Fairyloot is a Young Adult book subscription box focusing on fantasy based out of the UK. Each month you receive a new Young Adult hardback book and 5-6 bookish goodies. Like most book boxes the hardback are special editions and the items are a combination of both practical things and more decorative items. December’s theme is Thick as Thieves.
The bookish items included this month are a Hobbit inspired beanie, a secret books to put things in, a Throne of Glass inspired letter opener shaped like a sword, a 2021 calendar with art from different fandoms, a Children of Blood and Bone notepad, and the art print is inspired by The Raven Cycle. The tarot card incuded in this are are have character art from House of Earth and Blood.
All Fairyloot books are signed by the author and have different details each month. The box also includes an author letter. This month’s book is Master of One by Jaida Jones and Dani Bennett which follows a thief that gets swept up in the dark plans of the court sorcerer and together with a ragtag group must stop his sinister plans. This edition also comes with red shimmery sprayed edges, foiling on the hardback, and artwork on the reverse of the dust jacket.
Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as décor or for a pin/bulletin board. December’s theme is Love is a Battlefield.
Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books. This months items include as set of leg warmers, An Ember in the Ashes puzzle, a hand cream, a wooden ornament, and a small decorative rolling pin to add designs to cookies.
Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. This months book is These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong which is a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai. This edition is a gold hardback with exclusive art on the reverse of the dust jacket.
This month I read 5 books and watched 2 movies. Including a manga, an audio book, and two nonfiction books.
Final Fantasy VII Remake World Preview is an coffee table type book from Square Enix that focuses on the new Final Fantasy VII Remake. This book included a time line of events, screen shots from the game, character information, and an exclusive short story about Aerith’s past. I liked this book but it didn’t have much new information for fan of the series or the original game. The short story was well written but isn’t necessary to understand anything about the game. I would have like a few hints about where the next game would be headed but as a fan I was going to buy this good any ways regardless of what information was included.
Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand is a nonfiction book about Prince Harry and Meghan Markel. This book tells their story from before they met, through dating, marriage, and finally leave the royal institution. Its a very readable book and whether or not this is the real story or the true story I don’t know or care. I’ve never really followed the royal family but when Meghan joined I would occasionally read articles. I feel like this book gives one perspective on what happen and how you feel about that is up to you. The one thing I took away is that I don’t feel like the tabloids and press have been all that fair or kind to them.
How to Get a Museum Job by Steven Miller is a nonfiction book exactly about what the title says. This book is all about the different ways to get a museum job and getting your foot in the door. As someone who has had a museum job and is trying to get back into the field I felt like I knew most of this information but it would be a great resource for those entering the field. I personally liked the sections about interviewing and where the future of the profession is headed.
Sailor Moon Eternal Edition Vol. 2 by Naoko Takeuchi is the second volume in the Sailor Moon manga series. I’m rereading the series as I collect these editions and still love the series as a whole. This book continues the arc started in volume one but has more horror elements through out. If you are getting into Sailor Moon these are the editions that I would recommend.
The Boy Who Didn’t Come Home by Melissa Albert is a young adult short story in the world of the Hazel Wood that follows Ellery Finch after the gets into the Hazel Wood. This is set mainly during Alice’s time stuck in her story and tells us what Ellery was doing. I thought initially that this would be a story set between The Hazel Wood and The Night Country but its more events that happened to other characters at the end of The Hazel Wood. I didn’t love Ellery as the narrator but I really liked his interactions with the world and The Spinner. I listen to this as an audio book and its placed at the end of the Hazel Wood audio book for anyone looking for it.
Man of Steel is the 2013 Superman movie that started the current DC Universe movies. This was a rewatch for me as I wanted to watch it again before seeing the rest of the movies that connect to it. Its an okay movie that I mainly found boring and though I like Henry Cavil as an actor I don’t like him as Superman. I do plan to watch the other DC movies but I don’t think that I’m going to love them.
The Croods: A New Age is the second Croods movie that follows a family of cavemen and their adventures surviving. I’ve never seen the first Croods movie and only watched this on because of an accident. I was helping my parents with Christmas dinner and my two year old nephew some how got the TV remote and ordered the movie before any of us realized what he had done. So as a family we ended up watching it. Its a very fun family friendly movie that made me want to see the first one.
