Subscription Box Review + Giveaway

Posted March 22, 2016 by Kim in Just for Fun / 12 Comments

Subscription Box Review

I know there are a ton of monthly subscription boxes out there. You can get everything from clothes to accessories to makeup and even books in one of these subscriptions. I’ve never been intrigued by the clothing or accessories boxes. I subscribed to a couple of the makeup boxes a few months ago, but after a month decided I was too picky (and not at all daring) to allow someone else to pick out what they think would be good for me. (I did keep the Julep Maven box, however. I’m just not sure for how much longer. I do love that you can actually edit the box and pick items you want, but I seem to always choose nail polish. How much nail polish do I really need?!)

The bookish boxes, of course, have always appealed to me, but I didn’t decide to jump in and subscribe to any of them until about a month ago. (Well, except for the Bookworm Box, which I was obsessed with for a few months in the beginning but no longer subscribe to because of the cost and the fact that I was getting duplicate books. But I do love that the proceeds go to charity.)

I decided to subscribe to OwlCrate, Book(ish) Box and Uppercase Box just to see what the fuss is all about. I’ve now received one of each of them. I was pleasantly surprised by the packages when they came in – who DOESN’T like getting surprises in the mail? (I mean, even if you’re paying for it.)

Now, let’s take a look at my latest boxes!

THE BOXES

OwlCrate

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I gasped when I opened my first OwlCrate box. First, I’d been waiting to read The Love That Split the World forever. Of course, because of this, I had pre-ordered a hardcover of the book already. So, duplicate book. (Insert sad trombone noise.) The one I’d purchased from Amazon didn’t come with a signed bookplate, so that was a definite bonus. Being totally honest, the tote bag (from OwlCrate Shop) was my favorite part of this box. I mean, LOOK AT IT!!! (Insert all the heart eyes emojis.) That bag alone made me decide to do one more month of the box to see what they had up their sleeve for March. (The Dr. Who Brooch – from Vector Engraving – was cute, too, but I don’t watch the show so I didn’t flail over it as much as others might. I’m still glad to have this awesome artist brought to my attention though. Their Etsy shop has all kinds of cute things.)

OwlCrate offers three different payment plans: Month to Month, 3 Month Prepay and 6 Month Prepay. As of the time of this post, the prices are $29.99, $86.98 ($28.99/month) and $167.94 ($27.99/month), respectively. (Plus shipping, of course.) The savings for the prepay plans aren’t worth it, IMHO. Saving $1-$2 a month isn’t worth paying the lump sum in the beginning. My box came in at $36.98 once shipping was added on. The hardcover of the Love That Split the World is less than $11 on Amazon. So, basically, I spent nearly $26 for a tote bag and brooch for a show I don’t watch. Oh, and an older book I’ll probably never read. Worth it? Not really, for me personally.

Bookish Box

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Can we talk about how much I LOVED my Book(ish) Box?! I recently decided I needed more bookish/nerdy t-shirts in my life and this one Appraising Pages one Everything Everything was a HUGE WIN. (I loved that book so damn much.) The earrings, from LulaBelle & Co., were freaking adorable. The little notebook of post it notes (also from Appraising Pages) will come in handy and the pillow case (designed by the amazing Evie Seo) is fantastic, even though I’ve not read An Ember in the Ashes Yet. The only thing that was a miss for me personally was the quote bath bomb (from Da Bomb Fizzers), but that’s just because a) I’m not a bath person and b) I can’t use scented bath products because of my psoriasis. I still love the idea behind it though.

The Book(ish) Box has several options and plans. I love the fact that they offer MANY size options. It stinks when us curvy girls can’t get the cute shirts, etc. that others can. That’s definitely not a problem with the Book(ish) Box. (Ok, you have to pay a couple dollars more for a larger size, but I am more than ok with that.) There are month to month and 3/6/12 month prepays for this subscription. (I’m just going to outline the regular price for the boxes, not the additional charges for larger shirts. Though, I pay $32 a month plus shipping for a 2X shirt.) At the time of my post, the Month to Month plan is $29.99, the prepays are $84.99/$164.99/$321.99, which breaks down to $28.33/$27.49/$26.83. (Prices do not include shipping, of course.) You’ll see the prepay savings are a little more here, but I’m not sure they’re worth dropping that big a chunk of change at the beginning. They aren’t for me, personally. This box was chock full of awesomeness and I think it was worth every penny. (Which was $37.50, including shipping.)

Uppercase_Logo_01a

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I was a little surprised when the Uppercase Box arrived and … it wasn’t in a box. Unlike the other two, it was just in a mailer. I was a little happier when I opened it and saw it was in a cute bag, but it definitely lost points for presentation. There’s just something exciting about “unboxing” your new goodies. I didn’t get that feeling here. I’m not thrilled with the book… I may or may not read it. It’s not my usual thing, even when I do read YA, but the reviews are good so I might give it a shot. I loved the magnet and the quote earrings (even though the posts were bent from mailing). The note from the author was a great touch and the bonus content is a fun addition. If I do decide to read the book, I’ll definitely be checking that out more. I love bonuses!

