Bookish, Round Up

The Big YA Book Subscription Box Round Up

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Hello my lovelies! My last YA book subscription box post was a big hit so I’ve decided to up my game. This is a massive list of the boxes out there and a break down of the need to know information about them. This list will be continually updated so feel free to check back.


Last updated: 8/8/19

The Middle Grade Box Round Up
(aimed at kids ages 9-12)
My Personal Experience With Various Boxes
Round Up of Book Merch boxes [no books in box]

This article was started with the information I found online through unboxings, comments on social media, and information shared with me as well as my personal experiences. *Indicates summarized information (and opinions) from other people who have purchased the box in question.

Yes, it is true that some of the “good” and the “bad” may just be a one-time fluke. You might have subscribed to the box with no problems but other people had issues and problems worth bringing to attention. As with any purchase, do your own research. You can make your decisions about what works best for you. This article is simply meant as guide that gives information on all one one page to review.

Beacon Book Box
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $29.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 11th-15th of the month
Genres of Book: Everything YA. Looks like heavy focus on Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Book Only Option: Yes
Monthly Collectible: Book Sleeve; Usable even if you don’t collect all of them. Recipe Card. 
Paper Items: Low on paper items
The Good: *Good customer service. Family run business.
The Bad: Lighter on items. Items can be a bit different: cooler, drink Koozie, rice bag eye mask.

Book of the Month YA [I am an affiliate]
Location
: US
Ships To: US only
Price: $14.99 [Free shipping]
Shipping Time: Members pick their book(s) by the 6th. Boxes are shipped out after that.
Genres of Book: A variety. 5 books are selected each month. See past selections.
Book Only Option: That’s all it is!
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: N/A
The Good: You get to choose your book. You can also add a book to your box for $9.99. You can skip a month if the books don’t appeal to you.
The Bad: US only. You have to call a 1-800 number to cancel.
Also available: Book of the Month (adult)

The Bookie Box [Technically closed?; Also see Wicked Fantasies Crate]
Location
: US
Price: The box is supposed closed but the owner keeps opening and closing down the shop.
Shipping Time: ?? Months late so who really knows?
Genres of Book: Fantasy?
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: N/A
The Good: N/A
The Bad: *Blames delays on vendors. *Fails to reveal that SHE’s the vendor for most of the products. *Fails to reveal that she sets up new companies to produce the products. *Products are sloppily made. *Good luck getting a refund. *Writer Moose reviewed her experience with The Bookie Box.
The BEWARE: Everything.

The Bookish Box
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $28.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 13th-19th of the month
Genres of Book: Everything. Possibly heavy on Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Book Only Option: Yes
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: Lots of options and price points: Shirt + Book box; Book Only; Simply Shirt Bag; Book, Shirt, and Goodies Box; Book and Goodies box; Shirt and Goodies Bag. Averages ~1 paper item a box.
The Bad: Many items in box appear to be by The Bookish Box/Shop which is a bummer if you’re looking for items made by other vendors. Typically includes several small items such as enamel pins, jewelry, etc. Could be a plus or minus depending on your preference.
Also available from The Bookish Box: Adult Box | The Bookish Shop

Enchanted Book Box [bi-monthly]
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $29.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 20th-25th of the month
Genres of Book: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: Passport; Usable even if you don’t collect them all.
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: High quality items. Light on the paper products.
The Bad: *Won’t offer refunds. You’ll need to contact Paypal or your bank to get your money back.
The BEWARE: Runs very late. *No updates for customers. *Tracking numbers take weeks (or longer to update or move). *Months behind; ignores customers; misspellings galore. *Refunds are being bounced. *Selling past items in order fund other orders.

