Sunday, May 17, 2015

OwlCrate Bookish Subscription Box -- Review of April's "All The Feels" Box

Okay, this has absolutely nothing to do with nail polish or beauty or anything like that. But it does have to do with my other true love in life, books. I pretty much read anything and everything I can get my hands on. I'm the kind of book nerd that needs a pile of books near me at all times or I have anxiety issues. I sleep with books in my bed. I'm weird like that. I also write (so far about 1-1/2 novels but that's a whole other blog post!). I considered doing a separate book blog/YouTube thing but whoa, lotsa work. Not that I'm opposed to work but I'm in a vortex of life choices right now. Too many roads. You know what I mean. But I digress.

Anyway, a short while ago I watched a YouTube unboxing video by BookNerd (I seriously love her! Go check out her blog & YouTube channel!) for this new book subscription box -- and I was like, WHAT?! MUST HAVE! March was the very first box and they were sold out for April. Noooo! I had to learn more! So began the adventure. Luckily, OwlCrate was able to offer up 20 more boxes for April right before shipping and even though the site crashed when they opened up those spots for a single minute (& let in about 200 subscriptions *oops!*), I was one of the lucky ones to get an April box. Yay!

What the heck is an OwlCrate?? Well, it's a subscription box for book lovers who like books and bookish bits. It was started back in March of this year by Korrina & Robert -- the most adorable couple EVER! -- in Vancouver, Canada. It kind of exploded in popularity and even though there has only been 2 boxes so far (March & April) they sell out *instantly* and the waitlist is full of impatient and excited book lovers from around the world. I am over-the-moon happy for Korrina & Robert because... well... they are cool & I'm all for Canadian small businesses. Plus it's a cool concept and since I've received a box I'm SUPER impressed by the care that has gone into these boxes. It's not just some crap thrown in a box, you can tell they took time to consider it and make it special. Even the box design itself is awesome! So yeah, go OwlCrate! :p

So it's a box with a book in it?? Yep. Each month has a theme. March was "Fantasy". April was "All The Feels". May is "Parallel Worlds". June is "Diversity". The book (& the bits) all relate to the theme. The book is usually YA but can sometimes be a more mature one (they let you know beforehand. The books are always published in the last 45 days so it's unlikely you've already read it (unless you're a super keener). It's not just a book though, there are other goodies!

Money, honey! How much is an OwlCrate? Well, that depends on where you live. The box itself is $29.99US at the moment. Shipping costs depend on where you live (they ship worldwide). I know people LOVE to bitch about shipping costs but come on people, we all know shipping isn't free and considering these guys are working out of their apartment it's not like they have a corporate account with FedEx. Shipping is expensive. And if they are losing money then what's the point, right? Do you work for free? Nope, didn't think so. Plus, they are likely losing money from the shipping costs, not making money. Give them a break! Anyway, I don't mind paying the shipping. It is what it is.
They do offer a discounted subscription price if you opt for prepaying 3 or 6 months at a time. All subscription offers renew whether you are doing month-to-month, 3-or-6-month plans. Billing is on the 1st of each month. You can also skip a month (but why would you want to?!). All told, I am in Canada and with present box cost, shipping, and US/Canada currency exchange it's about $52 a month. Pricey but honestly, I love the box so much, it's worth it to me. Plus, being Canadian, I like that my money is going to small local business. I also like that the bookish bits in the box are sourced from indie makers. I'm starting to pay attention to where my money goes and who ends up getting it. I want less of it going to large corporations and more of it staying local and going to small business, local artisans and crafty & creative people. It's becoming increasingly important to me.

Ok. So what's IN the box besides a book?? Well, since I only received one box so far (the April box), I can show you everything from the box to the book but I'll put it behind a link. I hate spoilers. I know everyone has their box already for April but still, one of those things. Plus, this is kinda long (& picture-heavy) so yeah....