At just $23 a month (as of the time of this post), the Uppercase Box is the cheapest of the subscriptions I tried out. They also have an option to get the book without the goodies for just $17 a month. (I wish they had an option to get the GOODIES without the BOOK. I’d be all over that.) I appreciate that they also allow you to add extra items from PREVIOUS boxes to your upcoming box. (I’m totally sticking around at least one more month so I can get the gorgeous Anne of Green Gables scarf that was in the February box.) At $29.00 with shipping, it’s not a bad price. I don’t know if I’ll stick around past April though.

Speaking of the April Uppercase Box, supposedly it’s not to be missed if you’re a Harry Potter fan. So, do with that what you will. You can subscribe here if you want to give it a shot. 🙂

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THE VERDICT

My final verdict on the bookish subscription boxes: they’re fun, even if I’m not entirely sure they’re worth the money for me personally. It may be the blogger thing, it may be that I am not as interested in YA as a lot of people. If I’m being totally honest, I liked the bookish goodies more than the books themselves. But those goodies aren’t worth the price for the full box each month. If I was going to choose to keep one of the boxes, it would be the Book(ish) Box, no question. I just might keep it a few months and see what comes of it, in fact. I think that all depends on what the goodies in the next box look like. 🙂

If, however, you’re a big YA reader who isn’t quite as picky as me, I think these boxes are a really fun way to be introduced to new authors and titles. And you already know how I feel about the goodies that ship with the book. 🙂

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Giveaway

I was so excited about my bookish box subscriptions that I actually subscribed to Book(ish) Box TWICE. *sigh* Well, my loss is your gain because I’m giving one of the boxes away. It has been opened, but all the goodies are in there. Note: the shirt is a 2X, so depending on what size you wear, you’ll wind up with a lovely nightshirt. 🙂 I’m also giving away a hardcover copy of The Love That Split the World as, thanks to these boxes, I have an extra copy. Both of my giveaways are US only. Enter via the Rafflecopters below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Let's Chat

Do you subscribe to any boxes – bookish or otherwise?
If not now, have you in the past?
What are your favorites?

Kim-Sig_edited

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Leave a Reply

12 responses to “Subscription Box Review + Giveaway

  1. Tammy V.

    I have not and probably won’t be able to in the near future. I am helping my daughter get through med school and you know what that means. I’m broke – lol. I love the idea though. They would be a great gift you could get together with someone and give to a family member or friend as a gift.

    • Kim

      Ah, yes! Med school will definitely take a toll on the wallet. 🙂 I think they would definitely make a great gift. I’m definitely keeping them in mind for some of my non-blogging reader friends.

  2. I’ve not subscribed to any of the ones you mention here. Like you, I’m pretty particular with the YA I read. And, I probably wouldn’t be too jazzed about the swag stuff either. The only bookish subscription box I do is Colleen Hoover’s Bookworm Box. I’ve done that one for the last 11 months and haven’t been disappointed yet. I love the books I get, they’re all signed by the authors, the swag is fun, and all the proceeds after operating costs go to charities. Win! I imagine I’ll keep subscribing as long as they keep offering it. 🙂

    • Kim

      I did the Bookworm Box for the first two or three months it was available. You know, back before you could actually subscribe and the competition to get one was FIERCE. Haha. I really liked the books that came in them – and I love that the proceeds go to charity. My only problem was that I was getting duplicate books. :-/ But for people who might not have the opportunity to go to romance signings locally, it’s a GREAT subscription!

  3. I subscribe to quite a few boxes (I run Monthly Box Hub) but I haven’t yet subscribed to a book subscription. I love books, but I’ve been reluctant to subscribe to one because my ability to enjoy the box would be dependent on the book that was included. I wish that some of the book boxes would “spoil” the book selection ahead of time so I could decide whether to subscribe or not; I would’ve loved the January 2016 Uppercase box with Truthwitch in it.

  4. So i’m kinda obsessed with subscription boxes, but I have yet to get one. I know, I know. My hubby got Loot Crate for a couple months last year and loved it. But I don’t have an extra $20-$50 a month of get on myself. I’d have to get a bookish one, but I like the idea of Julep too. I’d really like Nerd Block as well.

    • Kim

      Haha! You sound like me before I finally decided to take the plunge and subscribe. I kept seeing people post photos of their goodies and I was like “I WANT THESE” but I couldn’t decide where to start. Julep is great, especially if you’re a nail polish addict like me. Plus I love that you can actually customize it if you want, so you don’t wind up with things you’ll never use. And it’s easy to opt out of a month without canceling your whole subscription… which is perfect when finances are a little tight. I’ll have to check out Nerd Block!

  5. I have the bookworm box and I used to get Lit cube. I stopped that one because, while it was good, it wasn’t AWESOME. And it gets expensive!

  6. Nia

    I don’t subscribe to any boxes yet, since converting them makes them a hefty amount. But thank you for the chance, Bookish box, Owlcrate and Illumicrate are some of the ones I adore having seen pics. I also kinda didn’t fill in my email, but I have subscribed – [email protected]. 😀