Fae Crate
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $29.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: Around the 20th of the month
Genres of Book: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: Collectible Polaroid; Usable even if you don’t collect them all. Collectible coin; Usable even if you don’t collect them all.
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: Light on paper products. Hangover Kits are packed and full of great value. One time boxes so you don’t have to subscribe.
The Bad: *Plushies can look creepy. *Customer service is not great. *Packing is not done well. *Monthly boxes aren’t as good as Hangover Kits. *Adds a giant Faecrate logo to exclusive cover. Deletes comments about late boxes on social media. Gives conflicting information about late boxes so buyers aren’t sure what’s actually going on.
The Beware: Refunds/cancellations are “against” company policy. You’ll have to contact your bank/PayPal to get refund for items that are damaged/incredible late. Proceed with caution. Advertises signed bookplates but sends out bookplates with a photocopied signature.

Fairyloot [My Fairyloot Unboxing]
Location:
UK
Ships To: Worldwide except Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, Fiji, Guadeloupe, Costa Rica, Israel, Palestine and Haiti
Price: £26 +S&H
Shipping Time: Around the 20th of the month
Genres of Book: Fantasy
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: Collectible Tarot Cards; Have to collect all the cards to use them as Tarot cards. Otherwise can be used as art prints.
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: Special edition books [sprayed pages or other changes]; Decent fantasy option for UK. Opening up a US fulfillment center which means better shipping prices for US/CA subscribers.
The Bad: *They tend to oversell their items. *Other shady business practices. Expensive for international people; don’t always get your money’s worth. Many small items in a box. Recent examples: drinkables, lip balms, hair band, reusable straw, iron-on patch, matches.
The BEWARE: Continual quality control issues. *Refuses to admit mistakes or offer refunds/fix mistake [Quality control issues from month ago still haven’t been fixed]. *Blocks/deletes negative comments on social media.

Fantasy Monthly
Location: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $16.99 or $32.50
Shipping Time: 10th of the month
Genres of Book: YA Fantasy
Book Only Option: Yes
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: All paper items.
The Good: Reveals the book. Two options. Classic and Deluxe. Website reveals exactly what type of items will be in the deluxe box.
The Bad: The book isn’t signed.

Fox & Wit
Location
: US
Price: $29 + S&H
Shipping Time: 12th-15th of the month
Genres of Book: Everything
Book Only Option: Yes
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Averages a couple of paper item in the box.
The Good: Great customer service. Owner and team are great and passionate.
The Bad: Many of items are made by Fox & Wit. *Tends to look and feel cheap. *High shipping costs.
Also available from Fox & Wit: Bookish Incenses | Enamel Pins | Character Matchboxes

Illumicrate
Location
: UK
Ships To: Worldwide except China, El Salvador, Guadalupe, Haiti, Russia and Saudi Arabia
Price: £26.00 + S&H
Shipping Time: 20th-25th of the month
Genres of Book: Fantasy/Sci-fi
Book Only Option: Yes
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Typically 1 paper item. [Other paper items are typically promotional items and not counted as items]
The Good: Exclusive editions and signed by the author. Sprayed pages is typically what makes the book exclusive. *Items are useful and tend to be bigger items. *Best fantasy/sci-fi option for UK subscribers. *High value special edition boxes.
The Bad: *If your book comes damaged, it’s really difficult to get it fixed. You may have to send the book back (at cost to you). You may get a replacement book (that might be even more damaged) or only get a 20% off coupon.
Also available from Illumicrate: Illumicrate Editions | Virtual Signings | Illumicrate x Fable & Black Pin Club | Special Edition Boxes

The Librarian Box
Location
: US
Ships To: US [If you’re international and willing to cover all fees and postage, contact The Librarian Box to see if you can work something out.]
Price: $40 + S&H
Shipping Time: Ships on book’s release date
Genres of Book: Everything
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: Pandora style charm inspired by the book’s theme
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: Custom book boxes! Great idea for yourself or a friend.
The Bad: Expensive. Smaller box so they don’t have as much buying power to buy lots of high quality items.