So the box itself is super cute! (that's my cat Joe up there next to the box on my bed!) :p
I love the little owl feet prints on the side!

(oh, and this is the April "All The Feels" box)

When you open the OwlCrate you see the little card explaining what each item is and where it came from. I also highly recommend checking out their social media sites since they often post coupon codes on Instagram and Facebook for the shops featured in that month's box!

A book-themed candle (there were 4 options, I'm happy I got this one!). Even though it's from Harry Potter (Dobby's Socks) it still totally fits the theme of the box ("All The Feels"). And it's a nice candle! Soy based and not perfume-y or gross (smells like fresh laundry!). It's not super tiny, about twice the size of a tea light. From the indie maker "From The Page".

Next was a little pale blue box with a necklace (there were 2 options of the necklace, I'm happy with the one I received!). The "Okay/Okay" thing I didn't get because I hadn't read "The Fault In Our Stars" (nor had I seen the film) so of course I had to get the book and read it (and cry my heart out!!) and see the film (and cry some more!!). I get it now. Also from an indie maker "ForeverAlwaysDesigns".

A tote bag with an "All The Feels" bunch of sayings on it. I admit it, I'm old, I had to look most of these up. But I get it now and I love it. From an indie maker called, "Bookworm Boutique".

The other book-related bits (& the book!). "Everything That Makes You" by Moriah McStay + bookmark + signed bookplate + sticker. Hardcover books are always a nice indulgence. :)

I like that they wrap the book in plastic before it goes in the box so it doesn't get bashed around. I read the book in 2 days, it was SO good! And it totally fit the theme of "All The Feels"! There is also an OwlCrate group on Goodreads to discuss the books and stuff.

Even the bottom of the box is super cute!! <3

Overall I'm SUPER happy with everything I received in the April box and I'm looking forward to the May one. It was like getting a present from someone who knows me!
My only complaint (which has nothing to do with OwlCrate itself) is that because I live on the other side of the country from them, it takes about a week to get here. Other people receive theirs much, much sooner and post spoilers online. It's hard to dodge them for a weeks while I'm waiting to get my box. I want it to be a surprise!!! So hide your spoilers people!

I will do a review of the next box if you guys want? Yes? It ships on the 20th so I'll get it around the 27th.

NB: I purchased this box myself and have NO affiliation whatsoever with the subscription service discussed in this post.


  1. I love watching booktube videos, my favourite is Little Book Owl, so I am always excited to have another one to add to the list and try out Book Nerd! It's too bad the Canadian box has a US price though, given how much the dollar sucks. However the box itself is adorable and super well curated, and it's great how not only are you supporting an indie company, but that indie company supports other indie companies by including them in their box!

    1. Sorry about the delay in my response... sick kitty just put my whole life on hold. Ugh. I love Little Book Owl, she's so cute! <3 I know a lot of people complained about the US price on a Canadian sub box but I guess when they were setting it up the billing software platform or whatever could only default to one currency and US dollar was easiest since they do international sales. Makes sense but you're right, the exchange rate is poopy right now. *boo* I had to put my sub on hold (sadly) because my cat is really sick and I have a ginormous vet bill to pay so I'm not sure when I'll be able to resume. Kinda sad about that but my cat is more important than a sub box!! ;) But I do really like OwlCrate and once my finances are back in order I'll definitely get it again for sure!

  2. I love them. :D
    What I don't get is why is the shipping for Canada more expensive than for US? Shouldn't be the other way around?

    1. Hi :) Their Canadian shipping is higher because they mail those boxes within Canada using Canada Post. For the US & overseas boxes they actually load up a truck & drive across the border to the US & ship within the USPS system. It's way cheaper for them to do it that way since shipping anything with Canada Post is so pricey. I know they had to find a new way to ship overseas though because recent rate increases was pushing it to $30/box just for shipping! So hard but shipping is expensive! Especially with tracking (which is a MUST these days!). ;)