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.

A Different Kind of Magic Fairyloot Unboxing

A bit delayed, but this was June’s Fairyloot box which had two books and a magical vibe to it with some darkness too (or at least that’s how it felt to me). Starting from the left and going to the right:

  • Print. I think something to do with Sarah J. Maas? (you can see how little I care for prints in general, sadly)
  • The main book, Forest of Souls. I am increidbly excited to read it since I heard about it, so definitely happy to have it.
  • Also included an early copy of The Gilded Ones which has also been high on my list so all good books!
  • A Shadows Between Us pin.
  • And a gorgeous Starless Sea patch. I am just sad it isn’t a sticker or something more useful than a patch because they just go in a box to be admired when I remember they exist. Why are book boxes obsessed with sending patches?
  • A teapot tea strainer. It is a bit small and doesn’t have a lot of space for the tea to swish around so as cute as it is, it feels a bit not fit for purpose.
  • A pair of socks for the Bone Season.
  • Tarot cards as per usual.
  • The theme card.
  • And an elemental set of coasters.

Sadly the biggest most exciting items for me where the books. The rest wasn’t as great or useful to me and it made me sad because it didn’t match the theme as well as I expected and also it just didn’t make me smile the way I hoped. But maybe it hit everybody else’s themes and fandoms? (I think part of the thing is that the books I love aren’t big fandoms, like for example Mexican Gothic and Gods of Jade and Shadow, or the Spellslinger series… )

All the World’s a Stage Owlcrate Unboxing

Time to unbox a circus or at least performance based Owlcrate box for June! I particularly like the way the items seem to match each other for a good theme picture. Starting on the far left and going towards the right:

  • Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. Apparently kinda Moulin Rouge type of book, peaked curiosity.
  • Chocolate Orange scented batch bomb which did not smell like chocolate orange even when I used it in the bath but it was nice.
  • Authors Letter
  • Collectible pin related to the book, which I don’t know yet the meaning since I haven’t read it.
  • A weekly tracker, bullet journal style that is a pad with a lot of sunshine yellow. Not my thing but I like the idea.
  • A set of Shakespeare pencils, which aren’t all that fascinating since it’s just pencils with some writing on them. This is probably one of those items I wish book boxes would do less frequently. Maybe send us a really nice fountain pen, or at the very least some nice fineliners or something instead of pencils.
  • Bones Coffee, this is some of the best flavoured coffee I’ve ever had so I can’t wait to try this one out!
  • There were also some stickers for the book, which I left at the bottom of the box and rescued much later than the picture was taken.
  • And finally, a pencil/money tin, with a circus theme. I like it but I already have a money jar and well, no need for a pencil tin so alas not an item for me.

I have to say, this wasn’t their strongest box in my liking but I can see the appeal and the coffee makes me happy enough so at least there’s that. I do know some themes are not for me and this was probably not as good (which is funny since I do circus arts, so I should’ve been all over this box). Oh well!

Burn Review

Burn by Patrick Ness

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

This was included in a Book Box Club box and I was cautious. I have read The Chaos Walkign trilogy and did not like it, so wasn’t sure how to go about this one but I mean it has dragons, so I had to give it a fair chance.

My best summary is that this is a conspiracy during the Cold War with a very American/US view of the world, but with magic and dragons. If you like conspiracy theories and that type of books, this is definitely up there, it has a lot of the elements for it, which is probably why I wasn’t so keen. And obviously the outlandish things can actually exist in the book because dragons and magic.

The writing style still didn’t sit too well with me as it isn’t character driven yet it requires you to be with the characters for it to move through the plot, so it’s hard as you can’t engage as much and it just the magic, dragons and cosnpiracy taking it through and it wasn’t enough for my liking.

However, the whole dragons and magic concept was fascinating and it was probably my favourite part of the book same as the whole prophecy and the little twists regarding the main character around it (without spoiling, it is not about our main character). It did take me a while to get into liking them because it starts with an obvious “it’s Russian, it’s evil or spying on us” view and that wasn’t a great start to get me liking it (I did give it the benefit of the doubt but it still kinda fell flat).

I probably would’ve enjoyed it more if this was a full fantasy, not based on the Cold War and America vs Russia and more just nations warring and the dragons caught in the middle. That would’ve been probably my favourite approach and given this a star more.

In the Shadows Illumicrate Unboxing

Somehow I took the pictures for this and completely forgot to actually upload the unboxing, which is very sily of me. Oh well, le’ts unbox June’s Illumicrate which was all about hidden glamour (or at least that’s the vibe it gave me, who knows maybe I got it a bit wrong?).

Starting on the far left with the theme card:

  • In the Shadows theme booklet.
  • The main book is The Court of Miracles, the naked cover is stunning, and I am intrigued by the book but not a big fan of Les Mis, so we shall see if I like it.
  • Metallic bookmark.
  • An odd tea towel (the fabric and size were a bit different than usual) for Game of Thrones and Arya’s kill list.
  • A Sarah J. Maas foiled print, which I found an owner for it.
  • Villains series inspired mug which is stunning and I am so so pleased by it.
  • Collector’s pin, I am liking these more than the weird magnetic coins.
  • A fan with a quote from Nevernight (I liked the timing of getting a fan during the hot week in the UK, so this was very welcomed)
  • Authors letter.

