Hello, everyone! Long time, no see. I’m fully blaming COVID for ruining my productivity, but let’s be honest here: my motivation to finish any project started dwindling well before the pandemic. Whoops.
I’ve put this post off for a little while because I wasn’t sure how to write it. My thoughts on this box have varied almost every time I bring it to mind, but my overall opinion isn’t great. I finally felt okay enough to talk about it after watching Monica Kim’s video discussing the box – watch it here!
Without any further ado, let’s get into it.
Let me start this unboxing by saying how incredibly excited I was for it. My expectations were tremendously high, which I think led to my ultimate disappointment. Also, if you didn’t purchase the box or were unaware, Owlcrate upped the cost of shipping for this special box because of an item that made it weigh a bit more than their normal boxes. Because of that increase, I ended up shelling out $62.98 for this box. If I’m going to be completely honest here, I bought it mostly for the book. Addie LaRue is probably my favorite book of the last few years, so I wanted every edition of it I could possibly find. It also goes without saying that Owlcrate typically has really nice exclusive editions, so I assumed this one would fall suit.
The first item in the box was a wooden page holder. It was beautifully made with really pretty engravings. I really have never tried using a page holder, and after testing this one out, I don’t particularly like them. I feel like it adds an extra step to reading that’s unnecessary, and I kept getting scratches and marks on the bottom of the pages while using it. To me, this item will be purely decorative, but to some, I could see it being useful.
The next item was a metal travel thermos, which I liked a lot. I use travel mugs for work practically every day, so I feel like I’ll get some use out of it for sure. One thing that was a little disappointing was how bland the bottle was – not much decoration or artwork really on it at all. I like how they incorporated the bookstore mentioned in the book, and I do appreciate the little tea strainer at the top of the thermos.
Next, there was a candle, which I very much liked. The scent is lovely, and I’ll never be sad to get a candle. There was also a journal you write in for three years, which I’ve always wanted something like that. The enamel pin designed for this box was again lovely and something I enjoyed getting.
Now onto the item that made me question everything: the calendar. The “heavy” item that caused this box to have a higher shipping cost was a wooden perpetual calendar. I like the concept of this item – Addie deals with time and the inevitability of it – but the execution was poor. The calendar itself was a basic design that you could get literally anywhere. According to some, you can find this wooden calendar on Amazon or in craft stores, so saying it’s exclusive to this box was a stretch. The only part that technically made it exclusive was the quote printed on the back of it, but if you use the calendar correctly, you won’t ever get to see the quote. What’s the point?
I wish I had been given the choice of including/excluding the heavy item for this box because I would’ve chosen to not have this and paid less for shipping.
All of this would’ve been forgiven if the book lived up to my expectations. But sadly, it did not.
The “exclusive” cover was literally just the regular hardcover design stamped onto the book forgoing Schwab’s name. The spine looked the same, and the back featured a foiled stamped quote. The endpapers were boring in comparison to some editions I’ve seen, and the only plus was a tip-in page where V.E. Schwab signed. I think we all were expecting something beautiful. I’m not saying the original cover isn’t beautiful in its own way because I definitely think it is. I just expected more.
All of this for $63 seemed like a rip off. And what makes me the most sad about it was knowing that some people paid much more for international shipping. Some people purchased only this box with hopes that it would be the only special edition they’d want. I’m typically one to praise Owlcrate above other subscription boxes because I like the care they put into their boxes, but this one was just a giant miss.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with me, were you disappointed? Did you think the box was great, and what about it did you like?
I’m really curious to know everyone’s thoughts.
Until next time,