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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: $32.99 per month + 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 $8.99, Canada for $14.99, and varying international rates
OwlCrate YA "Of Witches and Wonder" March 2021 Review
Each box comes with a card detailing the theme and the items included. This month’s theme is “Of Witches and Wonder."
We received this booklet featuring an interview with the author and one of this month's vendors. They also included some information about their monthly photo challenge and a link to a Spotify playlist.
Our book features an exclusive cover and sprayed edges, plus it is signed by the author!
Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.
Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.
When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.
Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don't kill each other first..
I thought the concept of this book was great, and overall I think I enjoyed it, but I had a really hard time getting into this one! I think because Tamsin seemed so cold and unfeeling, I didn't take to her right away so the story didn't hold my interest quite as much. I also really wish that her past had been woven into the story a bit more organically because the fragments weren't quite enough to provide an understanding that provoked any empathy from me as I read. I wanted more insight into her personality and especially more about the relationship between her and her sister because I felt it was so crucial to the story.
Sweet, naive Wren was a great contrast to Tamsin with her headstrong nature and her desire to always do good. While it was clear that the characters were moving towards developing feelings for each other, the book moved slowly and maybe it was the author's writing style, but I felt like there was a lack of connection between the two. Since I thrive off playful banter between love interests, maybe it was just that aspect of humor that was missing since Tamsin was meant to be so unfeeling and therefore not quite capable of humor?
I did also find it to be a bit predictable as far as who the dark witch was and the overall trajectory the story was taking, but there were certainly a lot of little surprises that I didn't see coming. While I really wanted to like this book and a lot of the elements were there, this book ended up being just an okay read for me. That being said, the rest of this box is pretty incredible, so let's get to it!
We received this letter from the author which is always such a great personal touch.
We received this OwlCrate Reading Challenge bookmark which is the perfect place to keep track of your books!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Bookmark Holder
Speaking of bookmarks... this beautiful little pouch is actually a bookmark holder to hold all of the gorgeous bookmarks we've collected from this subscription. While I love the idea of a bookmark holder, this is also the perfect size to hold a pair of glasses, so I might just use mine for that instead. Either way, it's a cute accent for my nightstand!
This was inspired by A Discovery of Witches and designed by Aimee Mac Illustration!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Sketchbook
I always love their notebooks and this sketchbook full of blank pages features the sweetest design by Talia Skyles. I love the colors and the cozy depiction of this bookish witch. The twinkling lights are a cute touch, too. These books always hold up so nicely with their hardcovers and are great to throw in a bag since the pages are proteced.
OwlCrate Exclusive! Tea Bag Rest
This ceramic tea bag rest is in the shape of a perfect star with gold edges and a sweet design. It is inspired by Practical Magic and reads, "there's a little witch in all of us." It's just so cute and the perfect size to hold your teabag without taking up a ton of counter space.
OwlCrate Exclusive! Tumbler Mug
It looks like we will be receiving a new collectible drinkware item each season and this is the first in our series. I love the deep green color and the gorgeous design by Macarena Chomik. The florals are idyllic for spring and the phrase "cheers for spring for life for a growing soul" from Sylvia Plath is a sweet sentiment. This tumbler holds 12 ounces and keeps your drinks nice and cold with a fitted plastic lid to sip from. This is one of my favorite items this month!
OwlCrate Exclusive! Roll-On Perfume
This is a new item for this subscription! This comes from Fiction Bath Co. and was inspired by The Year of the Witching. The scent is Immanuelle and it's a blend of blackberry, sage, and cypress along with coconut oil and vitamin E. It smells so good! The sweet blackberry and herbal sage are rounded out so nicely by the woodsy cypress. This is definitely my new go-to scent!
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 Icey Designs and the cauldron reading "magic has consequences" with the four rings design is very fitting for our book!
Verdict: Wow! I just loved all of the goodies from OwlCrate this month! While the book did not blow me away like it did last month, all of these exclusive items were just perfect! They worked with some truly talented artists this month (okay, let's be real, they do every month) and came up with some really unique items. I definitely do not own a tea bag rest or a bookmark holder, but both of those items will come in handy, especially considering that tea and bookmarks are frequent items in these boxes. The sketchbook is useful and beautiful, but my two favorite items were the perfume roller with its sweet, woodsy scent, and the tumbler which I have already been putting to use. This curation was awesome and I think the value is definitely there! What did you think this month?
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: This box costs $41.98 ($32.99 + $8.99 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?