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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 U.S. for $7.99, Canada for $9.99, and worldwide for $19.99
OwlCrate YA "Love is a Battlefield" December 2020 Review
Each box comes with a card detailing the theme and the items included. This month’s theme is “Love is a Battlefield."
We received this booklet featuring an interview with the author and a vendor as well as a Shakesperean quote quiz. They also included some information about their monthly photo challenge and a link to a romantic Spotify playlist.
They are really going above and beyond to make these books feel even more exclusive than they already do! In addition to the exclusive cover and this book being signed by the author, the reverse side of our dust jacket features some lovely artwork from @scarecrux. Even the book itself is gorgeous when the dust jacket is removed!
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
This book is a wild reimagining of Romeo and Juliette set in Shanghai with some fun, nuanced nods to the original. I enjoyed how the author worked these tidbits into the story with some being more obvious than others. The book begins with a lot of mystery surrounding Juliette's former whereabouts and her seemingly tumultuous relationship with Roma as they navigate the appearance of a monster who can cause men to bring about a gruesome death unto themselves. The imagery, while unsettling, was detailed and vivid allowing you to immerse yourself in this spooky setting in Shanghai. The opening scenes of this book are intriguing and captivating and while I haven't gotten very far just yet, I am very much into the whole idea of a mystery and possible rekindling of a forbidden romance!
We received this letter from the author with the beautiful cover artwork on the back.
OwlCrate Exclusive! Ornament
With this being the December box, a wooden ornament is a fitting item to include and the quote from The Wrath and the Dawn ties it into our theme nicely. I really love this vintage-inspired design which comes from Juniper & Ivy Designs.
OwlCrate Exclusive! Decorative Rolling Pin
This next item is incredibly unique - a tiny embossed rolling pin that you can use to add some beautiful texture to your cookies! This box arrived just after the holidays and by that time I was already finished with all of my cookie baking so I haven't had a chance to use this just yet, but wow it is so pretty! I might have to find an excuse (Ha! Like I really need one!) to test it out soon so that I can have some beautifully-designed cookies. This item was inspired by Spinning Silver and designed by Michelle Gray.
OwlCrate Exclusive! Slouchy Leg Warmers
I love when items have subtle nods to books because I find them much more useful and these leg warmers with their fun button accent inspired by Serpent & Dove are perfectly designed (by @paperbackbones). These legwarmers are nice and cozy and I think the neutral gray color was a great choice!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Puzzle
A puzzle is always a welcome item in any box for me or my family. I love that this 300 piece puzzle comes in a nice sturdy box featuring the puzzle image on the outside as well as on the inside of the box. This artwork comes from @BloodyDamnit and features characters from an Ember in the Ashes.
OwlCrate Exclusive! Hand Cream
This 2 oz tub of lotion comes from Fiction Bath Co. and the Ice & Shadows scent was inspired by Of Fire and Stars. The description of peppermint woods is the perfect way to sum up this scent. It has just a bit of invigorating mint with a bit of pine and amber to it. It's really refreshing and the lotion itself is very light and absorbed quickly leaving my hands soft.
OwlCrate Exclusive! Monthly Enamel Pin
Each month you'll receive an enamel pin to go along with your book. This month's design comes from Iron and Ink Designs and I just love the motif of the two different flowers to represent the two families in the book!
Verdict: What a great, cozy winter box from OwlCrate this month! We received something to read, something to wear to keep us warm, a puzzle to do, and even something to inspire some cookie baking. The ornament looked so nice on our tree and the hand cream works well to keep my hands soft and smelling wonderful. I just love how exclusive all of these designs were and the curation was a great mix of items for hunkering down at home. Overall, this was another great, bookish box!
To Wrap Up:
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?