Moon Hauls: Moonlit Melodies BookBox Club

A slightly moon themed box, as we know Book Box Club tends to be less “popular” books (not that they aren’t good books, but it is the kind of box I’d recommend buying for diverse and not hyped enough kind of books), but the content tends to be nice and you get the benefit of the Clubhouse, so let’s see the contents starting with theme card and going clockwise:

  • Theme card, they have a resident artist that works on making the theme card match both theme and book and they are always lovely.
  • A biscuit, this literally only lasted long enough to have the picture taken and then it was devoured by yours truly. I love that they send a gluten free biscuit so trying to make sure it is a nice experience for even more box recipients.
  • A quote pouch, I like them since they’re quite useful and like that they’re fabric.
  • A sampler for Cinderella is Dead
  • Promotional book mark for Daughter of Lies and Ruin.
  • A playlist and EP from The Bookshop Band. Look to me this was really cool because it means they’re looking at recommending things to go with the theme and the box and just more bookish items.
  • An eye (?) mask or some kind fo facemask.relaxation item with a space motif, which sounds intriguing and good for a relaxing day.
  • Moon Child stickers, they are beautifully themed and I was having a cute moment with them.
  • Clubhouse invite, this is a month or so after the box is delivered and you get to chat with the author alongisde other members. It’s really fun.
  • Door hanger to indicate you’re busy either reading or lseeping for both day and night usage. It is wooden and has gorgeous art on both sides.
  • And finally, the main book, Ghost Wood Song which I had been looking forward to reading and can’t wait to buddy read with friends.

One more thing I want to highlight is that Book Box Club have been super clear when they have had delays, and even then the delays have been minimal. They even managed to get a replacement book for a previous box when the publication date got moved and found a perfect replacement in a short span of time. I can highly recommend them as great customer care, great service and nice little perks.

Courageous and Kind Book Box Club Unboxing

June’s Book Box Club definitely felt like they took the condition of the world into stride and wanted to give us all a pick up, a lifeline saying “you can be courageous and kind” and that they care, so let’s see what was inside. Starting from the top right corner and going clockwise:

  • A cute banner with watercolour art, I generally do not keep banners or prints but this one immediately went on to the side of one of my bookcases. I guess it felt right for me…
  • Vegan rainbow sweets, I love it when sweets and treats are included in the box.
  • Clubhouse invite
  • A patch/decal that says Courage Dear Heart and has a nice desing, it makes me think of a cool tattoo design or something.
  • The theme card, very vibrant and alive!
  • A tiny cute planter which I think is adorable (just be careful as it doesn’t have drainage holes)
  • And to top the tiny planter, some seeds. This is one thing I like in some book boxes, they add things that go together, like value add, in this case you don’t just get a planter, you get something to plant in it.
  • The main book which is The Short Knife. It wasn’t in my radar at all and it sounds quite interesting so looking forward to buddy reading it.
  • A print with a quote from the book.

All in all, this is a cute box and it lifted my mood and spirits plus was a gotcha in that the book was completely out of my radar and I love that.

Dangers & Dragons Book Box Club Unboxing

Book Box Club’s May box was all about dragons and I am always happy with a dragon themed box (who doesn’t like dragons? as long as they’re not toasting you to a crisp). And I also had the super awesome jigsaw puzzle somehow match this, so let’s see what was in the box, starting on the top right corner:

  • Theme card.
  • Dragon socks, they are the PERFECT socks to make a dragon sock puppet because the other side has an open dragon mouth. I wish it came with two pairs of them so I could do sock puppet and wear a pair of socks.
  • A golden foil print of Smaug, which is super gorgeous!
  • Dragon necklace
  • Dragon egg bath bomb, it smells delicious and I am looking forward to it.
  • Hungarian Horntail candle.
  • The main book, which is Burn by Patrick Ness. I am unsure about it mostly because I wasn’t too keen on previous books.
  • Personalised clubhouse invite
  • A sampler of All Your Twisted Secrets
  • A card set to promote Wodnerland by juno Dawson.

