A slightly delayed unboxing of Illumicrate’s February box since the box itself was delayed due to the pandemic. So let’s see what was inside!
Starting from the center with the theme booklet, and going clockwise:
Sparks Fly theme booklet/spoiler card
A book shaped tin. I like these because they’re useful for trinkets and look so good on the shelves. This one is inspired by Stalking Jack the Ripper.
A roll-on perfume, it smells amazing even if the name makes for amusing “what scent are you wearing?” “I’m wearing god of lies”. I like the roll-on ones because they’re easy to apply and “top up”.
Sorcery of Thorns pop socket. I am a bit torn on this one. The quality looks bad and the artwork which is nice doesn’t look too great, so it is tricky (also, how often does one change the pop sockets? I haven’t changed the one on my phone since I first put it a few years ago, so this won’t get used any time soon).
Coasters inpired by A Darker Shade of Magic pairings.
Serpent & Dove inspired bookmark clip.
And the book, which is The Midnight Lie. I haven’t read any of the other books by the author, so I am curious to see how it reads.
All in all the box still feels like there’s not enough love going into it (I know that there was no coin so I am not taking any points out due to that, delays have been affecting everyone, this pandemic isn’t the reason the box wasn’t as great). I just wish I could feel all the care going into the boxes as they used to.
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).
First box of the year, and it is still doing quite well, even if it wasn’t the best box of the month (Moon & Stars Fairyloot really took them all by a lot, but as I said in that review, it is obvious they really wanted to do that box), so let’s see what the contents were, starting on the theme card on the far right and going clockwise:
Theme card, I liked the simple artwork as it does great with negative space.
Mug, it is for HP5 and I am slowly trying to collect them. In general mugs win specially with this shape or a gorgeous artwork and this one has both of those things.
Monthly pin, probably not my favourite but this is the only monthly collectible item I am actually happy with as a concepy even if I am not always utterly in love with the pin, in general they are stunning.
A pill keeper (there’s a better term for this, I am sure), it even has a mirror (why do they come with a mirror?) and it is an interesting useful item to have in a book box, plus it is discreet but bookish.
Candle, with an interesting scent, I think burning it will smell different than what it does at first opening, it is subtle and I am curious.
Map from Lord of the Rings, probably my least favourite item from the box since I am not generally into hanging things and this type of banners, but it is still cool.
Crooked Kingdom socks! I love socks in boxes spceially when they are good quality soft ones with gorgeous designs.
And finally, the book, Scavenge the Stars. The cover change was a bit odd, but I still like it, not sure which one is my favoruite to be fair.
All in all it wa a good box, maybe not their best, but usually if the box has a mug, that’s the “star” item and the rest are just there to help it along and despite it, it didn’t feel too bad for having a mug in it. Looking forward to the next box!
Fairyloot announced this box and I knew I needed to have it. And I have to say, I do not regret it at all. I know I’ve been complaining about the contents of book boxes recently, but this box is exactly what I want to talk about.
You can see the effort and care that was put into it to make it a stunning box. The amount of items is great (I even missed one and had to add the picture at the end of this post) and they are varied, decent or good quality. The whole thing screams “we care, we love the theme, we put effort into this”. And this is what I find lacking recently. If you can do it for this one box, if I can see how much you care by the contents of your box, then why aren’t you all doing this all the time? I wouldn’t be umming and erring about keeping the subscription if the boxes were always this good!
I mean, even this box has items I am not keeping, but I feel way less sad about it because there are a lot of items I like and because there’s so mcuh awesome useful stuff, that I am okay with it.
But now let’s do a full unboxing, starting on the bottom left corner and going clockwise:
A print for the book that has the author letter on the other side.
Stickers that are around the book. I love this, give me more fun stickers.
Star fairy lights. Cute, tiny and just a great thing in general.
Moon trinket dish. This is one of the ones I am not keeping but it is mostly because I already have two trinket dishes I prefer but I can still appreciate this one.
Cushion cover. On one side it has a moon and reader illustration, on the other a quote. It went straight into my favourite cushion. Cushion covers that aren’t just a quote are 100 times better than the same print on both sides and it being a quote.
