Good morning lovelies! Are you sick of unboxings yet? I have SO MANY for your this month because all sorts of special edition boxes are coming in. This is an old familiar one by now, and as a change, Illumicrate’s June box is a contemporary for a change!
Some basic details, you know the drill! I’m not a rep for Illumicrate – I buy this with my own money, and I get no benefit from you clicking that link. If you want to try out this box, here are the details!
- There are 1 (full box only), 3, and 6-month subscriptions.
- You can sign up for the full box (£26.00 + shipping/mo.), or the book-only option (£49.00 + shipping/3mo.)
- There are also debut boxes, a special pin subscription, virtual book signings w/ special edition books, and special edition boxes.
- Boxes contain an exclusive edition of the book and 4-6 additional items.
- Boxes ship by the 20th of the month.
As you may remember, I was a little disappointed with the May box. Not by any particular fault of Illumicrate, but because I hadn’t read any of the fandoms… so it wasn’t a good fit for me. And that happens! But because of my disappointment in May, I had low expectations for the June box, and so, I was pretty pleased with it!
So. Let’s do this.
Item number one are some super cute reading flags with specific things already written on them like “LOLLL” and “*HEART EYES*” I don’t use reading flags, but even I have to nod at how bold and gorgeous the design is on these – Hey Atlas Creative did a great job for this collaboration.
When I saw there was a huge fabric item in this box, I cringed. I have an unboxing coming later this week that also contained a large fabric item, and these are some of my least favorite things to get in boxes. Unless it’s a blanket (blankets are always good), I don’t know what to do with them. This giant tapestry is really lightweight and I have to admit, the design is gorgeous. This artwork is by Carol G., and it’s probably the prettiest I’ve seen for an item like this. I’m also really hard to impress when it comes to illustrations – I’m a typography girl. I gotta be real here, as far as items go, I still don’t know what to do with something this big, but the art is stunning and I appreciate that aspect so much.
Now, my TBR jar is huge – it’s a wide glass vase from a bouquet of flowers someone sent me once, and I like it for the heft and size… but if you don’t already have one of these, the “Read Me” TBR Jar is really pretty. If I end up doing a sub-TBR jar (like I did last year with my 2018 Debut Authors Challenge) I’ll definitely use this one.
And, honestly, I recommend a TBR so much. I’m a mood reader, and it forces me to read differently… which has actually been really good for me. KDP Letters did the typography for this one – they’re a pretty common vendor for popular book boxes and always provide really lovely designs.
As I mentioned last month, Illumicrate has decided to jump into the collectible bandwagon, and they’ve chosen a unique item and gone with a magnetic coin. As I mentioned last time, I’m not crazy about this item, but after discussing with Brittany, I can see where this is a more useful collectible item than enamel pins for most people. I’m still not crazy about the item or the design (this month: Hermione Granger), but it’s such a small item, I don’t mind shrugging it off.
Another shrug-off item (which I’ve come to expect in Illumicrate’s boxes) is the sampler. This month’s is for The Paper & Hearts Society. Nothing against the book here, but I’m not a sampler girl. It looks like this fits in really well with the theme this month, but I probably won’t be reading this sampler.
One of the big items this month was the first half of a two piece book end set. This is just a basic, bookish metal book end. You may have noticed so far that the only true fandom item has been the magnetic coin, and that’s intentional on Illumicrate’s part. They wanted to have something that could be appreciated by everyone. But the fact that there’s only half the bookend set in this box is sorta lame. It’s not going to affect me because I have a 6mo. subscription, but for those going one box at a time, to only have half a set could be a real downer. So I’d like to acknowledge that bit, even though I understand them wanting to inspire repeat purchases.
Illumicrate promised a new book sleeve by Sparrow + Wolf. They included a Sparrow + Wolf book sleeve in the Grishaverse box and it is to date my favorite book sleeve, so I was super pumped. This one is a little different – this is a waterproof book sleeve. Honestly, it looks a bit like one of those reusable grocery bags BUT I love this. I can’t think of anything better to bring to the beach, because I feel like the beach depends books will get wet and sandy and this book sleeve will help. Other than the art on the tapestry, this item was the biggest win for me.
Illumicrate chose to include two contemporary books this month, which is always awesome. One of the reasons I loved the quarterly version of this box so much was that there was almost always an ARC included. Getting two books in a box is such a treat. I also really need to point out how pretty the stained edges are on this one – rainbow and striped just like the candle on the cover and I love it.
If you aren’t familiar with Birthday by Meredith Russo, here’s a summary from Goodreads:
Two kids, Morgan and Eric, are bonded for life after being born on the same day at the same time. We meet them once a year on their shared birthday as they grow and change: as Eric figures out who he is and how he fits into the world, and as Morgan makes the difficult choice to live as her true self. Over the years, they will drift apart, come together, fight, make up, and break up—and ultimately, realize how inextricably they are a part of each other.
This book was on my TBR already, so I was happy to see such a beautiful edition in this box.
The big book in this box was This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura. Of course, I also got this book from the YA Book of the Month club SO… yay me, duplicate books. The Illumicrate version is a little prettier, because there are yellow sprayed images, so I’m into it. I am looking forward to this book regardless, though, so I’m glad to see it included.
Katsuyamas never quit—but seventeen-year-old CJ doesn’t even know where to start. She’s never lived up to her mom’s type A ambition, and she’s perfectly happy just helping her aunt, Hannah, at their family’s flower shop.
She doesn’t buy into Hannah’s romantic ideas about flowers and their hidden meanings, but when it comes to arranging the perfect bouquet, CJ discovers a knack she never knew she had. A skill she might even be proud of.
Then her mom decides to sell the shop—to the family who swindled CJ’s grandparents when thousands of Japanese Americans were sent to internment camps during WWII. Soon a rift threatens to splinter CJ’s family, friends, and their entire Northern California community; and for the first time, CJ has found something she wants to fight for.
Generally speaking, I think this box was a much more successful box than last month. I’m a little bummed I got a duplicate book, since I’m usually able to catch and avoid those things, but it happens sometimes. So that’s my fault. But for general value and quality, this was a really good box.
It was also really nice to see a departure from fandoms. For those who have read my previous unboxings, you’ll know that one of my biggest complaints is that I haven’t read a fandom and so the item loses a lot of meaning. That didn’t happen at all here. I really liked the artwork on the tapestry, I love the two books, and I’m definitely going to be using that waterproof book sleeve.
Where would you bring the waterproof book sleeve? For me, I like the waterproof aspect and would use them at the pool or beach. Let me know where else you’d take yours in the comments!