My favoruite thing was the socks, because they’re so cute, but it was a very dragon themed box and I am happy with it.

Thorn Review

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Thron was included in one of the recent Book Box Club boxes. However, I had it on preorder and didn’t catch that it was the same book, so I got duplicates and gifted a copy to a friend.

Obviously means I was eager to read it, right?

From the start, there is a fairy tale undertone to the story (I know it is based on the story of the goose girl, but some books that are based on fairy tales do not read like one) and it sets the tone for the rest of the book in a wonderful way.

We meet Alyrra as she is preparing to meet her future husband’s family. She is in general a resigned unhappy princess that would rather have a different life. However, she doesn’t want an adventure as one would expect. What she wants is just peace, to be able to be insignificant in a way. And she wants to not have her cruel family over her. As much as she is unsure about the alliance through marriage and who the prince is, she sees this as a way out of her family and country to somewhere that may be better.

What she doesn’t expect is to end up as the lady in company of the princess rather than the actual princess, which puts her into the position of a goose girl as ajob. Which she finds delightful. It is hard work, but it is work and she is gettign exactly what she wants. Plus there’s a wonderful talking horse, Falada, that she has for ocmpany.

The story follows the bones of the goose girl fairy tale but adds to many beautiful layers on top. One of my favourite lines is the concept of family and unity, of found family rather than the given one (which really spoke to me). Another one is the concept of justice and what that may mean. Can justice be truly fair? What does that mean and how is it decided? There is also the way Alyrra starts to figure out who she is outside of the obligations of being a “princess”. And it is interesting to see how she views herself as something but in truth she is ahead of how she sees herself. She calls herself a coward often, but has a lot of courage, and it takes her time to understand that and to see what she is doing as courageous.

I think those layers and the many characters that are very defined in the story, like Sage, Violet, Ash, Oak and Joa make it even better as a fairy tale on it’s own. Vety enjoyable, feels old and as if it has existed for so long and yet it is fresh and has a lot of questions. Probably the best way to describe Thorn is to say that this is what a fairytale ought to be in 2020. Something to become a classic read over and over and seen as a comfortable uncomfortable story with magic woven through it.

Highly recommend reading it and giving it a chance.

Cursed Kingdoms Book Box Club Unboxing

One thing I admire about the girls is that somehow they’ve maanged to make a great box despite the delays in deliveries other boxes seem to be struggling with (and delayes in delivery, etc). The box even suffered from a change of the main featured book, but somehow they still made it on time. So, let’s unbox this, starting from the top center:

  • Zelle inspired soap.
  • The invite to the Clubhouse.
  • Framing both sides of the picture, are set of gorgeous prints that I can’t stop admiring.
  • A patch that says “Rule the World” (I am not big on patches, but I like this one is not iron on but more like “sew on”).
  • Seven Endless Forest, which is by the same author of Boneless Mercies and I am so excited to read it!
  • A sampler to The Book of Longings. I got hooked on Sue’s books with The Secret Life of Bees so was excited for this.
  • An eye mask to give you the best sleep out of a 100 year curse 😉
  • A biscuit, which was yummy and my husband even recognised which fairytale this was from without a hint from me.
  • Thorn, which I am utterly excited to read and heard great things about it.

There was also a promotional for Tales by Mail their middle grade box that will start soon.

All in all, I enjoyed the contents, the box doesn’t feel like less quality than usual (I’ve been feeling this with another book box so I highly appreciate all the care of this one) and one thing the girls get right is how the box looks all together not just each item. I am very pleased with it.