All in all it was a good box, quite fancy and I like the timing for some of the items. The mug is utterly stunning and I am happy for that.

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.

Mansion House Mysteries Unboxing Tales by Mail

Tales by Mail is a new book box subscription that happens bi monthly, has a podcast and is focused on 8-12 years old! The people behind it are the masterminds behind Book Box Club so of course I had to try this one and as is evident by my blog posts, I read Middle Grade and other children books so it felt right up my street.

This is the very first box of Tales by Mail and the theme was Mansion House Mysteries (makes me think of my own young self watching Scooby Doo!), and starting on the top right and going clockwise, let’s see what was included:

  • Not included in the box but can be bought separately is a binder to hold the pages of activities and “reviews” that get sent with each box. I decided to get it alongside the box as it felt more organised to myself that way and a simple way to collect them in a designated place.
  • A sampler of The Train to Impossible Places.
  • A tote bag for The Strangeworlds Travel Agency which I am super happy to find in the box.
  • Promotional bookmark for Tran to Impossible Places.
  • Mini notebook to write all the notes on mystery solving with the theme artwork on the front.
  • On top fo the books, are two pins, one makes you an official member of the Postal Express and the other has the theme art for the box.
  • The House to Hoarder Hill. This looks spooky like and I am super itnrigued.
  • Jack’s Secret Summer, which feels more like a fun adventure with a bit of mystery and no spooky (but I may be wrong)
  • The theme cards and activities, it has a couple fo pages for a review of each book but it also has activities and ideas so it’sa fun supplement!

As you can see it is jam packed with things to read and do and it’d be a good kickstarter for a childs’ creativity and adventures, so I was excited by it. There is also nothing in the box that I felt was just added for bulk, but instead it shows the focus of the subscription. Activities, fun little things that can be kept and lots of adventures to be. So far I can highly recommend it as a wonderful thing to get for children to enjoy and if you’re like me, for adults too.

Rebels with a Cause Owlcrate Unboxing

As I mentioned on ym previous unboxing, there was another box doing Incendiary and I was curious to see what was included instead for items, so let’s see what Owlcrate did (also, the theme is different). Starting on Incendiary top left corner and going clockwise:

  • Incendiary, Owlcrate edition.
  • Stickers, whcih I usually enjoy becuase stickers are fun, bonus points if they are the kind you can unstick. The ones here are less exciting as they are quotes and I prefer more image stickers than quotes.
  • The collectible pin, I think it’ll make more sense once I read the book.
  • Theme card.
  • 10 metal straws, in a cute pouch with cleaning brushes. 5 of them with a bend and 5 straight ones. I like this because it gives you enough straws to have around.
  • Witchy, which I have reviewed before but for a different press, and this cover is also gorgeous. Great choice.
  • The pouch for the straws.
  • Pot holders, probably the most boring one of the items since they are just quotes rather than something fun, but I like they’re brihgt as it makes them easier to find!
  • A gorgeous wooden magnet that immediately went on the fridge because it is so elegant and simple yet beautiful.

All in all I liked the contents of the box and was happy with it. I would’ve liked less quote items and more image ones but that’s more personal prefernece rather than thinking the items aren’t great.

Monstrous Illumicrate Unboxing

Illumicrate has been a bit of hit and miss the last few months, but I knew what book was coming in this box and it was one I was looking forwad to read so decided to see how the box would feel this time. Starting from the book and going clockwise:

  • The Girl and the Stars by Mark Lawrence. I got into his writing thanks to Illumicrate and the proof copy for Red Sister. Borrowed his other books from the library and haven’t looked back. They’re definitely grim dark, so not for everyone.
  • Theme card.
  • Mercado de la Muerte Dark Spice hot chocolate. It smells slightly like Mexican chocolate, but I tasted it plain and it isn’t exactly right (it’s too much European/USA cocoa style and not enough mix of bitterness and sugar). But I’ll give it a try in water and shall see if it compares to proper hot chocolate.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets book sleeve. The art is gorgeous, it’s really nice and do not find faults here at all.
  • Toss a Post it note to your witcher! (does this need explaining?)
  • A phone stand with the Moving Castle on it. This is my favourite item in the box and prefer it to other phone items they’ve done except for the battery charger thing.
  • Foiled stickers, they are gorgeous. Love them

All in all, it was a much better box than previous ones and it gives me hope. And it matches well with my new puzzle (shame I didn’t keep the one with Howl’s Moving Castle in the background whcih would match the phone stand!). Looking forward to the next box!

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.

Expand Your Mind – We Read Box Unboxing

When I heard there was going to be a book box for The Strangeworlds Travel Agency, I had to get it, so that is why I have We Read Box.

