LitJoy Crate is a monthly book subscription box for babies, kids, and teens. They send books and interesting book related items. They have crates for 3-7 (picture books), and 14+ (young adult).
This box was sent to us at no cost to review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This is a review of the Young Adult, $29.99 a month, crate.
The Subscription Box: LitJoy Crate
The Cost: $29.99/monthly, $86.97/3-month pre-pay, $167.94/6-month pre-pay, $323.88/12-month pre-pay. Plus $8.99 USPS flat-rate shipping, $14.99 shipping to Canada, and $24.99 shipping internationally.
COUPON: Use code MSA5 to save $5 off your first box!
The Products: Depending on your subscription type, you will receive newly released board books (2), picture books (1), or young adult books (1), plus 2-4 assorted book-related items.
Ships to: The US, Canada, and International
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
There's an info card for the box. I like that they feature fan art (and the artist behind it) on the back of the fold-up booklet!
Next up, I found a metallic-silver paper bookmark promoting another fantasy trilogy. I like the creative design!
I also got a spoiler for the next month's box. On one side, there are details about what LitJoy Crate is. And on the back, they reveal that the theme is...
"The Chosen One"!
There are actually TWO books in this month's box! The first is this dragon-filled fantasy novel (which arrives as a beautiful, metallic-pewter hardback). It follows the popular YA trope of a young woman who feels trapped in society discovering the power she has to break free from it. On the one hand, it's a type of story that I've read before, but on the other hand, this book tells it in a new universe complete with dragons and even a little romance thrown in for good measure. It's an easy, breezy read with friendly language that even slightly younger YA readers should be able to have a handle on.
Book Summary on Amazon:
Kristen Ciccarelli’s debut fantasy explores an intricately woven world of deception, inner darkness, and dragons that fantasy fans won’t be able to resist.
In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.
These are the legends that Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past. But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.
Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, but no kill can free her from the shackles that await at home: her betrothal to the cruel commandant, a man who holds the truth about her nature in his palm. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave boy from her betrothed’s household—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari bondage and open her heart to love, light, and a truth that has been kept from her.
The book comes with a signed bookplate...
... and a note from the author on the back of an awesome postcard-sized print!
How to Train Your Dragon The Complete Book of Dragons: A Guide to Dragon Species by Cressida Cowell - Retail Value $15.00 (Found on sale here for $9.83)
The second book in the box feels like it skews just slightly younger, but boy, is it ever awesome. This hardcover book indexes the many kinds of dragons in the world, as well as dragon anatomy, different skills and physical features, and more. All of the pages are illustrated with delightfully scratchy sketches and fun colors. There's even a foldout map of the Barbaric Archipelago in the back of the book! I feel like any How to Train Your Dragon fan will love this little guide. Even if you haven't seen it, it's sooo adorable and fun!
Book Summary on Amazon:
This guide is a must-have for fans of the New York Times bestselling How to Train Your Dragon series that inspired the hit move and TV show. This gift book features all of the dragon species from the series plus brand-new ones created just for this book, with color illustrations of each and every one!
Exclusive Dragon Scale Scarf - Estimated Value $8.00
This scarf was made especially for this box, so I couldn't find a good price for it online. I'm super happy with it! It's made from semi-sheer, linen-like fabric that's got a bit of stiffness to it (though I feel like a wash or two will loosen it up). The scale pattern is done in metallic gold, so it has some sparkle. Best of all, though, this black infinity scarf is HUGE! When you lay it flat, the fabric is over 3 feet wide, which means it's ultra voluminous when it's all looped around my neck (and therefore, surprisingly warm for a sheer, lightweight scarf). I'm a big scarf fan in the chilly months, so this surprise is perfect for me.
Exclusive Dragon Slayer Candle by Flickering Tales - Estimated Value $3.50
I was able to find Flickering Tales on Etsy, but all of the candles I saw there were a bit bigger than this one seems to be. The smallest they offer online is a $7.00 4 oz candle. I'm not 100% sure, but I'd venture a guess that this candle was closer to 2 oz (it's not listed anywhere on the candle itself), which leads me to the value I guessed above. The candle is about an inch deep into a 1.5-inch tin that's about 2 inches wide. It's pretty tiny, but it packs a big aroma. The scent is made of cinnamon, orange, and spices. The cinnamon part pops the most, in my opinion. It's a great, warm fall/winter fragrance.
Khaleesi Kisses Lip Balm by Nerdie Nifties, 0.15 oz - Estimated Value $3.50
This lip balm is awesome! Not only does it go on super smooth and buttery, but it's jam-packed with fiery cinnamon oils. It reminds me of certain plumping lip balms I've tried before—it sounds weird, but this balm makes your lips sting ever-so-gently, almost like you've just eaten some really kickin' hot sauce. The spiciness doesn't do anything cosmetic, as far as I can tell, but it certainly is fun to feel. And what a clever take on the idea of fire-breathing! I couldn't find this exact balm on the Nerdie Nifties site, but other similarly sized balms go for $3.50 on their site.
Jon Snow Bookmark - Retail Value $2.79
The last item in the box is this bookmark, featuring a fan-art version of Jon Snow (by the same artist as is featured on the back of the info card). There's a quote up towards the top of it, too, though I wish it was easier to read. It says "There's no shame in fear, my father told me, what matters is how we face it." I like this dragon-adjacent pick!
The Verdict: This month's LitJoy Crate had so many awesome items in it! I really appreciated that they included two really nice quality hardbound books, rather than just one. The other surprises were fun and felt like they fit the season. The cinnamon scents were fiery and perfect for fall! One thing I noticed was that there were a few Game of Thrones references in here, which seems like a slightly more mature pick for teen readers. For folks on the older end of the YA-reader spectrum, it's probably just fine. And maybe there's some good in giving younger readers ways to enjoy GoT even if they're not yet allowed to watch the show (or read the books), haha!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, though they do sometimes sell past crates on their site shop. Order by the 20th of the month to get that month's crate!
Coupon - Use code MSA5 to save $5 off your first box!
Value Breakdown: The box cost me $38.98 after shipping, but I found there to be $50.78 worth of estimated value inside! Proportionally, I paid about the following for each item:
- The Last Namsara book - $13.81
- How to Train Your Dragon book - $11.51
- Scarf - $6.14
- Candle - $2.69
- Lip balm - $2.69
- Bookmark - $2.14
Note that these values don't count in the ephemera—the note from the author and the bookplate, most importantly. I feel like those items do bring value to the box that doesn't have a solid dollar amount!
What do you think of the October LitJoy YA Crate?