Sunday, November 1, 2015

Review of the Owlcrate October Box

Yes, this is a bit late. But I wanted to read the book in the box before I reviewed the box -- and I had a few library books I had to finish first, so it's made me a bit late.
(To read my review of the book, click here.)

This photo shows the contents of my October Owlcrate box (pictured on the vintage 1965 teal blue chair in my living room).   Overall, this box was VASTLY superior to the September LitCube box.  However, I am not brushing LitCube off entirely; I intend to try their December box.  (If that one is as bad as September, however, then I'm likely to write them off as a mistake.)
The October Owlcrate theme was "spooky."
I like themes in general.  I'm signed up for Uppercase Box for November, and it bothers me that they don't have a theme.  For one thing, I have no idea what type of book I'll be getting, and for another, their extras often don't match the book.
Owlcrate's box, however, all matched nicely.
Like LitCube's box, it took forever to arrive.  I got an e-mail saying it was shipped days before the tracking website said it had.  Also, instagram and twitter showed that many people received their boxes the day after the e-mail was sent out, yet mine didn't arrive for a week.  I did not like that.
In any case, let me review the contents of the box.
The main thing, of course, was the book.  This was A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis, and I have reviewed it here.
With the book was a photocopied note from the author about her inspirations for the book.  This was nice, but it wasn't anything I couldn't have found by looking at her website.  There was no autographed sticker to put into the book, as I had hoped.
There was also a mini-poster advertising the book.  This was nice, but, since I teach junior high and not high school, and since this book would raise Cain among parents if I put it in my classroom, I can't really use the mini poster.
The Owlcrate insert card was also in the box.  This time it was helpful because it explained the scent pack, which had confused me a good deal until I read the card.
The scent pack came with a bookmark advertising more scent packs.  The bookmark was helpful, and I actually checked out their website, which you can do here.
After I learned about what scent packs are, I appreciated the idea a great deal.  The packs contain scented beads whose purpose is to scent rooms and/or costumes for role playing games, parties, haunted houses, Cons, or even just for readers.  I like this idea.  The scents are much more varied than air fresheners; you can get scents such as "pirate ship," which is, apparently oak timbers soaked in sea spray mixed with gun smoke.  Some of the scents listed sound either fun or very pleasant.  But my problem was the one Owlcrate chose for us was downright nasty.  Yes, Vampire's Lair, sounds cool, but it smells awful.  The website describes it as "blood, fresh dirt, and red wine."  Ick.  Maybe I can give it away to some role players.
Next in the box were two tiny bookmarks, one a witch and one a skeleton.  They are very flimsy paper with magnets on both sides.  They work OK.  The problem with the witch is that it's the same on both sides, so I usually couldn't remember which side of the page I'd actually marked and ended up re-reading stuff.  They're also so small that they're easy to misplace, and they aren't very durable.  Still, they were cute.
Then there were three calaveras erasers for El Día de los Muertos.  These are sizable items, each nearly filling the palm of my hand.  They came in appealing shades of pink, yellow, and green.  I took the yellow one to school with me, and it's already been put to good use by both me and students.
And finally there's the Poe-ka-dot case.  It's really cute.  I have a bunch of little cases, so I don't really need another, but it is a usable item.  It would work well for make up, small travel items, pencils, small art supplies, etc.   This is a win.
Overall, the Owlcrate box for October was far superior to the LitCube box for September.  However, I am signed up for both Uppercase Box and Owlcrate for November, and I intend to try LitCube again in December, so we shall see what happens.

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