LitJoy Crate
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $29.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 20th of the month
Genres of Book: Everything
Book Only Option: Yes; Includes Trading Cards
Monthly Collectible: Trading Cards; They should make a full deck of playing cards. To do that, you must collect them all. Otherwise they can be used for art.
Paper Items: Typically multiple trading cards + ~1 additional paper item
The Good: Exclusive book. Dust jackets tend to have art on the inside and/or art inside book. Items only option.
The Bad: *Value and quality of items are all over the place. They over value (~$5 each) the Trading Cards. Will include more cards in a box at a loss of other items. International shipping is expensive. High amount of small items in boxes.
Also available from LitJoy Crate: Magical Edition Crates

Luminary Box {new box; will be updated when more information is available}
Location
: US
Price: $35 + S&H
Shipping Time: 15th of the month
Genres of Book
Book Only Option
Monthly Collectible: Trading Card
Paper Items:
The Good: You can skip a box without canceling. Candle in every box.
The Bad

MLC Candle Crate { new box; will be updated when more information is available}
Location: US
Price: $35 + S&H
Shipping Time
Genres of Book: Fantasy
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items:
The Good: Reveals book ahead of time. 2 candles by MLC candle company in each box. Sorting candle included.
The Bad:  Items are all made by the shop. [They do appear to be high quality but if you’re wanting variety from other shops, you may be disappointed.]

Once Upon A Book Club
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $34.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 17th-20th
Genres of Book: Everything
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: Different from other boxes. Items are to be opened on specific pages.
The Bad: Pricey for international people. Items are disappointing.
Also available from Once Upon a Book Club: Adult Box

Owlcrate [Use my affiliate link here | See my Owlcrate Unboxings here]
Location
: CA but ships in the US
Ships To: Worldwide except Mexico and Peru
Price: $29.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 15th-20th of the month
Genres of Book: Everything but heavy focus on Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: Enamel Pin based on book; Usable even if you don’t collect them all.
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: Exclusive covers, hand signed books. Great quality items. Even if you don’t know fandoms, you can still use many of the items. Ability to skip a month. Amazing customer service.
The Bad: No book only option but many times extra books end up in shop.
Also available from Owlcrate: Owlcrate Jr | Special Edition Boxes (quarterly)

Second Star Books [May 2019 was the last box]
Location
: US
Price: $28.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 1st week of the month
Genres of Book: Everything; Debut Author focus
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: None!
The Good: Simple box: Book, ebook, custom woodwick candle based on book, woodmark based on book, & enamel pin. Fantastic customer service.
The Bad: No fandom items if that is what you’re looking for. Items are all made by owner. They are all high quality but if you’re looking to discover new small companies, you won’t find it here.
Also available from Second Star Books: Second Star Seasonal (Quarterly box with custom designed classic book) and The Monthly Melt (7 oz candle subscription)

Shelflove Crate
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $29.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 20th-25th of the month
Genres of Book: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Book Only Option: Yes; Includes Chess Pieces
Monthly Collectible: Chess pieces; To make a usable chess set, you need them all. Otherwise they’re usable as art.
Paper Items: ~Couple a month
The Good: Decent items. Offers one-time purchase. Signed books.
The Bad: *Has been shipping late. *Poor communication. *Bad customer service. Offered book ends in pieces meaning you have purchase 2 boxes to get both ends. Many smallish items.
The BEWARE: *SLC has blacklisted at least one customer who publicly express concerns and disappointment about items and service. Blacklisting includes blocking, canceling accounts, and refunding (at a loss thanks to exchange rate) subscriptions.

Shelflove Reads [July 2019 was the last box]
Location
: US
Price: $37.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 5th-11th of the month
Genres of Book: General Fiction
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: Quality items. Nice for older YA fans.
The Bad: One of the more expensive boxes.