I want to love every book I buy and read but that doesn’t always happen. I also don’t believe in forcing myself to finish things that I’m not enjoying so I routinely stop reading books and never finish them. These post are for me to talk about why I DNFed a book.
Cleopatra Confesses by Carolyn Meyer is a young adult historical fiction novel about the life of Cleopatra. I originally read this back in Junior High and recently found a copy at a used book store and decided to reread it. Its much too young for me now and what little I read was very boring but I think someone who I the correct age would get more out of it.
Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten is a historical fiction novel about Catherine the Great from her life as a peasant to the Tsarina of Russia. Its well written and very detailed but I found it boring. I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley but was only able to finish about 30 pages before I gave up. It would be a good read for those interested in this time period or these historical figures.
Fairest of All by Serena Valentino is a young adult Snow White retelling that is from the perspective of the Evil Queen. Unlike some retellings this one is directly connected to the Disney movie version. I read this book initially when I was younger and really liked it. Earlier this year I received a free eBook version and decided to try to reread it. I like the concept of the story but I got about half way though and was very board. I feel like this book and series is good for younger readers but adults might not get much out of it.
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows is a fantasy historical young adult book about Lady Jane Grey. I knew that this was a comedic take on historical fiction but I didn’t know when starting the book that it would have so many fantastical elements. I’m a fan of historical fiction and I expected that when I pick this book up but I felt that what I read was more of a fantasy. If that’s what you want then this book would be great but I wanted something that read more historical so I don’t intend to finish this book.
Beach Read by Emily Henry is an adult romance book where a romance author and a literary fiction author who are both having trouble writing their next book end up living near each other and falling in love. I started this book as an audio book and I’m just not in the mood for an audio book right now. I like the premise but I wasn’t liking what I read of it. However, I do think that I will either come back to the audio at some point or try reading it as a physical book. So this is a not finishing for now but I can see myself reading it at some point.
In December 2020 OwlCrate did a Winter Wishes box in celebration of A Universe of Wishes a new young adult fantasy anthology.
The items included in this box where a Spinning Sliver inspired mug, a stainless steel coffee/tea spoon that also is a bag clip, Wintersong inspired tea from Riddle’s Tea Shop, a set of reusable gift bags, a gel eye mask with a quote from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and a Vanilla Buttercream scented candle.
The book included is A Universe of Wishes which is a new young adult fantasy anthology written by many different popular authors. This special edition has an exclusive cover, foiling on the hardcover, and exclusive end pages. As well as a ribbon book mark and a letter from the editor bound in the front of the book. The enamel pin that came with the box was also inspired by the book.
Another Collectors edition that I bought in 2020 was the Illumicrate Collections: Daughter of Smoke and Bone box. Personally, I bought this box more of the book than any of the items but I did like most of the items included.
The items included in this box are all themed round Daughter of Smoke and Bone and the rest of the series with one items inspired by the Strange the Dreamer Duology. These items include a set of bookends, a replica soul thurible, a book sleeve, a metal book tin, an enamel pin and a foiled art print. The Strange the Dream item was a mug designed by Rosiethorns88. Overall, I liked the items though I feel like I have too many mugs at this point.
The book itself is an exclusive 10th Anniversary signed hardback copy. This edition also includes light blue sprayed edges, a foiled design and quote on the hardback, and art on the reverse of the dustjacket. This is a gorgeous edition of this book and Illumicrate due have matching editions of the rest of the series planned.
Illumicrate Archives is a new box type from Illumicrate where they take popular series and release a whole special edition matching set. I have only just recently started the Poppy War series by R. F. Kuang but I already love the characters and the series. So, when Illumicrate announced this box I knew that I had to order it.
This set is primarly focused on the books but there where a few items included. These items where a phoenix and dragon enamel pin set, a foiled art print, and a double sided metal bookmark.
The books themselves are gorgeous. Each book comes with the cover art printed on the hardback, signed end pages, smoky sprayed edges that match the color of the end pages, and exclusive art on the reverse of the dust jacket. I love these editions and can’t wait to finish the series.