Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: November 2016 OwlCrate

OwlCrate is a YA book subscription box (I believe THE first YA book subscription box) that I've wanted to buy since its inception back in 2015. The boxes have always been filled with wonderful bookish goodies and a hardback YA release, but THE SHIPPING oh lordy.

I finally made the plunge in October for the November book because 1) November was my birthday and I thought it high time I treat myself and 2) with the theme being Wonderland (I think every second book subscription box was this) I knew it was Heartless and OWLCRATE DID AN EXCLUSIVE COVER

I'll now go through the items in the box and compare it to how much it cost, the shipping and delivery time.

Month: November 2016
Theme: Wonderland
Price: $45.49 USD = $62.51 AUD (based on AMEX exchange rates for that day + my bank's international transaction fee)
[$25.50 USD ($29.99 USD with a Flipping Through Pages 15% off discount code) + shipping ($19.99 USD) for 1 month subscription]
Delivery: Shipped November 19 arrived November 26 (1 week to get to Australia)

My Rating:

The Wonderland themed box included:
  • Hardback copy of Marissa Meyer's Heartless with an exclusive OwlCrate cover (white as opposed to the standard black)
  • Letter from Marissa Meyer
  • Heartless quote card
  • Alice in Wonderland pin/badge
  • Alice in Wonderland bookmark by Authored Adornments
  • Alice in Wonderland magnet by EvieBookish
  • Mad Hatter's Wonderland Elixir tea by Riddle's Tea Shoppe
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Rock Paper Books exclusive cover
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Rock Paper Books matching bookmark
I absolutely love the hardback of Heartless by Marissa Meyer. Having read the book I knew I wanted a copy; I'd seen the naked book and it is STUNNING underneath. When I heard that OwlCrate would get an exclusive cover I knew I had to have it. I'm immensely pleased with the white cover, it adds a real twist.

I was also really pleased that OwlCrate essentially gave 2 books for November, as a copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was also in the box. The cover is designed by Rock Paper Books and I believe exclusive to OwlCrate, there's also a matching bookmark which is really cute.

There's a tin of tea (called Mad Hatter's Wonderland Elixir) by Riddle's Tea Shoppe also made exclusively for OwlCrate. The tin itself is sooooo pretty, is one of those dedicated tea tins to keep the scent, and re-usable. What I really loved is that the tea isn't loose leaf, they've put them into little tea bags which makes my life so much easier. The tea seems like a blend similar to Earl Grey which I admit I'm not a fan of. However, it seems fruiter so I am keen to try!

Also included is a bookmark by Authored Adornments and the little glass has an Alice in Wonderland quote inside. There's an Alice magnet by EvieBookish too as well as a Heartless quote card and letter from Marissa Meyer.

As nearly all these items are exclusive to the box, I believe they're priceless (especially that cover!) but let's try valuing the items (I know it's weird but I'm the type of person who likes to know they're getting value for their money):

  • Heartless hardback $26 AUD on the Book Depository
  • Riddle's Tea Shoppe tea $24 USD ~$33 AUD according to the sites they sell on
  • Authored Adornments bookmark ~$20 AUD based on the price of their other goods on Etsy
  • EvieBookish/Seo magnet ~$3 AUD
  • Rock Paper Books Alice's Adventures in Wonderland $9.99 USD ~$14 AUD
Total ~$96 AUD in value. I definitely got my money's worth. Note: some of the prices such as the tea and bookmark are guesses so the total value is an approximation, give or take.

I would definitely recommend if the theme for that month REALLY appeals to you and you want to try the box out like I did. I took out a 1 month subscription (there is no single box purchase) and cancelled after the next billing cycle (the first of the next month). While I say you get your money's worth, it doesn't take away from the steep price especially if you live overseas and in a country where the currency is below parity to USD e.g. Australia.

I give it a 3.5 - 4 stars based on how much I wanted the Heartless cover, the speed of delivery and total value of the items but I'm not going to lie, this is a only-splurge-once-in-a-very-long-while-if-i-really-like-the-theme thing.

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