Willow Lane Book Subscription Box Review – August 2018
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!
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).
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 August 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 “The Beach,” and even though fall is very near, I’m happy to celebrate the end of summer with these awesome items. My choices this month were from this list:
- Iced Tea Set
- Lip Balm
- Hair Ties
- Wooden Coasters
- Popsicle Molds (with recipes)
- Fruit Gummy Rings
- Color Sand DIY Craft Set
I opted for: Iced Tea Set, Lip Balm, Hair Ties, Popsicle Molds, and the Color Sand DIY Craft Set. Let’s see what goodies will help us say goodbye to summer, eh?
Iced Tea Set
Including a cold-brew of their own design, novelty ice cubes, and a nice mason jar to contain it all! I love iced tea, especially the unsweetened, fresh-brewed kind – if I was more industrious around my house, I think I would probably make a pitcher on the weekends and drink it all week! I really liked the brew they came up with for this; it was hearty without being too strong. And these ice cubes are so cute! I love the bright colors and that they don’t water down the drink.
Willow Lane Lip Balm – Estimated Value $2.75 (based on similar product)
There will never be a time when I am not happy to see lip balm – I use it pretty much 24/7. This is a nice fruity-floral combo that isn’t too sweet, and there’s a tiny bit of pink tint to it. Anything that makes me look a bit more polished is definitely a win!
Hair Ties – Estimated Value $4.40 (based on similar item)
I think there is a black hole in the universe specifically designed for hair ties, because no matter how often I buy a big package of them, they always go missing. I usually go for the super boring ones that are claspless and the same color as my hair, but I love these bright, fabric-esque ones! The neon colors of these five are so summery, and let’s be honest – I wear so much black that these will still go with everything I own.
Popsicle Molds – Estimated Value $12.00 (based on similar item)
I love that they included recipes with these – there were so many good ideas! I can’t wait to try them all, but for my first attempt, I actually just filled these with some peach yogurt I had on-hand. It’s been so hot lately, even still, and this seemed like a good option for snacks no matter the time of day. They froze nicely, and the sticks stayed out tight, but the molds did need to sit out for a few minutes in order for the popsicle to successfully pull free. But when it did, it was definitely a frozen yogurt popsicle – and it was delicious!
Color Sand DIY Set – Estimated Retail Value $8.00 (based on similar product)
In my hometown every year there is a festival for the leaves of autumn (it is called, as one might expect, Autumn Leaf Festival). During this time, a charming little carnival arrives in the main square of my town, and when I was little, my dad would always take me so I could ride the rides and play the games. The sand art station, for some reason, was one of my very favorites. This kit brought back those awesome childhood memories with an amazing addition – seashells! I honestly had a blast making this; the glass bottle was the perfect vessel, and the funnel that was included made it super-easy to layer the colors.
Hugo and Rose by Bridget Foley – Retail Value $10.84
From American author Bridget Foley, this novel, her first, was released on May 5th, 2015, and is 354 pages long.
Summary from Amazon:
“Rose is disappointed with her life, though she has no reason to be – she has a beautiful family and a perfectly nice house in the suburbs. But to Rose, this ordinary life feels overshadowed by her other life – the one she leads every night in her dreams.
After a childhood accident, Rose’s dreams take her to a wondrous island fraught with adventure. On this island, she has never been alone: she shares it with Hugo, a brave boy who’s grown up with her into a hero of a man.
But when Rose stumbles across Hugo in real life, both her real and dream worlds are changed forever. Here is the man who has shared all of her incredible adventures in impossible places, who grew up with her, even if they aren’t what either one imagined. Their chance encounter begins a cascade of questions, lies, and a dangerous obsession that threatens to topple everything she knows. Is she willing to let go of everything she holds dear to understand their extraordinary connection? And will it lead her to discover who she truly wants to be?”
This book was easy to read, in the third person, past tense, but it took a while to really get started. The main character is Rose, a wife and mother of three, and truly, nearly the first 100 pages focus mainly on the daily drudgery of her life. Her children are still young, and she’s their primary caregiver, since her surgeon husband, Josh, works as much as a surgeon does. The only respite in Rose’s life is when she sleeps; every night she’s transported to an island where the sand is pink and shells taste like candy. There, she adventures along with her best friend, Hugo, fighting giant spiders and trying to reach the city where they believe everyone they love is trapped. They have been unsuccessful in this task for 30 years so far.
Books that focus heavily on motherhood, especially its day-to-day details, are not usually ones that I connect with easily since I’m not a mom. This book fell into that category, so I’m sure readers with little ones will relate – perhaps a little too much! One thing that I found about Rose is that she is suffering from a lot of depression in her waking life. She downright struggles through the day, trying to be a good mom and wife, but she’s constantly hating herself for how much she struggles and worries a lot about what other people think of her. This part of the book went on a little too long, I think, but once it starts to pick up, there are twists to it that keep it interesting. I think it was too rooted in the most minute details of life to be an extremely good fantasy, but I enjoyed reading it and seeing what would happen next.
Bonus Gift: Bookmarks
These are so cute! An old-fashioned bottle of Sprite and a popsicle, these were a nice little surprise and I thought went with the theme perfectly. They’re on heavy cardstock and nicely printed.
Verdict: This month’s Willow Lane was like a box of sunshine that arrived in my mail! While the book wasn’t quite a perfect fantasy novel, I still enjoyed the break while reading it. I had so much fun playing with the iced tea kit, popsicle molds, and sand art kit, and the hair ties and lip balm were really useful items that I’ll likely employ every day.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Sadly, no. You will receive the October 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!
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What was your favorite item from Willow Lane?