Storms & Seas: An August 2019 OwlCrate Unboxing

Posted September 6, 2019 by Amber in Unboxings / 2 Comments


Good morning everyone and welcome to another OwlCrate unboxing!  Let’s start with the regular little speech, shall we?

OwlCrate offers two subscriptions – your standard box with a YA book and some swag… and OwlCrate Jr., a MG book box with swag.  I get standard OwlCrate but I’ve bought a gift subscription in the past for my friend’s daughter and that’s been a hit as well. 🙂

Basic details?

  • Subscriptions are 1, 3, and 6 months.
  • They cost $29.99/mo + shipping (my total comes to $39.95)
  • Every box has a new YA release with a signature plate and exclusive cover.
  • Every box comes with 4-6 addition swag items designed by varies small biz vendors.
  • Boxes ship around the 15th of the month.

I am not a rep for this company but I am an OwlCrate fan.  If for any reason you decided to try out the box, you can head over with << this link >> and I will get a referral nod.  If three of you do that, I get a free box. 🙂  So that’s my disclaimer.

So, now that the spiel is out of the way….

This month’s theme was STORMS & SEAS, and the aesthetics this month were right on.  As soon as this box was announced, I knew what the book was going to be and I am thrilled because this was one of the ARCs I read over the summer and I absolutely adored it, so +10pts. OwlCrate for excellent book choice! 🙂

Alrighty.  Lets get into it.  I apologize for some of the photos?  The lighting was really weird when I photographed, so there’s about 12 different shades of purple in the background. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Right on top, I pulled out Sea Witch themed tea from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe.  In the bookish/tea-drinking community, Riddle’s Tea Shoppe is the place to get your tea.  While I drink a lot of tea, I’m sort of hopeless and lazy… and I prefer teabags.  That said, I do keep a pouch filled with the cocoa and loose leaf teas from boxes because I don’t mind them and I have a strainer so technically I can steep them.  This one is an Earl Grey blend, so that’s lovely.  I have no real opinions about this item beyond that?  Neither good nor bad for me.

I adore this month’s themed pin!  Created by Laserbrain Patch Co., the design itself is really stark and clean, and it is text-free… meaning if you don’t read or don’t like this month’s book, it’s a bit more flexible as a nautical-themed pin.  I actually really like Laserbrain – I’ve had my eye on this Goonies pin for a while but haven’t made the jump (also the colors I like are out of stock)… so this is a good item for me.


I think the next item is perfect when you’re talking about being on-theme.  If you’re going to to a theme like Storms & Seas, you’ve got to include a bath item.  You just have too.  Rather than basing this on a book, this bottle of The Little Mermaid bath salts looks to be based more on the movie.  I don’t know what Disney fans I have here (if any) but the label is very much a redesign of the animated film’s title by The Soap Librarian.  No complaints, per se, just an observation.  As far as bath salts go… meh?  I’m a bit weird – I adore bath bombs, but I could really care less about bath salts.  It’s a cute little item, however.

The “big” item this month is a little tea light lantern.  At first, I was impressed by this item just for the creativity of it.  As an OwlCrate exclusive, this is designed but the team.  It’s the same lightweight sort of black metal at the bookends, and… I dunno.  I took it out and went, “oh cool!” then took a step back and said, “I am never going to use this..”  It’s an A+ item for bookstagrammers, but the rest of us? Meh.


The fact that I disliked this next item is just… personal, I guess?  The vendor for the bookmark in this box is Juniper and Ivy Designs, and their whole design aesthetic is laser-engraved wood.  The design is fine and everything… I just… don’t dig their designs?  Again, this is nothing to do with anything  being wrong with this Daughter of the Pirate King woodmark!  It’s just… not for me?

The last bit of loot in the box is a pencil or bookmark tin based on The Scorpio Races by Stella Bookish Art.  Visually, this is absolutely stunning, and I expect nothing less from this vendor.  I also like seeing The Scorpio Races, because while Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys seems to pop up a lot, her other works are overlooked as fandoms to use in these things.  That said, the gold text on marbleized blue is really hard to read.


Aaaand, this month’s book!  For those who have already seen my review, you know I loved House of Salt and Sorrows.  For everyone else, here’s the summary from Goodreads:

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.


As far as this box goes, the aesthetics are wonderful.  OwlCrate really nailed the theme.  That said, of all the items in the box, the only one I really like is the book and pin.  The tin is pretty, but I’ve gotten so many similar items lately.  The tea is fine, but I probably will never drink it.  The bath salts are the same – fine, but not something I would have picked up on my own and I may never use them.  The latter is pretty but I won’t use it.  The bookmark is fine but not my style.

I think it all comes together with my general disillusionment with book boxes lately?  That, frankly, I could save money by just buying the book because I’m disenchanted with the swag.  It’s not bad, I just don’t want it?  So, yeah.  I have one month left of my subscription, and I’m skipping September (I’ve already preordered the book) but for those who still love the idea of book boxes 😛 September looks pretty good.  It’s a spooky box and will include two books (the monthly choice + a horror Penguin Classic).


Do you intend to read House of Salt and Sorrows?  I very much recommend it!  Tell me in the comments if you’re excited, or what you thought if you’ve already read it!

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