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Willow Lane Book Subscription Box Review – July 2018

closed Willow Lane box

Willow Lane Books is a new monthly subscription of books and gifts that last for three months. Every month, a themed book box arrives with one book and up to four gifts that you hand-pick from their website. You can even request a different book if you’re not feeling that month’s particular tome!

open Willow Lane box

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).

Willow Lane July 2018 review

About Willow Lane Books

The Subscription Box: Willow Lane Books

The Cost: $32.99 a month + $9.99 shipping

The Products: 1 book + up to four gifts that you pick yourself!

Ships to: US and Worldwide

Good to Know: You can purchase a “One Timer” box from their store to see if you’re into the 3-month commitment. You can also add gifts and books to your box, and even swap out the month’s book if you don’t like it!

Willow Lane Books July 2018 Review

I have really come to love getting the emails from Willow Lane, and I was so psyched to receive the one this month! This month’s theme is “Twisted Fairy Tales,” and I am all in! My choices this month were from the following list: Fairy Tale Themed Candle, Mermaid Necklace, Stationary set, Elegant Jewelry Box, Biscotti, Hair Pins, or a Surprise Gift based on my survey. I opted for: a Fairy Tale Themed Candle, Mermaid Necklace, Stationary set, Elegant Jewelry Box, and a surprise gift!

Mermaid Necklace

Mermaid Necklace Estimated Value $16 (based on similar item)

When I was four, I informed my mom that my occupation of choice was to be a mermaid when I grew up, and I was deadly serious about it. Ever since I’ve been small, I’ve always loved to swim and I have always been obsessed with mermaids, so sometimes I occasionally regret not being able to follow this particular life choice. However, I have no regrets about choosing this necklace for my box! I love how dainty it is; it is perfect for everyday wear, and the silver color is great for any outfit. I’m going to the beach with my girlfriends really soon, and I’m really excited to use this as a simple accent to my vacation clothes!

Elegant Jewelry Box

Elegant Jewelry Box Estimated Value $9.87 (based on similar item)

I was really intrigued by this item on the list because I really had no idea what to expect! I didn’t know what it would look like, and I was so pleasantly surprised when this arrived. It’s sturdy and has a nice heft to it, and I think will look beautiful on my bureau among the seashells and baubles I have displayed there. I think it’ll be the perfect landing pad to put my jewelry that I’ve worn for the day before I put it in my armoire!

Poison Apple Candle – Retail Value $8.00

How great is the packaging on this? I love when common items, like candles, are well-made and have great branding and attention is paid to the little details. The rich color on this is awesome and this smells to me like rich apple pie filling.

Stationery Set – Estimated Value $16.99 (based on similar item)

I didn’t know what to expect from what they called a “stationery set,” but I really liked what they put together! The prints are absolutely adorable, and I really like that its paper instead of notecards – it mixes up my collection! These pens are also fantastic; they’re high-quality gel.

Just One More Chapter Pillow Cover – Estimated Value $7.99 (based on similar product)

My surprise gift! I really love this; my husband and I have been working on our house and one of the things we’ve been looking for is cool pillow covers for our basement couch. This is definitely going to be one of them! It’s a little bit rough; it’s not a napping pillow certainly, but I think it’ll hold up nicely over time. This is sort of a personal mantra for me – I always asked my parents this sentence every night going to bed, and now I say it to myself when I’m buried in a good book!

sh and Bramble by Sarah Prineas

Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas – Retail Value $9.99 (found here for $6.98)

This month’s book pick embodies the theme this month! It was released on September 16th, 2016, and is 480 pages long. Summary from Amazon:

The tale of Cinderella has been retold countless times. But what you know is not the true story. Sarah Prineas’s bold fairy-tale retelling, now available in paperback, is a dark and captivating world where swords are more fitting than slippers, young shoemakers are just as striking as princes, and a heroine is more than ready to rescue herself before the clock strikes midnight. 

Pin has no recollection of who she is or how she got to the Godmother’s fortress. She only knows that she is a Seamstress, working day in and out to make ball gowns fit for fairy tales. But she longs to forsake her backbreaking servitude and dares to escape with the brave young Shoemaker.

Pin isn’t free for long before she’s captured again and forced to live the new life the Godmother chooses for her—a fairy-tale story, complete with a charming prince—instead of finding her own happily ever after.

As Pin tries to fight her arranged path, she finds that a sword is a much better fit for her than a glass slipper, and that the boy who she escaped with is still searching for her, and won’t stop until he rescues her—if Pin doesn’t rescue herself first.

Retellings really are fairly common nowadays, but I liked catching the thread of familiar stories in this unfamiliar world. The storytelling was strange in its execution though; it skips from present tense, third person, to past tense, first person rapidly; sometimes within the same chapter. I personally didn’t mind this too much because I was aware of it in advance while doing my research, but I could see how this might bother some readers. It wasn’t an overly emotional book for me – I wasn’t necessarily extremely emotionally invested in the characters, but that can be okay sometimes. The biggest element to this book for me was “What happens next?” I found myself at least invested in the events of the story and wanted to see character motivations reveal themselves. There was a bit more of a romantic element to this than I typically need in a story, and certainly more than I usually like to see in YA; I don’t think the girl needs a guy in order to have a happy ending. However, in this case, there’s actually a reason for romantic involvement for at least two of the characters, the fact that Pin and her Prince are forced together in their “story,” and that does make its own bit of logical sense. This book has a lot of interesting ideas and raises a lot of questions, but I’m not sure overall that it says anything overly profound about life or love. Sometimes that’s okay. This was an enjoyable read when I needed an escape.

Verdict: This month’s Willow Lane box is a great example of a theme being fantastic from start to finish! I was really excited when it was announced, and I was thrilled that the box even exceeded my high expectations. It sets a great tone when I enjoy the book that’s included, I love the jewelry box, candle, and stationery, and I am planning to wear the necklace a LOT for the rest of summer and into fall. This box could’ve definitely gotten a little more “twisted” and I would’ve been okay with it, but I thought the sub did a good job of keeping things a bit on the lighter side to appeal to a wider audience. I loved the variety of items, and everything looked and felt like it was high-quality.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Sadly, no. You will receive the September box! After the 15th of the month, you’ll always receive the next month’s box.

Value Breakdown: This box cost $32.99 + $9.99 shipping, which means each of the 6 items in the box have an average cost of about $7.16.

Check out all of our Willow Lane reviews and more Book Subscription Box reviews!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

What was your favorite item from Willow Lane?

Written by Laine Wooliscroft

Laine Wooliscroft

Laine is a life-long movie enthusiast who loves YA novels, estate sales, and hikes that make her legs hurt the next day. Her subscription journey started in 2014 with Ipsy, and now her favorite boxes contain craft beer, horror/spooky items, and toys for her beloved lab mix, Archie.

Posted in Book Subscription Boxes, Subscription Box Reviews, Willow Lane Books Reviews| Tags: willow lane books | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. Are the books included always YA books?

    • Not always! It’s a wide variety, and the book of the month is always outlined in detail in the email you get in advance. If you’re not into it, you can always pick another book from the “store” section of their site!

  2. Nice review

    • Thanks, Taren! ^_^

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