the author, take part in discussion questions, or hear from other reviewers. Over time, the books have gotten farther away from the type of books that I enjoy, so while this experience is no longer for me, I am sure that someone else will absolutely love it. The only option in this box is young adult.

Bookcase Club

$100/ year

I am sure they have plenty of other options for what pricing you would like to do, but for less than $10/ month, I felt like I couldn’t do much better. Each month, you get sent 2 books. My biggest issue with this box is that, while the option is young adult, it almost felt like the book choices were either way outside of my literary preferences (when did I become such a snob?) or were extremely juvenile in content. Again I say, this box would be great for somebody, that somebody just isn’t me. They have plenty of children options and young adult options.

Once Upon a Book Club

$35/month

Okay, that title is really cute, right? Not just me? Anyway, this has become one of my favorite parts of the month. You get sent a box (which looks like a book, I mean come on people) filled with gifts and a book. It is your job to show the self restraint to read the book, and once you reach a certain page, you can open the gifts. It is so much fun when you read that the protagonist gets a locket, then open the locket yourself. While I absolutely love this box, it does produce clutter. They offer young adult and adult options, as well as specialty boxes.

Book of the Month

$15/month

Okay, I use this service rather religiously. That $15 a month is for the credit of 1 book. While that’s great, you can add up to 2 other books to your box for only $10 each. So ya girl gets 3 of that month’s books for a grand total of $35. And while some people may think that is ridiculous, it has quickly become a point of pride. If I were to buy the books on amazon, I easily would have paid double, especially because they are pre-orders. The way it works, every month their readers chose 5 books that will come out that month. They then offer you to choose any of those 5 books. In some ways, this is a limiting factor, but they often find books that could work for anybody. You also always have the opportunity to skip. Being the person I am, I have put myself on a mission to read all the books that have been offered in the time I have been signed up to the service. You also can choose to add-on any of the books they still have available from previous boxes if you don’t like the options they posted for that month. I literally see no reason why someone hasn’t signed up for this service.

If you have ever used one of these services or just have an opinion of your own about these or another one I should try out, let me know in the comments section. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, e-mail me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog and I will happily chat with you! Thanks guys and I will see at the next book!