OwlCrate Unboxing – August 2020

Hi everyone. First up, I would like to apologise for the lack of posts. I was starting to burn out last month so decided that it was in my best interest to take a few weeks off the blog in order to rest up and get my head back in the right place. Somewhat foolishly, I did not stop reading over this time and so now do have a fair few reviews to type up over the next couple of weeks! I will be taking things at a bit slower pace though, so might not be keeping up the two-posts-a-week that I have managed throughout lock-down.

Anyhow, that’s certainly enough about me. Today, I think it would be best to finally show you what I received in my August OwlCrate. For those of you who are new to my blog, OwlCrate is a monthly subscription service for fans of young adult books. Each box contains a hard-backed book (usually signed and with an exclusive cover) as well as 3-5 other items that have been selected to match a specific theme. The boxes are approximately £38 per month, which has so far seemed to be good value for money when you take into account the quality of the contents and the substantial weight of the box. OwlCrate guarantees that you will receive each box so long as your subscription remains active. Be wary of cancelling – they do have a long waiting list and it can take a few months to get back on it again!

The August theme was “Written in the Stars”. Be warned – there are lots of photos and massive spoilers beyond this point…

Once again, the box arrived in great time and was nicely packed full of goodies. I removed the shredded paper before taking this picture to try and avoid making too much of a mess, but I can confirm that everything was well padded in there and there was no room for any of the contents to get knocked about or broken.

Let’s take a little look at each of the items in turn.

First out of the box was by far my favourite item in this crate. It’s a beautiful satin bandanna designed by Fern and Ink. The item was inspired by Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, which you might remember is one of my favourite books, and is absolutely stunning. It’s incredibly soft and can easily be worn in a number of ways. I’ve pretty much been wearing this as a scarf since I received it. This is really up there with the bento box on my list of best OwlCrate items and it certainly is a good match for the theme of this crate.

The next item is a clipboard which was designed by Daphna Sebbane. This time, the item is inspired by Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufmann & Jay Kristoff. While this isn’t a book that I am familiar with, the design of the item and the quote certainly do match the theme of this crate. While this item isn’t the most useful thing that I have ever received in an OwlCrate and is a little on the small size, it is very sturdy and certainly big enough to hold a small piece of drawing paper. I completely failed to take a picture of the back of this item, which just shows the OwlCrate logo on the same blue background.

While I was a bit disappointed by the clipboard, the third item more than made up for this. It is a beautiful padded book bag that was designed by Quirky Cup Collective. This item was inspired by The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern and I do truly love the design. However, I do think that this book is a bit of an odd one to pick. While OwlCrate has included items inspired by non-YA books in the past, Morgenstern is very vocal about the fact that she does not write young adult books and objects to people tagging her stories a such. I have to feel a bit sorry for the author who is about to receive a lot of YA Instagram tags purely due to the inclusion of this item in a young adult crate…

Sorry about the difference in quality of the images above. My flash did not like that glass bottle!

As you can see, the next item out of the crate came in a lovely little box with a quote by Carl Sagan on it. Which, coincidentally, is my favourite quotation of all time. Good work OwlCrate. The item inside was a star-shaped glass bottle filled with push pins and I absolutely love it. The item was designed by Team OwlCrate and is massively useful – it’s always great to get fun stationary inside these crates. It’s on my desk right now with the amazing tin of paperclips from the July crate.

On the subject of nice stationary, we have come to the final item in the crate. This item was also designed by Team OwlCrate and is a metal pen with a star on the tip. While not the most exciting of items, it’s very practical and a great themed item to finish off this celestial crate. I also like pens that are made of metal. As a serial pen-chewer, it makes them harder to destroy!

The only goodie remaining in this crate to talk about is this month’s pin badge. This one was designed by Band of Weirdos and shows the image of a moon in the centre of a lotus flower. As you are aware, I am deeply critical of OwlCrate pin designs but this one I absolutely love. The flower petals are glittery, the moon glows in the dark, and it is a truly beautiful design. Here’s hoping that I love this month’s book just as much.

Before I talk about this month’s read, I think it’s time to give a quick honourable mention to the paper goods. As with every crate, it included the magazine, a spoiler card that explained each item and a letter from the author. The more observant among you may now have a pretty good idea of what this month’s novel is…

That’s right, it’s Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar. This is a contemporary fantasy novel that takes its inspiration from Hindu mythology. Words cannot describe how much I am looking forward to reading this book as it sounds enthralling. The book is Thakrar’s debut novel and OwlCrate recommends it for fans of Laini Taylor, of which I certainly am one. As usual, this book has a cover that is a different colour to the one available in the shops and has a matching purple edge to the pages.

So, in conclusion, I really could not be happier with the contents of this crate. All items certainly matched the theme and the only one that was a bit of a disappointment for me was the clipboard. I’m also super excited to get stuck into the novel, just as soon as I’ve finished reading the last two novels that I got from OwlCrates. More on that in next Wednesday’s post…

Anyhow, that’s all for today. Check back later this month for my thoughts on the September crate. The theme will be “A Glorious Haunting”.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Victoria
    Sep 10, 2020 @ 05:25:06

    I’m so impressed by how good these products are! A lot of the boxes I’ve seen seem so overpriced for what they are. Do you know if they do one offs as well?

    Reply

    • Arkham Reviews
      Sep 10, 2020 @ 07:06:37

      I agree – these crates are beautiful and all so far have been brilliant value!

      You can order crates as one offs and then cancel right away, though you’ll probably first have to spend a month or two on the waiting list.

      They also do one-off crates sometimes for specific books (I think the last was one of V.E. Schwab’s).

      They also have an online store where they sometimes sell excess items from the crates.

      Reply

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