Mythical Monsters Book Box Club Unboxing

Who doesn’t like the idea of mythical creatures? But what about mythical monsters? This box was full of a nod to them and so I’ll unbox starting in the bottom left and going towards the right:

  • The main book, Hold Back the Tide by Melinda Salisbury. It sounds a bit more horror like but I am very curious to read it!
  • A pin for hte Dark Compass
  • The theme card, which is very eerie.
  • A super ultra cute Niffler magnet which is adorable and immediately went unot my fridge (but I did debate giving it to Asha…)
  • Baby Nessie, the very charming mosnter of the tea (aka a tea filter in the shape of “Nessie” the Loch Ness monster).
  • The clubhouse invite, for our meeting with the author to discuss the book. Can’t wait, but first need to read the book!
  • Tea to fill Nessie’s belly! In this case a “Dragon” tea to go with the theme.
  • And finally, underneath it all, a gorgeous banner that I’ll probably use more as a tea towel than a banner because it is cloth and it is gorgeous. Love the colour of the illustrations of all the monsters/creatures of myths!

In general this was a great box with amazing stuff in it that made me smile and feels very on point for the theme. Nothing to complain about and the fact that the tea had a tea filter and it matched the whole theme was perfect. Bonus points for that!

Roses are Red Book Box Club Unboxing

Can’t believe it is March already! But this is an unboxing for the February box from Book Box Club. The theme was Roses are Red which is very much a “romantic” one and as such I wasn’t too sure what to expect. A romantic book box without being too cliche or too much is hard to do, but the girls managed it amazingly.

I have no theme card, which I am not sure why, but my box was quite bashed on one side, so maybe it fell out or something? Who knows… But I’ll start the unboxing from the main book and go around clockwise.

  • The Upside of Falling. I’ve heard good things about this book, so I am curious even if romance and contemporary aren’t usually my thing. It came with a recipe which I am curious to try.
  • Just me & my book Tote bag. This is cute and I am usually happy with tote bags.
  • Ok, this is my favoruite part. A mug cake Belgian Chocolate brownie mix.
  • And not only that, it came with a mug! *excited* I usually complain that we get sent one item and nothing to go with it, but in this case, it is a perfect match and I love it. Plus the mug is cute and full of books and lots of references that I kept going “oh, oh, oooh”.
  • A notepad, again, these don’t go wrong for me unless they are hideous but this isn’t a bad one, it is even nice for notes or letters.
  • Promotional stuff for releases coming soon by publishers.
  • A roses are red hair scrunchie. This is probably the item that was the most sweet and probably the one I wouldn’t use (mostly I don’t use scrunchies). But I love the fact we get something useful and cute and just very nice quality.

I really enjoyed the box, it has a lot of items I would use or can see being used a lot without feeling like they are exclusively bookish or tied to a specific fandom you may not like or relate to. I am happy with it and my husband is extra happy about the mug brownie (I will have a few spoonfuls but he’ll benefit the most out of it).

Deadly Secrets Book Box Club Unboxing

First Book Box Club of the year and it had two books! So let’s see what the contents were, starting from the bottom with the theme card:

  • I don’t usually think of January as a red month but the theme card fits the theme well.
  • Voldermot magnetic bookmark. It is cute, just not my thing because they’re obnoxious to use.
  • The first book was The Good Hawk, which I had on my preorder list so I am very excited to read it.
  • The second book is The Pure Heart, and this one was not on my radar at all.
  • The secret Clubhouse invite, personalised which is one f my favoruite things.
  • Promo bookmark for another book.
  • Mi Corvere candle, I am not sure what it is meant to smell like but it is interesting.
  • A cute pouch bag. It is of very nice material
  • A Deadly Secrets skull bath bomb I am totally looking forward to treating myself with!

All in all it was a nice box with a pamper item and nothing I hated or disliked loads. Even the item I won’t really use is cute, so all good.

Fireside Favourites Book Box Club Unboxing

Since I did a mini summary about Owlcrate, and I am eagerly waiting to receive the January Book Box Club box soon, I shall do another mini summary about them.

I bought their last first box back in September 2016 (?) and haven’t looked bad. They were the first ones to do a proper author chat and it was the one thing I loved the most. Nowadays I don’t join the chat so much, but it is thanks to them I found some of my good friends and reading buddies.

