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.
About LitJoy Crate
The Subscription Box: LitJoy Crate
The Cost: $29.99 per month + $8.99 US 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: US for $8.99 (USPS), Canada for $14.99, and $24.99 shipping internationally.
LitJoy YA Crate Review for December 2017
There's an info card for the box. There's information about this month's featured fan artist, Katherine Butler, on the back, as well.
There are a lot of promo items in this month's box, including this "lookbook" from Epic Reads, which includes book recommendations and even a book-inspired craft!
I also got a card hyping the LitJoy shop, which is set to start including exclusive goodies as well as past boxes!
Finally, there's a card introducing how this box works. On the back of the card, there's a spoiler for the January theme, which is...
I feel like YA boxes like to send a lot of very similar-feeling stories that don't deviate too far from Hunger Games-esque tropes. So I was pleasantly surprised by this story, which focuses on two very realistic young women and their very relatable bond. The reality of the characters is what made this fun—their quippy, silly-yet-sincere turns of phrase feel true to teenhood, and I loved how the author conveyed not only their in-person dialogue but their digital communications, too.
Book Summary on Amazon:
Kat and Meg couldn't be more different.
Kat's anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to new people. The only place she feels safe is in front of her computer, playing her favorite video game.
Meg hates being alone, but her ADHD keeps pushing people away. Friends. Her boyfriend. Even the stepfather who raised her.
But when the two girls are thrown together for a year-long science project, they discover they do have one thing in common: their obsession with the online gaming star LumberLegs and his hilarious videos.
Meg's pretty sure this is fate. Kat doesn't know how to deal with someone who talks faster than she thinks. But if they can stick together and stay out of their heads, they might figure out how to help each other--and build the kind of friendship Kat never knew she wanted and Meg never believed she'd find.
The book comes with some special extras from the author, including a note and a signed bookplate.
Inspired by the anxieties of the main character, Kat, this eye mask is filled with a removable lavender pillow that should help lull you to sleep. The mask itself is fuzzy and soft, and the velcro-secured elastic band is comfy and felt just tight enough on me. You can pop this eyemask in the microwave briefly or put it in the fridge for a little extra heat or cold therapy, too. I do wish it looked a little more special, but as a practical, peaceful tool, it's great!
Kindred Spirits Candle by Muggle Library Candles
This little jar candle doesn't have a size listed on it, but the jar itself is about 2.5 inches tall and around 2 inches wide. My first whiff was something like cherry and cinnamon—it's actually raspberry cordial (per the info booklet), which is a tribute to the friendship in Anne of Green Gables. It's different, sweet, and heartwarming. I feel like it'd make a winter night in my apartment feel warm and cozy, while also being a slight deviation from the typical sweet, spicy, berry smells that fill the holiday season.
Golden Trio Totebag
You can't expect a YA box themed around friendship without getting at least one Harry Potter surprise, right? This tote bag has a sturdy, cottony feel and a crisp white color. I really like the style of the characters—they look like they could be in a Disney movie, don't they? The design is printed on in a way that makes it look a little like an iron-on transfer, but much better quality. As long as I'm not too rough with it, I'm not worried about it cracking or anything.
Inej and Nina Artist Print
This 6.5" x 5" print is an illustration by this month's featured artist, Katherine Butler! It's inspired by the characters from the Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo. I like the artwork—the colors are great. I do always like when prints have a bit more sophisticated presentation, like a mat or a sleeve or a special finish... something to differentiate them from the promotional postcards, etc. in the box. Still, this print would look nice on your inspiration board, tacked on the wall with a bit of tape, or even framed and gifted to a friend and fellow book lover!
Calm Yo Self Anti-Anxiety Roller, 0.34 oz.
More anti-anxiety goodies! I am a super anxious person, so I appreciate this rollerball a lot. This blend is made from lavender, peppermint, sweet orange, ylang ylang, and lemongrass essential oils, so it's not only dreamy and calm but a bit sweet, too. Just pop some on each wrist and inhale to get its effects. I'm not sure if it's the pretty aromas or the simple fact that the process forces me to stop, get quiet, and breathe, but either way, it made me feel calmer.
Parabatai Friendship Rune Enamel Pin
This enamel pin is a nod to parabatai (from The Mortal Instruments), or a pair of warriors bound together by oath. It's kind of the ultimate (and coolest) version of friendship. I like the blue glittery finish of this inch-long pin—it'll be a more abstract addition to my collection of enamel lapel pins.
The Verdict: I liked the friendship vibe of this crate and the fact that it featured a book that deviated from the protagonist-has-to-save-the-world-from-its-dystopian-future pattern that YA books can fall into. There was reality to the feelings and voices of the characters in the story, so I feel like it'd be entertaining to read for younger and older YA fans. As for the rest of the items in the box, I do wish a few things felt more sophisticated (maybe the eye mask could be a fun color, and the print could've come with a mat on top), but overall, it was fun. I'll definitely be kicking back with those calming products!
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. The book cost $17.99 at retail, meaning the remaining items have a total value of at least $20.96 (and an average cost of $3.49). Note that there is also some intangible value that comes from the author note and bookplate—if you're an avid reader, then that personal touch might be more valuable than some of the physical items in the box!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of the December LitJoy YA Crate?