Notebook with shiny foil and quote.
Even the Darkest Stars keyring. First, yay because it is a look back at a previous book included, and second, it looks like Spyros and yeah, loved it.
Moon and star paperclips. You can’t see it in the picture but the other side of the paperclip has a crescent moon. I adore them!
Tarot cards. Not bothered since I am not collecting them.
The book which is Woven in Moonlight.
Also, pictured below rather than on the full picture, a moon phases neckalce that I am adoring.
As you can see, the quality and care shows. Also, to note, they had paper bags instead of plastic for most of the items (there is still some plastic, but it is minimal) so I am loving the choice on that too. I understand they will struggle to get rid of it all but the small change was something I liked too.
The only problem is that now I have high expectations for the next box and I don’t want ot ahve the hopes broken.
First box of the year, and I am still struggling to decide if it is worth keeping. Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice box, the problem is I’ve been subscribed to their box for long and it feels like the boxes have less unique things and less content in general. I am still giving it a bit longer to decide if I should cancel subscription or not.
But now unto contents, going clockwise and starting on the theme card at the bottom:
Theme booklet and collectible coin.
The Sisters Grimm, this was the main book and it is gorgeous. Looking forward to reading it.
A cute print inspired by Girls of Paper and Fire, it is holographic and the artwork is cute (but I am not crazy about prints and also they’re never the size of the book so that I could have them together)
Infinity Son. I had an ARC of this one and wasn’t too keen on it, so alas, despite it being a “hyped” book it isn’t something that makes me think “awesome” but rather “oh no, not this one that I already read and didn’t like”.
Probably the coolest item of the box, a booklight! It is a clip on one and it is a wonderful portable size.
A beanie, that in my opinion is a bit boring. I really like Daughter of Smoke and Bone but the emrboidery is tiny and the beanie is just a blue beanie. Can’t we have a different type of hat? How about a beret? Or a cap? Or something else that isn’t the same beanie everyone gets just embroidered with something different? (because other boxes also get Beanies and they are almost all the same exact type).
An ultra thick wooden bookmark, that everyone in the office immediately said “this will damage your books if you use it” and I couldn’t help but nod in agreement because it is really pretty but it is too thick.
Gideon the Ninth mini purse, I think meant for coins? It is nice.
All in all the items I liked was main book, booklight and coin purse (which I may never use) so it felt a bit disappointing sadly. I so deeply wish for a box as full of wonderful surprises as the first 4-10 boxes were when they were quarterly. Alas, I am just a subscriber that’s been with them for so long…
Another quick recap that I’ve been getitng Illumicrate for far too long, I think their fourth box back when they were quarterly (my first book was Nevenight). And this box sadly is not living up to what the boxes used to be and their usually good boxes.
So let’s unbox starting from the theme card on the right and going clockwise:
Theme card, it is more a booklet than anything.
The collectible magnetic coin. Not interested, feel like a waste of part of the budget and I’d rather get something else.
A patch. What is with book boxes and patches? I like the design but we’re not in the 80s or 90s and I have nothing to patch on or use it for. Give me stickers, bullet journal stuff, something more than patches!
Amazing Star Wars pins. These are utterly gorgeous.
Four Paths candle. The scent is very minimal and nobody seemed excited about it (a lot of my work colleagues are now invested in the unboxings and rate the items and choose and comment their favourites, this won no one).
Blood Heir. It has bloody sprayed edges which I liked, intrigued on the book.
A gorgeous mug, this is always a win item for me, specially with this type of super detailed designes and the type of mug it is. This one wins some of the points lost with the other items.
A calendar with some typography quotes and some artowkr. The quality of the calendar paper leaves much to say, and the whole images per month were relatively meh (there’s a few good ones) so it had nothing exciting for me in it.
That was all. Which felt underwhelming. The mug and pins were the good items and the rest felt like they had dropped the quality and caring about curating items so I am hoping it picks up for this month (January). I am reluctant to stopping my subscription but if the quality keeps dropping, it’ll be hard to justify keeping it.