But let’s see what was in the December box, which was all about being cozy with our reads, starting on the theme card on the bottom right and going clockwise:

  • Theme Card. Cute fits the theme.
  • A proof book, for me it was Are You Watching? which I already have a proof copy for, but still, extra book.
  • The main book, Dangerous Alliance which is very pink and apparently Jane Austen-ish… I am a bit unsure what to expect.
  • White chocolate and & Raspberry bar, which fits nicely with being cosy. Yum!
  • A Christmas wishes card from the girls and the new four paw addition.
  • A gorgeous beanie hat, it is a deep green that for some reason looks very black in videos and pictures. It is warm and comfortable and cute. win all around.
  • A pin to match the book.
  • The 2020 artwork calendar I’ve come to expect from them, and it is gorgeous! A great way of discovering new artists.
  • A woodmark, with the most gorgeous art ever that it put aside my woddmark dislike (plus it is a little more sturdy but not that much thicker than the usual ones in other boxes, so far better).

All in all, a very cosy box to be enjoyed and I am looking forward to the treat of two books in the January box too!

Dangers of the Deep Book Box Club Unboxing

A well themed box with a book I wanted to read (it is so gorgeous!), so let’s go unboxing, starting on the theme card and going clockwise:

  • Theme Card, definitely matches book and thene.
  • Whale notebook, I like notebooks and the artwork is gorgeous
  • Socks, mermaid socks! I am a happy human and they’re cute.
  • Two publisher’s frebies
  • Clubhouse invite for a chat with the author
  • Octopus pin, this is very detailed and cute.
  • Another promo item
  • Dangers of the Deep Shampoo Bar. This caused a great conversation about them at work and I raved on how good they are, so I am looking forward to using it and think it is great we get alternative care items beyond lip balms and creams and scrubs. Love it!
  • A sturdy coaster, this is a really good one!
  • Deeplight by Frances Hardinge. It is a super gorgeous book and I can’t wait to read.
  • A signed map, since Waterstones had the exclusive rights to signed books so we get a signature on the map. A good way to get away with a signature, clever and crafty!

All in all, a box very well themed that gives an ocean and deep sea vibe and I can’t wait to start reading the book today with our reading group.

Rebels on the Run Book Box Club Unboxing

Fantastic theme and I knew immediately which book it’d be and was excited for the box because I seriously enjoyed it a lot, so let’s unbox starting from the top left corner and going clockwise:

  • Theme card, very wild West like.
  • Underneath a Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets tea towel which I loved because it has a huge moon and is really beautiful art.
  • Favour stickers, it is book related and I instantly knew what they were and thought it was awesome.
  • Two promotional bookmarks.
  • Chocolate “Pixie Dust” covered pretzels. I don’t eat a lot of chocolate, so I had one but the rest were scoffed by my husband. He first was like “what is this, meh, funny pretzels” and then was like “need more, delicious!”
  • Desert sticky “bookmarks”, made my work colleagues smile and me too. I found it amusing.
  • Verify promotional postcard, intriguing book indeed.
  • The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis. I enjoyed it a lot and reviewed it here.
  • A Bookish Rebel mason jar, I was just sad it didn’t come with a lid but still, liked this.

All in all strong box and had lots of great items, probably the only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the promoitonal stuff, which to be fair is nothing bad at all or anything to complain about. Also the cover for Good Luck Girls is like someone poured liquid gold on it and wow. Absolutely stunning! Really blew me away.

Magical Realms Book Box Club Unboxing

The third anniversary Book Box Club box was packed full of wonderful magical things. Starting with the theme card on the bottom right and going clockwise:

  • Theme card, with a gorgeous magical illustration.
  • Ten Thousand Doors postcard
  • Personalised Clubhouse invite. (The Clubhouse is awesome, we get to chat with the author and ask questions and chat between us).
  • A super gorgeous book sleeve that matches the book but also stands well on its own.
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. I’ve been very excited about this book and can’t wait to read it and also have a chance to chat with Alix at the clubhouse!
  • Elsewhere room spray, meant to evoke the scent of the magical realm of the book.
  • Take me to Narnia bath melt. It smells wonderful and looks gorgeous, can’t wait to use it in a nice bath.
  • Spirited Away magnetic bookmark, it is super cute and I was just excited to see it in a book box (more Ghibli stuff in book boxes!)
  • Night Circus pin, also extremely gorgeous and dreamy.
  • Featured book bookmark and a promotional bookmark for the M word.

