The Book Crate August Subscription Box Review

There’s no doubt that Australia has a gap in the market when it comes to subscription boxes. Subscription box companies rarely ship to Australia, and if they do, it costs an arm and a leg for shipping and conversion rates. I was very excited when I discovered the new YA subscription box The Book Crate. The box was $30 AUD for a single subscription, and $15 AUD for shipping, totalling $45 AUD.

The August box, themed Glitter and Geeks, is The Book Crates debut box, containing an assortment of handmade products and the novel Queens of Geek, by Jen Wilde.

So what is in the box?

When I opened the box, the first thing I saw was a cute illustration on a postcard.

Underneath the tissue paper, there was a personalised envelope, which I love! I don’t know why I love receiving personalised items so much, but I always love seeing my name on things. Vain, I know…

Inside the envelope was a card describing all the items in the box.

The novel for the August box is Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde. For full disclosure, I am not actually a huge YA reader. Whilst I do enjoy a YA novel, it is not the genre that I typically reach for first. That being said, I do really enjoy YA novels, especially during uni, and just want something light and easy to read in my free time.

Queens of Geek has 4.05 stars on Goodreads, and many of the comments and reviews are positive, so I am excited to get into it.

From the reviews I read, I believe that this novel is an LGBTQI+ novel (having not read it yet) which I believe was a brilliant choice, especially in relation to Australia’s current political climate regarding the same-sex marriage plebiscite.

REMEMBER TO ENROLL TO VOTE, ENROLLMENTS CLOSE AUGUST 24th! 

The box contains a laminated pride bookmark, which I love, as well as a regular bookmark with the boxes theme Glitter and Geeks.

Included is a photo frame with a foiled quote inside. I love ‘fuck everything else’ as it is basically the philosophy I live by.

It also contains a mug and a succulent. My poor little succulent got shaken in the mail but was fine after I pushed it back into the pot. I was very glad it was in a sealed bag (A+ for packaging). The mug is very cute, with purple glitter and copper ‘glitter and geek’ printed above. Everything in the box is handmade, and the glitter on the mug is very sensitive so it is handwash only. I already own many mugs, so I thought it would be cute to actually put my succulent inside the mug, which looks very cute on my windowsill.

My favourite item in the box was the bookish soy candle in ‘Queen Firestone’. I love bookish candles, and this candle has an incredibly fresh, unique scent. It’s hard to describe, but it smells very summery to me, like a combination of fresh linen, sun cream and a hint of citrus. I’m no candle expert and am sure these are not the actual notes, but it’s light, fresh and enjoyable either way. The final item included in the box was a Figree Candle & Co Hand and Body Lotion in Watermelon Lemonade. It smells very similar to The Body Shop Born Lippy Watermelon lip balm, which gives me huge nostalgia.

So that is all of the items that were included in the August Box of The Book Crate YA Subscription Box. I thought this box was very cute and unique. If you are looking for a subscription box in Australia that offers a YA novel and some quirky handmade items, and want to support a small, growing Australian business, I would highly recommend this box.

Until next time,
Erin

*This post was not sponsored in any way. All of these photos were taken at the time of opening the box to ensure you receive a real review. None of the photos have been edited or altered. 

 

 

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue​

This month, I listened to Imbolo Mbue’s sensational debut novel Behold the Dreamers on Audible. The novel tells the story of Cameroonian immigrants Jende and Neni Jonga, who migratedBehold the Dreamers to New York in 2008 to pursue a better life for their family.

Struggling in the busy city, Jende and Neni work relentlessly to provide for their family, yet struggle to make ends meet. Neni, who dreams of becoming a pharmacist, excels in college whilst simultaneously working as a care worker, and Jende drives a cab and washes dishes in a restaurant. Their luck changes after Jende is offered a job working as a personal chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a Lehman Brothers executive, and his family. As Clark’s trust in Jende grows, he offers Neni a temporary summer job cleaning and cooking at the Edward’s summer home. Just as their lives start looking up, Jende and Neni soon learn that living in America is not as prosperous as they were led to believe. Despite living a wealthy and luxurious life, the Jonga’s learn that the Edward’s home is not as perfect as it seems. As Clark and Cindy’s marriage falls apart, lives are turned upside down, and cracks begin to develop in the Jonga’s home. Following a few heartbreaking revelations, the Jonga’s are forced to face the harsh reality of what life truly looks like as an immigrant.

Imbolo_Mbue

Throughout the novel, Mbue expertly explores the themes of race, class and the realistic, tragic depiction the difficulties faced by immigrants chasing the quintessential American dream. The honest depiction of what life as a poor black immigrant, rejected or ignored in the wealthy white world, truly looks like in contemporary society is both a significant and necessary literary feat and highly relevant in today’s economic, social and political climate.

This honesty and integrity of this debut novel not only makes it a book worth reading, but a story that needed to be told.

This is the first book review I have written. I would love for some mature readers and reviewers out there offer me some constructive criticism that could help me improve both my content and writing style. Please feel free to leave comments down below or email me at thepaperbackreview@outlook.com. 
– Erin