Hello everyone!

It’s that time of the month again (hey don’t be weird) – time for my OwlCrate Subscription unboxing!! Woohoo!

For those of you who don’t know:

OwlCrate is a monthly subscription box that sends out a YA fiction novel and other bookish merchandise all revolving around a central theme. For example, the October 2016 box theme was “One Upon a Dream”.

The book that is sent out will be a brand newhighly anticipated Young Adult release for that exact month. Along with amazing bookish merchandise (including candles, snacks, coloring books, jewelry, etc.), the box will also come with exclusive items from the book’s author/publishers, and there will be a detailed note that explains the items in the box.

There are three plans available: 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months. The cost of box starts at $29.99 per box + shipping, and obviously the price gets better with more months in your plan! I have personally signed up for the 3 month plan, and then immediately renewed it when it ended!

Boxes are shipped out around the 20th of each month, and it is totally encouraged for you to take pictures of your box and share it on social media using the #owlcrate hashtag! But it’s courteous to wait until nearer the end of the month in order to avoid spoiling the box for others who have yet to receive their box.

Missed out on my September 2016 “Darkness” unboxing? Read about it here!

Now let’s get on to the unboxing, shall we?

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(I’m sorry for the blurriness!!)

I tried to decorate with the funky crimped paper the packaging comes with… was it a success? YOU be the judge! lol.

This box came with…

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Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter! Can I just say how lucky I am that I actually put off buying this book until I got my OwlCrate box? I was tempted so many times while in bookshops, it’s really a miracle I don’t own three copies right now. I mean, look at that cover! Urban fantasy isn’t really my favorite kind of fantasy, but this story is very intriguing.

Goodreads summary:

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair…

Enticing, no? I’ve never read anything by Sarah Porter before – have you?

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(also sorry it’s sideways?? come on, I need a photo editor function, WordPress!!)

The book also comes with a written note by the author, Sarah Porter, a signed bookplate, and this one came with a temporary tattoo! Pretty cool – but I wish the temporary tattoo wasn’t in a square shape. Makes it look cheaper, I think. Round would’ve been kinda cool!

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All of the OwlCrate boxes come with a piece of art representing the theme of that box, and lately they’ve been doing matching buttons. I really love these buttons because I like putting them on my backpack. I used to think that was kinda silly, but now that I’m a senior in college I’m like hey, fuck it, right?

It’s an interesting mix between Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz, which, coincidentally, are two stories I didn’t really love as a kid but are also two stories I’ve recently read in retold forms (check out my review of Everland by Wendy Spinale for a Peter Pan retelling, and Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige for a cool sequel to The Wizard of Oz).

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One thing that was new about this month’s OwlCrate was the addition of a wearable item with a value of about $20, which ended up being this Peter Pan inspired beanie by Whosits & Whatsits (find them on Instagram @whositswhatsits). While done in a very classy design, I don’t think I will ever get any use out of this beanie. For starters, I don’t really wear headwear, especially beanies, because they just look strange on me. But also, I’m not really a big enough Peter Pan fan besides that. It’s a great color, though, so if you want you might be able to turn it inside out if you just wanted the look of a plain beanie!

For me personally, this item was a bit of a flop. I think that because it was such an expensive retail item, the box suffered a little bit in terms of the other items that were also included in the box. It was a little bit of a risk for OwlCrate to include such a big piece, considering there are so many people with many different styles. I think it’s much more efficient and fair to provide pieces that can be used rather than worn. Those seem to be applicable to more people, in my opinion.

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The next item is another wearable piece, this time a charm bracelet from The Geeky Cauldron (find Erin on Instagram at @thegeekycauldron). I am a little bit more forgiving when it comes to jewelry pieces being included in OwlCrate boxes because I think a lot of times they can make nice props in photos, whereas other apparel/wearables (like the beanie) aren’t really intended to do that. However, I have a really difficult time with bracelets in particular because I have really tiny wrists and they never fit me unless they’re super adjustable. This bracelet was much too big for my wrist, though as I said before, I’m sure I can use it as a cute book prop! I like that it’s not fandom-specific, and the charm simply says “One Upon a Dream” – the theme for this box!

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This is a bookmark by My Heart My Tribe on instagram (@myheartmytribe). It’s like a giant paperclip! I’ve never really seen anything like this before as a bookmark, but I’m definitely interested in giving it a try! I’m the girl who was skeptical about the adorable magnetic character bookmarks you see floating everywhere around the bookish community, but now I love those! I’m excited to give this one a try. It’s in a pretty, light floral print.

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The next item may look a little familiar to you if you’ve seen the September 2016 “Darkness” unboxing – it looked a little familiar to me for sure! We got another mini passport. Though this time, instead of being an ad for an upcoming book, it’s actually a usable notebook. I can’t really complain about that, because little notebooks like this are always great for stashing in your purse/bag and writing down little ideas when they hit you. I take one with me to my classes! So I will probably get some use out of this one.

Next was a little bookmark which was an advertisement for some new books. It’s okay, not all that aesthetically pleasing in design, but not ugly either. I haven’t heard of these books or the author, even, so maybe I will check them out later.

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And lastly, as with all OwlCrate boxes, we received a little poster advertisement for the next month’s theme. As you can see, November’s theme is “Wonderland”, and on the flip-side they do a sneak peek for one of the companies they will be working with to provide an item for that box. I don’t want to give anything away, but it’s another jewelry company.

Overall opinions:

Generally, I’m a little disappointed with this box. It felt… empty. As I mentioned above, it just seemed like the beanie (as a more expensive item) replaced what might’ve been two or three other cool items that could’ve been included in this box. I also wasn’t entirely thrilled with the items that were provided, as I can’t really wear bracelets, and bookmarks are fine but it wasn’t anything that blew me away. I was so thrilled with the September 2016 “Darkness” box, that I must have had very high expectations for this one. “Once Upon a Dream” was so, well let’s just say it, dreamy, and romantic-sounding, and this box fell kinda flat for me.

I’m a little bit worried about the November “Wonderland” box next month because I’m not the biggest Alice in Wonderland fan. I like it alright, but I don’t consider myself a groupie haha. It’s also the last box in my 3 month subscription, and I’m almost considering waiting to renew my subscription for a while unless the December box theme really blows me away.

But I don’t want to be such a downer on OwlCrate! I’ve been really pretty happy with their boxes up until this one. This was the only one out of the 5 total I have received this year that really fell super flat for me. I won’t give up on them yet, I’ll just be a little more cautious this time before I renew my subscription. I want to make sure I’m getting items that I love for the money that I pay.

What did you think of this OwlCrate box? Did you love the items? Or if you haven’t bought the box for yourself, do you think the items in this month’s box would be worth the money you pay? Please let me know your thoughts! As always, I do really recommend the OwlCrate subscription box – I’ve tried a couple this year, and this one has still been my favorite by far. If you sign up, make sure to use the discount coupon code “WELCOME10” to receive 10% off of your first order on the OwlCrate website!