As you can see the box was full of many “doors” to magical worlds, through scent, or scenes or a book…

Let The Games Begin Book Box Club Unboxing

Let’s see what was isnide this Book Box Club! Starting from the book and going clockwise:

  • The Beckoning Shadow, a book a bit like fight club but at the same time not.
  • Postcard for An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
  • A Quidditch ticket patch (I like patches I just don’t know what to do with them or where to put them).
  • Barrington Stoke sampler collection.
  • Seafire bookmark.
  • Theme postcard.
  • Queen of Hearts earrings, they will make my sister super happy!
  • A very green Absolutely Remarkable Things notebook. It’s nice but sadly not that remarkable.
  • A nicely smelling candle, Remember it’s only a Game.
  • The clubhouse invite.
  • A book Bingo that sticks to your fridge (magnetic). Sadly the stickers kept not working out and we just gotta mark them instead. But I like the concept!
  • Finallly, a string bag with a quote on it. My mother loved it.

As much as I usually love Book Box Club, this box was a little underwhelming and it was also the box that was the most delayed. But the next box is the anniversary one so I am hoping it will pick up again (in general, August boxes aren’t my thing for some reason).

I ♥ UK YA BookBox Club Unboxing

August is here! So here’s last month’s BookBoxClub, because after YALC (and before it which is when this box actually arrived), who doesn’t want some extra love to UK YA?

I think I need a bigger puzzle because I can’t fit all the stuff that came in the box nicely over it. Let’s unbox, going from top left corner, clockwise:

  • Heartstream by Tom Pollock. Highly anticipated book for me, as I loved White Rabbit, Red Wolf so much!
  • I ♥ boks flag, which is cute.
  • A zine invite (it is online and interesting and full fo interviews and other bits).
  • Some promotional postcards.
  • Under a Dancing Star by Laura Wood. Also one I wanted to read as I enjoyed Sky Painted Gold a lot.
  • I ♥ UK YA notebook, which is full of wonderful books on the cover and a cute bookcase/shelves.
  • Book-Lover necklace.
  • Theme card.
  • Apple crumble tea, I haven’t tried, but it sounds delicious and I can’t wait.

All in all this was a cute pre-YALC box that made me want YALC to come sooner (I know, this is post the event but the box arrived before it and that’s what it made me feel like, but I usually post unboxings a few weeks later to be polite about spoilers).

Witches in the Woods Book Box Club Unboxing

Another one fo the few pictures I had where I was changing puzzles, so no nice background (now you see why I do puzzles to decorate my table? It’s so dull and sad). The theme for this box is an awesome one and the contents are lovely too. Starting on the top left corner and going counterclockwise (for a change):

  • Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan. A very atmospheric witchy read I am enjoying a lot.
  • Vegan caramel marshmallows. I love them. Probably too much as there are none left. Sad face. I need more.
  • A coaster for Sabrina the Teenage Witch (the Netflix version), I haven’t watched it but I like the coaster, it is very nice and quite flat.
  • A promotional postcard.
  • Clubhouse invite. I love that they are personalised. One of my favoruite things here.
  • Tangleweed and Brine, the second bonus book of this box! I love the blue in this edition.
  • Perfectly Preventable Deaths print. I am tempted to find a quote to write in the space inside the glass dome.
  • A herbal hand cream, with a citrusy scent and in a decent size (which means it will be used up rather than languish forever in my house).
  • Forbidden Forest mug, very cute. My only dislike is that it is an enamel mug and those I use a lot less as they get hot too quickly and can burn your hand unless you’re camping or somewhere super cold.
  • The theme card which is gorgeous and fits the theme beautifully.

All in all, a nice box, stuck to theme and feels magica and lovely.