Subscription Review: Owlcrate

Owlcrate is a monthly subscription box that caters to fans of YA novels. It includes a newly released YA books plus 3-5 bookish goodies. Each month is themed, and the included items pertain to the specific month’s theme. This review is for the September 2016 “Darkness” box.


This box was paid for by me, for me, specifically for use in this review. It was in no way sponsored by or provided by a third party.


 

box-contents

Subscription Details:

The Box: Owlcrate
The Cost: $29.99 plus s&h ($6.99 US, $10.59 Canada, $19.99 Intl.)
Discounts: Varying by rep, 10%-15% off your first subscription box
What’s Inside: 1 newly published YA novel, 3-5 bookish goodies

TRB Review:
I was soooo excited for this box. I’ve seen so much hype online and have heard so many good things about it, I’d decided just to suck it up and spend the money to try it out! Their sign-up process was very simple, pleasant, and quick to complete. I was lucky in that I subscribed the weekend that they were mailing their September boxes, so I didn’t have very long to wait until I received mine.

The package was in great shape (they of course have no control over this, I suppose I’m giving USPS a shoutout here for decent handling) and it was easy enough to open up. The presentation is fantastic, the contents are covered by what I call “squiggle confetti” which I love!

Unboxing & Contents: 

box-presentation

The presentation of the box was fantastic, very well put together and everything fit well. Love the “squiggle confetti” and the contrast of color (like that really matters, but I enjoyed it).

I hate to sound crass here, or ungrateful or the likes because that’s not it at all – but I expected a bit more from this box after having paid nearly $40. But that could just be me, I think I may have gone into with much too high of expectations.

detail-card

 

 

Each box contains a detail card that explains the items that are in the box. In the boxes are also a pin, specific to that month.
fortune-telling-bomb
One of the neat featured items in this box was the “Fortune Telling Bomb” which is a fizzing bath bomb by the ladies at DaBombFizzers on Etsy.
Value – $7.50

 

 

throne-of-glass-candle

Next in the box was this uh-mazing Throne of Glass themed candle that was specially made by the team at TheMeltingLibrary on Etsy just for this month’s Owlcrate box!!

Approx. Value – $5.00

 

six-of-crows-bookmark

 

Another item exclusive to this month’s Owlcrate box was this Six of Crows bookmark by Evie Bookish! It is sturdy, dark, and awesome.

Approx. Value – $5.00

 

 

 

canvas-pouch
Out of Print made these really neat custom canvas bags, another exclusive item in this month’s Owlcrate box.

Approx. Value – $12.00
passport

 

This is a unique ad booklet that was included for the upcoming novel Moon Chosen by P.C. Cast due out in October. It was a flip through that included excerpts, book and author info, and a couple of mini coloring pages. What a great way to advertise!

No est. value
remade-episode-1

This is pretty cool, and something totally new to me. Remade is a mini-series (like a season on T.V. basically) that is consistent of 15 “episodes” that will be released through the end of the year by Matthew Cody and other various authors. I haven’t read it yet, but it seems like an interesting concept. The cover alone has me curious.

Approx. Value – $1.85

The series, or “Season 1” is available for $21.99 via SerialBox
three-dark-crowns

And last but not least, the crown jewel (pun totally intended), the newly released YA novel Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. Along with this came a few other neat goodies including a signed bookplate, letter from the author exclusive to Owlcrate subscribers that doubles as a map for the book realm, and a neat Three Dark Crowns themed fortune teller.

Approx. Value – $10.61 (for the book via Amazon w/ free Prime shipping)

The signed bookplate, letter, & fortune teller do not have a definable value.

signed-bookplateauthor-letter
map

Overall I estimate the items in this box being worth around $52.00 which of course doesn’t include the priceless items such as the signed bookplate and letter from the author etc. This is a great value for a box that only costs $29.99 + s&h. I used a discount code from an Instagram rep (don’t remember who, sorry) when I purchased mine that gave me 10% off my order which brought it down to $33 and some change.

Packaging Quality – 5/5
Content Quality – 3/5
Overall Rating – 4/5 

My rating of this box’s contents might seem a bit harsh, but it is completely honest and entirely my own opinion. Like I said above, the value of the items in comparison to the price you pay is fantastic! I loved the box, its theme, and the presentation. My favorite items were the book (duh), the bookmark, and the candle. The others I can live without, and will probably never use. I unfortunately cannot see the justification in paying almost $40/month (that adds up to almost $480 per year) for a book and a few bookish knick-knacks that will most likely sit around on my shelf.

I would be more inclined to participate in a box that included a book and a more useful, day-to-day item like a coffee mug, a tote, even a piece of jewelry (obviously not real, bookish costume jewelry even like a pair of earrings or a necklace) or a cute journal. I am a working adult and have limited space for “things” so perhaps that is my problem. I’ve also never been a huge clutter person, and I think I would just end up causing clutter with these items.

I had mentioned on my Instagram account that I would be giving this box another chance but I have chosen to cancel my subscription before the next charge. I am waiting to receive two other subscription boxes and will be providing reviews on them too, including BookCase.Club and Book Boyfriend Box.

Have you tried any subscription boxes? What were they and what did you think? I am looking into trying a couple more once I receive these next two, please comment your suggestions and experiences below!!

XOXO
Savana C.

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Book Box Trials

Happy Thursday!
We’ve subscribed to our first “book box” and are SO excited! I’ve been nervous to do this because as great as they all seem, $30+/month is a lot for a college student on a budget and that’s just for one box. I hate to say it too but I’ve fallen in love with all the goodies that each different box has to offer, so we’ll see how long I can hold off!

book-case-club-YA-may-2016-
NOT my image, copied from Google

Now, I’ve been researching different varieties (Owl Crate, Bookish Box, etc.) and finally decided to start small and simple with a BookCase.Club subscription trial which offers 2 books per month for $9.99 plus $5 shipping & handling making the total $14.99 if you subscribe month to month (there are discounted options for 3, 6, and 12 months). It doesn’t come with all the fun fandom merch that other boxes offer, but with 2 hardcover books it’s hard to argue the price. I’ve read reviews and it seems like most of their boxes value at over $25 consistently, although there are rarely newly published books which probably just means that they get good deals on older books and offer those to their subscribers in turn. Regardless, it seems to be a great value if you haven’t read the books.

owlcrate
Another box I’m dying to try, anyone care to donate? ^_^

That being said, for a newcomer to the book box scene this seems like a great way to start. I signed up for the “Teenage Dreams Case” mostly for the reason that I saw a John Green novel in a sample image and I love his style – I’m definitely hoping to get something along those lines but I am excited to see what they will curate for us. I have yet to find out if you are able to change your box preference during your automatic subscription, I’ll update you on that when I speak with a rep next month.

Would you guys be interested in an unboxing review posted here on the blog? I made my order this week and am hoping to receive it by the first week in October. The unboxing would not be in affiliation or sponsored by BookCase.Club but I’d be happy to provide one for any other book lovers curious about the value and quality of this box. Please comment below if you’re interested and if at least 5 people respond I’ll schedule this ASAP!

Have a great weekend!
XOXO
Savana C.