OwlCrate Unboxing – July 2020

Wow, my OwlCrate arrived a lot earlier than expected this month. It doesn’t seem five minutes since I told you all about the June crate! Anyhow, in case this is the first of my unboxings that you’ve read, let me tell you a bit about where all my goodies came from.

OwlCrate is a subscription service for fans of Young Adult novels. Each month, they send out a carefully curated box which contains 3-5 items, all selected to match a specific theme. In addition to this, each box is guaranteed to contain a hard-backed book, usually signed by the author and with a unique cover. The boxes are priced at around £38, which seems very reasonable due to the high quality goodies that they contain. So long as your subscription remains active, you are guaranteed to receive every box. Be wary of cancelling though – they do have a long waiting list and it can be a pain to get back on again!

Anyhow, this month’s theme is “Date With Destiny”. Be warned – there are lots of photos and massive spoilers beyond this point…

I usually take all of the packing out of these crates before I start photographing but I thought I’d leave it in this month just so you can see how well packed these boxes are. Sometimes, it’s hard to get the lid to open because it’s so stuffed full! At least it’s all made of shredded paper, so it’s easily recyclable. That is, once you’ve managed to pick it all up as it does get everywhere.

I thought I’d also show off the inside of the box as well, as I’ve never shown you what’s under the lid before and they are really rather pretty. The lid of the box neatly wraps around and gives you some very handy tips on how to enjoy your crate. The inside of the box also tends to have a picture of their owl mascot on it, which is some rather stylish branding.

I also take this moment to apologise for my additional helper in these photos. Victor loves it when I lay out my scruffy green blanket and start taking pictures of these crates. He is very interested in packing paper and 90% of the photography process is spent removing him from the box. Lovable little git…

Anyhow, without further ado, let’s take a look at the contents of this month’s crate.

The first item is one that may look a bit familiar if you’ve looked at some of my earlier unboxings. Back in January, I showed pictures of a beautiful mug that I received that was based on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. This crate provided a matching mug that shows images from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The mug was designed by Cara Kozik and is just stunning. The illustrations this time include Hogwarts, the Potions Classroom, the Pensieve, the Dark Mark and Fawkes the Phoenix. While I do prefer the design of the previous mug, the photos of this item really do not do justice to how stunning it is. I really wish that I had started collecting OwlCrates earlier just so that I could have gotten a full set of these. It almost seems a shame to use them as they are so gorgeous, which is unfortunate as the second item certainly complements it quite nicely.

Being rather English, I do enjoy a good cup of tea. This blend was created by Riddle’s Tea Shoppe and is called ‘Simon’s Sour Cherry Scones’. It is based on Simon Snow’s favourite breakfast from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. The tea is gluten, dairy and sugar-free and made entirely with fresh ingredients. While it is only a small sachet, it does seem like it will be good for a few cups as it advises only to use a single tea spoon at a time. I did give it a try earlier and can report that it is rather refreshing, though smells a lot stronger than it tastes.

The next item out of the crate was a rather large and bulky bag. I actually like the bag that this item came in, as it’s got a lovely pattern of gold moons and stars. I have put this to one side to be reused later…

Anyhow, inside the bag was a rather nice apron.

The apron was designed by @paperbackbones, who has contributed a lot of designs to past OwlCrates. It is inspired by The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, which I still have not read, and is made out of nice thick fabric. The design is clearly printed on the material and it all feels nicely high quality. Let’s take a closer look at that image.

The apron is more than big enough to fit me (a short person) but is also decent enough sized to fit my partner, who is over six foot tall. It seems very hard-wearing and also has a handy pocket in the front. I’m not much of a cook, but I’m sure that I will get some use out of this item next time I dare attempt to bake anything.

The next item is a bit of a weird one and, I must admit, I was not immediately impressed. It is a tin of paperclips inspired by The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Yes, you did read that correctly. These were also designed by @paperbackbones and the tin carries an inspirational quotation. While I did not like this item at first, my opinion changed when I actually opened to tin to get a better look at the clips.

They’re arrow shaped! How cute is that? There are a good number of paperclips in this tin and they are nice and sturdy. I will certainly get use out of this item and it actually might be my favourite part of this crate. Yes, I am that sad…

The next item in the crate was a wooden bookmark featuring a rather pretty design by In The Reads. It is based on Star Wars, featuring a double-sided image of Rey and Kylo Ren. Much like with The Greatest Showman item in the last crate, this does feel like a bit of cheat as it’s not based on a novel (though I’m sure there probably are Star Wars novels featuring the characters at this stage). The item is also quite thin and a bit flimsy so I don’t think it will take a lot of punishment. As you might be able to tell in the photo, there is already a bit of a chip on the bottom edge just from being in the box.

The final item in this crate was the monthly pin badge. This one was designed by Jubly-Umph and is inspired by this month’s read. It’s actually one of the nicer pins that have been included this year, featuring a glittery star design and the words ‘Decide Your Fate’. I guess we’ll understand what that means when we’ve read this month’s novel…

Other than the book, the only other thing left in the crate were the paper goods. There’s the magazine, a spoiler card which explains each item, and a letter from the author. If you look really closely at this photo, you might have an idea of what this month’s read is. Or, of course, you could just scroll a bit further down this page…

This month’s featured novel is Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson. Based on the blurb, it is a science fiction novel about a girl who wakes up from cryo-sleep to find herself 1,000 years in the future and on a strange planet. While this is immediately made me think of Futurama, it is still a neat concept and I’m actually really looking forward to getting stuck into this one.

The book cover is very similar to standard edition that you can find in the shops but is a brighter shade of orange. However, the OwlCrate edition is signed and also has gold sprayed edges. There is also an odd spiky design hidden under the dust cover, and I am curious to find out what that means. It is a really nice looking book and I’m pleased to be able to add it to my growing collection of OwlCrate exclusives.

On the whole, I was very pleased with this months crate. The items are all high quality and did a great job of matching the theme. Nothing will go to waste this time as a plan to use every single one of them. Check back in a few weeks to find out what I though of Goddess in the Machine (and also the June book, which I still have not gotten around to reviewing…). I’ll be back with another unboxing at the end of August. The theme for that one is going to be “Written in the Stars”.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vee_bookish
    Jul 29, 2020 @ 22:12:09

    I know what the starbust design is as I’ve read the book! I really liked this book but it was slow going.


  2. Trackback: OwlCrate Unboxing – August 2020 | Arkham Reviews
  3. Trackback: Goddess in the Machine | Arkham Reviews

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