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I first saw OwlCrate on Instagram after a friend posted their elaborate un-boxing. The abundance of nerdy goodies along with a brand new book caught my attention. I’d tried a few subscription boxes before, but never one for books. After stalking OwlCrate’s Instagram, Facebook, and website, I decided this was a subscription box worth splurging on.

I like gifts. It will come to no surprise to my friends that after reading The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, my love language is receiving gifts. I get giddy over a charity chocolate bar, and the best way to cheer me up is with a cup of hot coffee and a surprise. I’m a bit of a princess, I’ll admit.

So, I love subscription boxes. They are like monthly gifts to myself that come in the mail, and OwlCrate always seems to arrive on the day I need it the most. Opening my mailbox to find the brown box sends my heart racing with anticipation. It’s all I can do to stop from tearing it open right there in the driveway.

OwlCrate does a fantastic job of packaging its contents. Everything packaged like a puzzle. I tried repacking a box once, but I’m convinced OwlCrate’s employees are magic. I can’t get it to look as delicious as they do. This attention to detail adds to my suspense and to the quality of the box; the presentation pays off.

In my six months of receiving OwlCrate, each month’s theme captured my attention and imagination. I’ve explored a carnival, a pirate ship, and opened a box of horror and adventure. One of OwlCrate’s strongest features is its curation of complimentary, quirky, (sometimes exclusive) items from adorable makers and vendors.

Owlcrate’s general theme is whimsy. I get a lot of candles that smell like holidays and spring. They decorate my bookshelves, making my library a haven of calming aromas. Other fun items include bath bombs, stickers, patches, and lip balms. I’d describe the general feeling of the contents as feminine and mildly romantic.

However, the items included in each month’s box range in quality and quantity. My favorite items have to be the ones I can wear and use often. I love the pendant from the Daughter of the Pirate King box, the headscarf from The Upside of Unrequited box, and the zombie sleep mask from The Sandcastle Empire box. These items have sent me searching for their creators to purchase more literary themed items. I appreciate OwlCrate’s dedication to showcasing small businesses.

I must mention that in every box, I receive a lot of postcards and… buttons. While the artwork is gorgeous and these items help fill out a box, their long-term value is questionable. Many of the postcards find their way into the hands of my 5-year-old daughter. She uses them for art projects. Yet the buttons often end up in a box. What am I supposed to do with all these buttons? If it was 2003, I’d pin them all to my messenger bag and decorate my eyes with chunky charcoal liner, but it’s not 2003 anymore.

If I could create my ideal OwlCrate box, it would have fewer trinkets and more full-sized items. A book, a pair of socks, and a literary themed coffee mug would have me over the moon. Also, any time Owlcrate puts in a Funko Pop! character is a special treat. I hope they continue to surprise us with more full-sized, resuable items.

The main event of any OwlCrate box is the book. I’ve had friends ask me why I spend $30 every month on OwlCrate, and my answer is always because of the book. 

Each month, OwlCrate gives you a hard copy of a newly released YA novel. This alone is worth the $30 for me. In the age of Kindles and digital media, there is something sacred about turning crisp pages with your hands. These are first edition books, usually signed, sealed in plastic, and often containing a letter from the author. For a book connoisseur, this alone is worth the subscription.

I haven’t loved every title OwlCrate has sent me, but this isn’t because of the quality of their curation. Instead, it’s because I have a love-hate relationship with YA books. However, I’m impressed with the diversity, perspectives, and themes of Owlcrate’s books. 

You should subscribe to OwlCrate if: you are a reader, a dreamer, or love gifts and a good story. OwlCrate’s curation of YA novels is exceptional. Their inclusion of themed items is fun to un-box, and will lead you to fall in love with other small businesses.

Also, the OwlCrate online community is vibrant, friendly, and welcoming. OwlCrate has some of the most talented, artistic, and thoughtful fans that I’ve come across. Posting an un-boxing leads to new friendships every month. If you decide to order OwlCrate, I strongly suggest considering the 3 or 6 month option. You might not love every box or every book, but they will always treat you to a thoughtful, refined adventure.

5 Responses

  1. This is a great review. I have never heard of OwlCrate, but I think this would be a great gift for my elementary schoolteacher daughter, who, like you, loves receiving gifts of a literary nature, and is always on the lookout for books she can add to her classroom library. YA is one of her favorite genres. Thank you for the review. I will definitely check it out.

    1. Thanks for the kind words Jim! OwlCrate also has a Junior edition for kids 8-12, so depending on what age she teaches, she might enjoy that box too. Both are great, and I’ve loved receiving them for the past year. -E

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