OwlCrate YA Book Box Review + Coupon – October 2019


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OwlCrate is a YA book subscription box. Each month they send you a newly released YA book with some bookish goodies.

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 OwlCrate YA

The Subscription Box: OwlCrate YA

The Cost: $29.99 + shipping. Save with longer subscriptions.

The Products: A new YA book and 3-5 book-related goodies. Recommended for ages 14+.

Ships to: The US for $7.99, Canada for $9.99, and International for $19.99 

OwlCrate YA “Dawn of a New World” October 2019 Review

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    Each box comes with a card detailing the theme and the items included. This month’s theme is “Dawn of a New World.” They usually send a mini-magazine each month which includes a word search and interviews with authors, vendors, and illustrators, but this month they are doing a trial run of a digital version. You can view it here. I think it’s a great eco-friendly move and they say it will allow them to include even more content for subscribers. They sent an email to subscribers asking for feedback which I thought was a nice gesture!

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      I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi – Retail Value $17.99 (found here for $14.39)

      This is the first of TWO books that we received this month. I love the exclusive cover art on this book! They did a fantastic job of making it visually appealing with their choice of colors. This is also signed by the author.

      This book starts out pretty risque from the beginning with messages containing cuss words in the first few pages and an opening scene in which one of our main characters, Jesse, is hooking up with a guy – pants unzipped and all. Eek! After this scene, we get to know Jesse, a troubled young man who usually picks tourists to hook up with since he is afraid of getting close to anyone. He helps pull the weight at home since his mom works overtime trying to support the two of them and he seems to have a lot of emotions and pretty unhealthy ways of dealing with them. Our next character is Cate, a young girl eager to experience the traditional milestones in life such as her first kiss, but her attempt at normalcy is overshadowed by her mother’s mental instability. Our last main character is Adeem, a coding genius whose teacher and parents are worried that he is not living up to his full potential. While he is highly intelligent, all he can think of is his sister who left home after confessing her sexual orientation to her parents and hasn’t spoken to any of them since. These three have a lot going on in their personal lives and after the government reveals that they have decoded a message from a planet called Alma that says an attack to bring about the end of the world is planned in just seven days time, they all find themselves in Roswell trying to make sense of it all.

      This book had more of a political undertone than our usual picks, but the concept was unique and the story told through three different perspectives offered a lot of varying viewpoints. There are different text styles that seem to break up the story such as the very human messages that people send out to their loved ones and the transcripts from the trial being held in Alma to determine the fate of Earth. Possibly because of the way it is formatted, I found myself flying through this one easily.

      Book Summary from Amazon:

      In this high concept YA novel debut that’s We All Looked Up meets The Sun Is Also a Star, three teens must face down the mistakes of their past after they learn that life on Earth might end in less than a week.

      News stations across the country are reporting mysterious messages that Earth has been receiving from a planet—Alma—claiming to be its creator. If they’re being interpreted correctly, in seven days Alma will hit the kill switch on their “colony” Earth.

      True or not, for teenagers Jesse Hewitt, Cate Collins, and Adeem Khan, the prospect of this ticking time bomb will change their lives forever.

      Jesse, who has been dealt one bad blow after another, wonders if it even matters what happens to the world. Cate, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she never met. And Adeem, who hasn’t spoken to his estranged sister in years, must find out if he has it in him to forgive her for leaving.

      With only a week to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide as their worlds are pulled apart.

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        We received a letter from the author of this month’s book which is one of the prettiest notes we’ve received!

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          Crier’s War by Nina Varela – Retail Value $17.99 (found here for $12.99)

          Our second SIGNED book also comes with an exclusive cover much different in style from the first. This cover is so interesting and beautiful!

          This book is more of a fantasy than our first story and takes place in a world where humans are now the lower species while the Automae, those who are “Made,” are the ones who seek power and hope to rid the world of humans. We first meet Crier who is one of the Made, although she harbors no ill will towards humans and is soon to marry Kinok who is notorious among both Automae and humans. Next, we meet Ayla, a human girl who has experienced much loss at the hands of Hesod, Crier’s father, and longs for revenge. In a chance encounter, Crier and Ayla meet and soon discover secrets about one another. Ayla is skeptical of any Automae, but when Crier requests that she be her handmaiden, she accepts, not only to protect her secret but so that she can get close to Hesod and exact her revenge. As events transpire, Crier begins to doubt who she can trust and she suspects that her father and Kinok might be even eviler than she could ever have imagined and she becomes quite enamored with Ayla which makes it all the more confusing. While Crier struggles to make sense of everything, Ayla is discovering that everything she thought she knew might be far from the truth.

          While this story was harder to get through than our first, I think I preferred this fantasy story this month! While I typically prefer realistic fiction like the first novel, I find that my tastes are changing a bit, which I definitely attribute to OwlCrate getting me hooked on the fantasy genre!