The theme was Expend your Mind, and the contents, going, clockwise and staritng on top right were:

  • A booklet with more details of the items and a few other articles/things about the theme.
  • A literary Passport (such a cute idea)
  • A glittery stunning pin to match the book.
  • The Strangeworlds Travel Agency by L. D. Lapinski, which I am very excited to read!
  • A travel tag (luggage tag?) which is in the shape of a suitcase on wheels which I thought was super cute and made me smile.

All in all it was a lovely little box, I know they intended to include a book sleeve but the world had other plans for what 2020 was going to be doing (oh well), but they did reduce the price fo the box and it is still a nice one.

Full Moon Magic Owlcrate Unboxing

Another moon themed box and now from Owlcrate, which meant a lot of excitement from me as I love moon themed boxes and I was curious to see what was inside this one. Starting from the theme card in the bottom left and going clockwise:

  • Theme card. I generally love the artwork in their theme cards and this is gorgeous.
  • The monthly pin which is an owl and moon phases, stunning.
  • A crescent moon bracelet in rose gold, which is probably not my favourite tone of jewelry but it is a nice bracelet.
  • Bone Crier’s Moon, with their exclusive cover version. I have to say that usually I love their exclusive covers loads but this one is just a bit more close up and blue so I ended up preferring the original one (not that this isn’t good, just not as good?) It also has golden sprayed edges.
  • A cute moon pouch (another item was inside it)
  • Oscar Wilde moon quote notebook. I like the artwork but what bugs me is that it is the same quote Fairyloot used in their moon themed box. There MUST be other wonderful quotes about the moon and magic and life to use rather than the same one used by others (I have this issue with just getting the same quotes over and over about the same topic, when there is so much to use and choose from and we fall into exactly the same ones over and over).
  • I squealed a tiny bit with the Moony puzzle because it is awesome and I love puzzles!
  • Wooden moon phases garland/bunting. Vixy loved it and so do it. It is gorgeous and was what was inside the little moon pouch.
  • A moon totebag.

All in all I really enjoyed the contents of the box, the only thing I wasn’t super keen was the quote choice but that is a relatively minor issue and more that it bothers me in general rather than exclusively about Owlcrate. And it definitely felt like a wonderful moon magic box.

Squad Goals Illumicrate Unboxing

Another slightly delayed bookbox due to COVID19, was Illumicrate which also ended up at the wrong address, but oh well. Things happen. Hopefully that’s it.

Starting on the tote bag on the right, and going clockwise, contents of the box were:

  • Gorgeous tote bag, the sad thing is that it is only one sided art and it is the kind will end up kinda peeling off. Sad because the artwork is gorgeous.
  • A cute necklace for Dark Materials (I am told this was meant to be in the previous box).
  • A power bank with Aurora Rising squad on it. I haven’t tested it yet but think it is a fun idea and definitely useful, plus makes it feel like more value for the box.
  • Bookmarks for the Witchlands (?) series.
  • A print to go with the book of the month.
  • The main book, Dangerous Remedy. I love the edition but I am still unsure about the book as it felt a bit unpolished (the ideas were cool but it was all over the place and I think a few more edits would’ve helped it become much better).
  • A magnetic whiteboard for notes on your fridge which my husband spotted as soon as I added it to the fridge and found to be in his opinion one of the best items in a box (he’s biased).

All in all this box felt a little better in quality than the previous ones have been, which is good because it was lacking (and no I wasn’t counting the whole delay in stuff, etc). The book wasn’t super exciting but it is a hyped interesting one so that’s more my problem than an issue with the box. So far it looks promising for their quality if they keep upping it.

Break the Curse Fairyloot Unboxing

So, after a long delay due to COVID19 issues, and the parcel being sent to the wrong address despite replying of needing address changes to all book boxes *sigh*, I have the March Fairyloot.

Starting on the top right and going clockwise:

  • Postcard about bieng in tough times.
  • Break the Curse theme card
  • A hard headband (not an elastic one) with a Raven Cycle print. The print is nice, but I will never use the headband because those hurt the hell out of my head and give me an instant headache, which is a shame.
  • Passport cover, again, nice idea, but most airports don’t like passport covers and ask you to take it out and then it is one more thing to try to balance and not loose, so yeah, just not happening (plus, I don’t think a lot of people are going to be travelling soon).
  • A list notepad.
  • Zippered booksleeve. It is cushioned and has a zipper on top and it is gorgeous, so I really like it.
  • A lankyard for Caraval. The lankyard is nice, but I am fed up of Caraval everything.
  • Tarot cards. Nice art, do not collect them.
  • A Holly Black tumbler, which is nice but I don’t really use this type of tumblers so won’t be used at all.
  • Bone Crier’s Moon, with gorgeous shimmering green edges. I am excited for it.

All in all an interesting box. The items are nice but most of them I won’t use which is a bit of a waste and sad. The book is definitely gorgeous, specially the subtle shimmering on the edges. Not a bad box, just a little less useful/less to keep for myself.

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.