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OwlCrate YA Book Box Review + Coupon – December 2020

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

FYI – COVID-19 Updates: You can find OwlCrate shipping updates right here.

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.

COUPON: Use code OWLCRATEMSA10 to save 10% off your order!

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.


These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong – Retail Value $19.99 (found here for $17.99)

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!

From Amazon:

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:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, this was the December box, but you can join the waitlist for the January box here.

COUPON: Use code OWLCRATEMSA10 to 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.

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?  


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Written by Brandi Dowell

Brandi Dowell

Brandi has loved the idea of subscription boxes since joining Birchbox in 2013. Now that she’s a mother of 3, she loves finding unique boxes to educate and entertain her kids while enjoying some more pampering boxes for herself. Her favorites these days are Lillypost, KiwiCo boxes & Wicked Good Perfume!

Posted in Book Subscription Boxes, OwlCrate Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews, Subscription Boxes for Teens| Tags: owlcrate | 3 comments

Comments (3)

  1. This box is consistently amazing even after all these years.

  2. What a great review! Thank you. I am so tempted by this crate. I get Once Upon A Book Club and it’s hard to top! Thus would be a nice 2nd book for the month.

    • Thanks for reading, Hallie! If you do end up subscribing, let me know what you think! 🙂

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