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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.
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off your order!
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 worldwide for $19.99
OwlCrate YA "Rebels with a Cause" May 2020 Review
My box arrived pretty late this month, but the OwlCrate team made sure to keep subscribers informed about delays and I received this email prior to shipping:
We spoke with our packing team today and they need just a bit more time to finish building all of the May boxes and prepping them for shipping. Because of this, the boxes are now anticipated to ship on May 30th, June 1st and June 2nd.
International boxes shipped out on Friday, May 22nd so those are on their way! International subscribers should receive their tracking numbers in a few days.
Please know that our team are working extremely hard to get boxes shipped as quickly and safely as they can. We know delays are frustrating and we really appreciate your patience.
We can’t wait for you guys to receive the May box! We hope that the two books included provide lots of late night reading in the coming weeks 🙂
P.S. In case you didn't know, we have a page on our website where we'll post any important updates in regards to shipping/delays due to COVID-19. Please click here and bookmark the page for easy reference! Thanks for your support!
Each box comes with a card detailing the theme and the items included. This month’s theme is “Rebels with a Cause."
We received this booklet featuring an interview with the author, a word search, and an interview with a designer. They also included some information about their monthly photo challenge and a link to a "rebellion in their hearts" playlist!
Normally our books come wrapped in plastic, but this month they chose to forego it in order to save some time and get the boxes shipped out faster. This is a little note letting us know about the change.
Our book this month is an exclusive edition which is signed by the author. It features a unique cover that is really quite stunning!
Renata was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King's Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a memory thief, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata was used by the crown to carry out the King's Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.
Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown. The Whispers may have rescued Renata years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred -- or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she drained during her time in the palace.
When Dez, the commander of her unit -- and the boy she's grown to love -- is taken captive by the notorious Principe Dorado, Renata must return to Andalucia and complete Dez's top secret mission herself. Can she keep her cover, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.
But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the fate of the entire kingdom -- and end the war that has cost her everything.
I had a really hard time getting into this book because there was so much to take in that it felt a bit confusing to me at first. I had a hard time understanding what exactly was going on since the characters have strange titles and varying magical abilities. Once we started to get to know Renata, or Ren, things started to get a bit clearer as we learn about her past and why some of those in her group aren't as trusting of her. We also meet her love interest, Dez, who happens to be the leader of their rebel group and their relationship is one of the first things that drew me into this story (I'm a sucker for romance!). When Dez is captured by the wicked Prince shortly after he expresses his love for Ren (in a steamy PG-13 scene), I was hooked hoping to find out how Ren would save the man she loves. I love the twist of the heroine fighting to save the man she loves and all of the magical traits make it such an interesting read. I hope the rest of this story delivers on the action as the beginning has!
We received a letter from the author and I think it's such a nice touch getting to hear straight from them!
This month we received a second exclusive edition book with a special cover. This one is a graphic novel with some beautiful artwork throughout. I love that they included a different type of book for us to enjoy this month! I've only glanced at this one so far, but it looks interesting and the artwork is great. There is even a great "making of" section at the back that gives a little background on each of the characters.
In the witch kingdom Hyalin, the strength of your magic is determined by the length of your hair. Those that are strong enough are conscripted by the Witch Guard, who enforce the law in peacetime and protect the land during war. However, those with hair judged too long are pronounced enemies of the kingdom, and annihilated. This is called a witch burning.
Witchy is a young adult graphic novel about the young witch Nyneve, who is haunted by the death of her father and the threat the Witch Guard poses to her own life. When conscription rolls around, Nyneve has a choice to make; join the institution complicit in her father’s death, or stand up for her ideals?
OwlCrate Exclusive! Vinyl Stickers
These fun vinyl stickers were designed by Nerdy Ink and I love the color scheme! Since these are heavy-duty stickers, OwlCrate recommends sticking them on a water bottle or notebook. The quotes are from various authors who are noted at the bottom of each quote. There are four total stickers here.
OwlCrate Exclusive! Wooden Magnet
OwlCrate Exclusive! Straw Set
As a reviewer, I have received my fair share of reusable stainless steel straws, but never have I received such a large set or one with so many pretty colors! I love that they included both straight and bent straws and of course they managed to make it bookish by printing a quote from An Ember in the Ashes on the front of the canvas bag. The bag was designed by @paperbackbones. This set of 10 straws also came with 2 little cleaning brushes.
OwlCrate Exclusive! Pot-holder Set
I love receiving kitchen items, especially ones that are both beautifully designed and useful such as these! These were designed by Little Inkling Design and the quotes come from Heart of Iron. I'm always glad to add something pretty to my kitchen and these have already come in handy a few times!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Monthly Enamel Pin
Each month you'll receive an enamel pin to go along with your book. This month our design comes from Pennyslug Design and I love how sparkly and beautiful it is!
Verdict: While I'm not sure how rebellious I feel using pot-holders and eco-friendly stainless steel straws, I certainly enjoyed the unique items from OwlCrate this month! The magnet is probably my favorite item, but there were so many useful things and a lot of beautiful, exclusive designs. It's always nice when you get two books as well, and I love that they chose a graphic novel for something a little bit different! This box costs $37.98 ($29.99 + $7.99 shipping) and the retail value of our two books alone comes to $33.98, so I'd say the value overall was pretty great this month!
To Wrap Up:
ACTIVE DEAL: Save 10% off your order!
Value Breakdown: This box costs $37.98 ($29.99 + $7.99 shipping), which means that each of the 7 items in the box has an average cost of about $5.43.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of OwlCrate this month?