Spearcraft Book Box [See my Spearcraft Unboxings here | Full disclosure: I was a rep Jan-Mar 2019]
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $29.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 20th-27th of the month
Genres of Book: Everything
Book Only Option: Yes
Monthly Collectible: Monthly quote magnet; Usable even if you don’t collect them all.
Paper Items: ~Couple a month
The Good: Lots of items in box. Deals are always floating around. Don’t order without using a coupon code! There’s always a few floating around. Good choice of books. Lots of ways to win a free box.
The Bad: *Shipping is slow. *Spearcraft makes many of the item in the box.
Also available from Spearcraft Book Box: Middle Grade Box | Quarterly Box | Candle Box

Spellbound Book Box
Location: US
Price: $34.95 + S&H
Shipping Time: 3rd week of the month
Genres of Book: Fantasy
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Typically just 1 paper item
The Good: Items are all useful. [Candles, bath/body products, pins, bags, etc.]
The Bad:

Unicorn Crate [Bi-Monthly]
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide
Price: $36.95 + S&H
Shipping Time: Around the 20th of the month
Genres of Book: Fantasy
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: ~1 a month
The Good: Items not always tied to fandoms but rather tied to theme. Good quality items. Reliable US fantasy based box.
The Bad: *International shipping is expensive.

Unplugged Book Box
Location
: US
Ships To: Worldwide except Iran, Mexico, & Peru
Price: $34.99 + S&H
Shipping Time: 1st-7th of the month
Genres of Book: Everything
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: Items are begging to be used: Drinks, bath/body products, candles, drink ware, etc. Great for the older YA fan. Very few paper items.
The Bad: Heavy on bath/body products. May be a bad choice for someone with skin allergies/sensitivities or scent sensitivities.
Also available from Unplugged book box: Adult Box

Uppercase Box [July 2019 was the last box. Now they’re focused on their app.]
Location
: US
Price: $23 + S&H
Shipping Time: Around the 15th
Genres of Book: Everything
Book Only Option: Yes; Includes Reading Experience Bookmark and swag from publisher (if available)
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Frequent paper products
The Good: One of the cheaper ‘boxes’. Reading Experience bookmark is fun. Hand signed books.
The Bad: No shipping internationally. Only recently started giving hints. No skip month feature. Very few fandom items. Ships in bubble mailer so there might be some damage in transit. Small items because they need to fit in the small mailer.
Also from Uppercase: Slyfur is a merch site where you can buy past boxes and items.

Whimsify
Location: US
Price: $34.95 + S&H
Shipping Time: 20th-25th of the month
Genres of Book: Fantasy
Book Only Option: No
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: Items can be okay.
The Bad: *Communication and customer service are poor. *Very late shipping.
The BEWARE: *December 2018 box and after are MIA. People still haven’t received Black Friday items. *Christen is officially MIA on Whimisify’s Social Media. She is apparently still updating HER Social Media while ignoring customer complaints. *GET YOUR REFUNDS NOW. If you haven’t talked to your bank/Paypal/etc, do it NOW. We’re getting dangerously close to the end of the refund period.

Wicked Fantasies Crate [Technically closed; Also see The Bookie Box]
Location
: US
Price: ??
Shipping Time: ??
Genres of Book: ??
Book Only Option: ??
Monthly Collectible: N/A
Paper Items: Low on paper items.
The Good: N/A
The Bad: *Blames delays on vendors. *Fails to reveal that SHE’s the vendor for most of the products. *Fails to reveal that she sets up new companies to produce the products. *Products are sloppily made. *Good luck getting a refund.
The BEWARE: Everything.

Share Your Experiences

This article was started with the information I found online/my personal experiences. If you have information for a box that you’d like to share, please contact me. I have a form here, leave a comment (if you don’t want the comment published say so and I’ll just use your info), or DM me on Instagram. I’ll add your information to the post as I have time.

Book lovers are in this together. I will continually sing the praises of a company that I love. I also want to warn other of sketchy companies or just alert them to slow shipping.

Smaller boxes! Are you interested in being added to this list? I’m open to reviewing and unboxing here and Instagram. If you’d like to send a box for an honest review (the good, the bad, and the beware), feel free to contact me.

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13 thoughts on “The Big YA Book Subscription Box Round Up”

  1. I would Add to Illumicrate “High value special boxes” ie. the darkdawn box rn or the past v.e. Schwab /Leigh bardugo boxes.

    This is such a great post!

    Like

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