Friday, March 25, 2016

How Can Books Be More Exciting??? Here's How...

I've recently discovered the world of subscription boxes.  It all started with Nerd Block.  Then I tried out Loot Crate.  I have previously posted about these boxes on my website.  While somewhat satisfying my nerd tendencies, I found myself more often than not skipping a month due to the themes.  For April, I will only be getting the SciFi Nerd Block and the Loot Crate Accessories subscriptions (and look forward to some magically themed socks that Loot Crate has hinted at).   

While wondering and checking Google if there were better themed nerd subsriptions for me, particularly with more Harry Potter and Star Trek themes (Of note, Nerd Block has done great with Star Wars items), I saw a reference to "Owl Crate."  My mind instantly went to HP.  A Potter-themed box, I asked?  Perhaps a way to receive post via owl??  I had to explore! 

What I found was even more tantalizing.  A YA book/swag box!  Holy smokes.  However, "Owl Crate" was sold out for the month of February. *sigh*

Further searching revealed other book-themed subscription boxes!  Ditto holy smokes!  After doing some research, I decided to invest in "Fantasy and Sci-fi Books."  When searching through the past boxes of some subscription boxes of various companies and comparing the costs, I decided the surprise books from this company would best fit my tastes.  It hit two of my three favorite genres (unfortunately, I have not found a satisfying historical fiction box quite for me - they need to be more ancient fictional stories).  My first box would be March.

Shortly thereafter, I got an email that "Owl Crate" was accepting new subscriptions.  So, since there was still some tax return money in our account, I decided to also give this one a try.  My first box would be March!

I received the "Fantasy and Sci-fi Books" box earlier than I expected.  Learn more at   These boxes are shipped the 1st of each month, so I got this surprise early in the month!  Most subscription boxes I've had so far ship mid-way through the month.  Yay for early surprises!  This is a big plus for this company.

This was my first book: "Unhooked" by Lisa Maxwell.  I also got the nautical-themed bracelet on my wrist, an autographed bookmark from Ms. Maxwell, a Neverland (NVR) bumper sticker and a map for "Unhooked," PLUS a second book with autographed bookmark.  Two books and swag!  Be still my pounding heart! 

I finished "Unhooked" within 3 days.  I could not put it down!  Very well written fantasy novel.  You can check out my review here:

I have not made it to "Dreamer" yet, but its on my to-read list.  I was quite satisfied with this first box.  If I had to be critical, I found the map of Neverland a little lacking in detail and sturdiness (its made of paper), but I am a big fan of maps in books or about book worlds.  So I'm still happy with it!

Then, in the second half of the month, I received my owl crate.  They are themed boxes, and this one was "Writer's Block."  I was slightly unsure about this box, but I'm glad I gave it a try because I got some great swag!

Here is what I saw when I first opened the box.  The feather instantly intrigued me.

The pen, with its white "feather" tip and fine point, is one of my favorite items.  It also perfectly complements another box item: "642 Tiny Things to Write About."  This 'tiny' book has been on my wish list for a while now.  I kept seeing it and other versions of writing prompts at Barnes and Noble but could not decide what would work best.  I almost started jumping up and down when I unboxed this item.  Thus far, I've had a lot of fun exploring the journal with my super awesome pen (it writes really nice too).

Another fun item was a pair of socks themed for banned book.  There were some cute book-lover buttons.  And then the book, "The Serpent King" by Jeff Zentner.  I had no idea what YA book would be the subject for a "Writer's Block" theme, so I did not have any expectations of what was coming.  Overall, I was pleasantly surprised.  You can learn more about "Owl Crate" here:

"The Serpent King" was another book I read within a couple days.  It was very good with excellent main characters.  Its typically not one I would have picked up, so I'm glad this book was put into my hands.  My review can be found here:

April's "Owl Crate" theme is "Dystopia."  I chose to skip the month.  While a fan of "Hunger Games," the other series that will have featured swag in the April box ("Maze Runner" and "Shatter Me") I have not read and would not be able to read beforehand.  I have also found that many dystopian YA books are too similar to "Hunger Games," and I do not enjoy them as much.  So I decided to skip it for the month.  I'm actually going to try a different subscription book box called "Uppercase." 

I saw an "Uppercase" ad on Facebook (thanks, internet, for your product placement and further feeding my addiction - not).  When I saw their past boxes, I discovered the past couple boxes were ones I would have LOVED with featured books high on my to-read list.  Their facebook page also advertised swag for fans of "Harry Potter."  I was hooked. 

I look forward to getting my "Uppercase" subscription for April.  I will also be getting a "Fantasy and Sci-fi Books" box.  I look forward to writing up more posts about my discoveries.  Oh, and if you want to check out "Uppercase," you can find them here:

So what do you think?  Would you have enjoyed these boxes?  Do you have other suggestions?  At this point, I've been very happily surprised.  The worst part is waiting for the next month's box.  A month apart??  Its SO LONG

Sorry for my over dramatics.  I was a theater major in college after all.

Be warned, these boxes are addicting!  Subscribe at your own risk.  They are quite awesome though... More to come!  In the meantime, happy reading!

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