          From Amazon:

          “After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.

          Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

          Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

          Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.”

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            We received a letter from this author as well and this one is very raw and a bit more personal than most.

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              OwlCrate Exclusive! Sticker

              This science-y sticker was inspired by Marie Lu’s Warcross and it feels totally ’80s to me! This great design was created by Blanca Montiel.

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                Exclusive! Magnetic Bookmarks

                These magnetic bookmarks were handmade by Craftedvan and feature characters inspired by the comic series Saga! I am unfamiliar with the comic, but these little bookmarks are always fun to receive no matter the design!

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                  Exclusive! Pendant Necklace

                  This month we received a piece of jewelry! I was excited to see what was inside this sapphire velvet box and was not disappointed to see this necklace inspired by the Lunar Chronicles. This gorgeous crescent moon pendant was designed by Iron and Ink Designs and I think the subtle style will suit almost anyone. I love the sparkly color with those silver wires that mimic constellations. Such a creative design!

                  Here it is on. I think it’s the perfect accent to a dark top!

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                    Exclusive! Book Tin

                    Next, we have this fabulously bookish tin inspired by the Illuminae Files. This book tin was designed by Stella Bookish Art and fits perfectly within any home decor thanks to its small size and the unique book shape. You can prop it up like a book slipping it between anything on your shelves or display it flat and either way your treasures are safe inside! There is a quote on the front, back and even the inside of the lid and I love the way there is a full quote hidden there with just simple phrases standing out with the authors’ names underneath. The design is another one that is so pretty that even those who aren’t familiar with the inspiration can appreciate it!

                    Since it may be hard to read the quotes read as follows:

                    • “Until the last star in the galaxy dies you have me”
                    • “Live a life worth dying for”
                    • “You might get only one shot so shoot”

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                      Exclusive! Monthly Enamel Pins 

                      Since we have two books this month, it only makes sense that we would receive two enamel pins! This month our designs come from The Enchanted Bookshop and they are so fitting for each of our stories. The heart is for Crier’s War while the radio is for I Hope You Get This Message. They are both great designs, but I think the radio is a bit more my style with its retro feel!

                      Verdict: This month’s OwlCrate box was such a treat with two full novels and some really beautiful exclusive items! I adore the necklace and think it is perfectly on-trend and bookish at the same time. That book tin is stunning, and I love how well our enamel pins fit our stories! These boxes feel so special with all of the exclusive designs and talented artists that they choose to include each month. This month we also received an incredible value considering our books alone came to $35.98, and this box costs just a bit more at $37.98 ($29.99 + $7.99 US shipping)!

                      To Wrap Up:

                      Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, but subscriptions are now open for the November box.

                      Value Breakdown: This box costs $29.99 + $7.99 shipping, which means that each of the 8 items in the box (counting the pins separately) has an average cost of $4.75.

                      Check out all of our Owl Crate Reviews and more of our best book subscription boxes!

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

                      What did you think of OwlCrate this month?


                      Written by Brandi Dowell

                      Brandi Dowell

                      Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Finding new products to test out and possibly fall in love with has always excited her. Now, as a mother of 3, she loves discovering new products that can help make parenting a little easier! Her favorites are FabFitFun and Target Baby boxes.

                      Posted in Book Subscription Boxes, OwlCrate Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Teens| Tags: owlcrate | 5 comments

                      5 Comments

                      1. This was my least favorite Owlcrate since I’ve been getting them. Neither book was for me and nothing cool like they usually send, say the fingerless gloves from last month.
                        That said I do love this sub and when I went through and cancelled most all the other subs at the beginning of the year this survived and will stay for now.

                      2. “This book starts out pretty risque from the beginning with messages containing cuss words in the first few pages and an opening scene in which one of our main characters, Jesse, is hooking up with a guy – pants unzipped and all. Eek! After this scene, we get to know Jesse, a troubled young man who usually picks tourists to hook up with since he is afraid of getting close to anyone. ”

                        This is my problem with so-called YA book clubs. They are supposed to be for ages 14+ but there is no way I would buy this for my 14-year-old granddaughter. It seems to me they are geared toward adults who enjoy YA books – and the only thing that seems to categorize a book as YA is having teenage protagonists, not appropriate content. I would really like to find a book club that is appropriate for my book-loving teenage granddaughter.

                        • I totally agree! I personally started reading YA for myself because I didn’t like the “smut” in the adult novels. But lately it seems like YA novels are SO trashy too! All YA means now is the novel is about a teenager! I swear it used to mean a little tamer! This was my least favorite OwlCrate I’ve ever received!

                      3. Owlcrate has the best book covers 😍

                        • Awesome to hear, KS!

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