*Disclaimer: I own all the pictures. This post is not sponsored. Everything written over here is just my opinion.*
So, in an older post, I mentioned that I’ll be starting to review subscription boxes from another genre and well, as you can see in the title, I have finally started reviewing Book Subscription Boxes! A couple of days ago I received the Booklings Crate and ever since I have been waiting to write this review. Quietly honestly, there will be plenty of mixed reactions and of course, the slow reveal of what all the products are about.
Without further ado, let’s get into the details!
What is a Subscription Box?
A Subscription Box is a monthly, trimonthly or quarterly planned and distributed box that usually holds a theme based on the genre or category it is from. You can receive Subscription Boxes from different countries depending on the list of countries they ship to. Some of the more common Subscription Boxes you will see on this blog will range from genres like Beauty, Books, Skincare, Kawaii(Cute/Japanese themes), Food, etc.
I have come across a lot of Subscription Services for books and while a lot of them seem a bit phony, I have managed to pick out some of the genuine ones and I hope to review them soon next month or so!
Now, a little introduction for Booklings Crate
Where is it from? What is it?
The Booklings Crate is a Book and Bookish merchandise Subscription Box that is based in Pune, India. Each of their boxes consists of newly released or bestseller books and merchandises alike. For each month there is a specific theme and the books often come from genres similar to the theme, e.g genres like Crime, Thriller, Mystery, Romance, and Fiction. Booklings Crate has their own core message, and that is, to provide great fiction book and newly released books, along with influencing and teach their audience to learn and habituate good habits like reading and of course, to promote the English language with regard to better learning and development.
There are two types of Subscription Plans- Premium & Pocket-Friendly. Each of the plans has 4 different duration plans, i.e., Quarterly, Trimonthly, Bimonthly & Monthly. The monthly Premium & Pocket-Friendly plan are ₹1,599 & ₹995, respectively.
Word On The Street?
The Booklings Crate is a Subscription Service that a lot of Bloggers and YouTube channels have reviewed and nowhere have I really come across any issues or complaints, per se. This Subscription Box is quite popular among the book Subscription Box genres and everyone seems to really enjoy their contents. Of course, if I do come by any issues, there will be an update to this post.
I ordered the premium box and the theme is ‘Girls Who Slay’. I actually did email customer service once because I actually couldn’t remember when the box was going to arrive, so, I wanted to know its whereabouts. Everything was handled well, and silly me, it was already mentioned in the email they had previously sent to me. In the end, the box did arrive on time. I follow their social media account on Instagram and it’s quite active, with them acknowledging their customers and followers on a regular basis with them also posting the responses of their subscribers to the box as well. Also, when I first started looking for Indian Subscription Boxes that I could try out, the Booklings Crate was one of the first to show up along with several others from the same genre. As I have mentioned before, many YouTubers have reviewed them and promoted this service.
So far, here are my ratings
Social Media Activity: 8/10
Customer Service: 8/10
With this done, let’s start with reviewing the products!
‘Everless’ by Sara Holland (Book 1)(Only In The Premium Box)
Sara Holland was born in Minnesota, America and she grew up reading several books. Also, she graduated from Wesleyan University and ‘Everless’ is her debut novel. The second installment for this series is ‘Evermore’ which is rumored to release in 2019.
IN THE KINGDOM OF SEMPERA, TIME IS CURRENCY—EXTRACTED FROM BLOOD, BOUND TO IRON, AND CONSUMED TO ADD TIME TO ONE’S OWN LIFESPAN. THE RICH ARISTOCRACY TAX THE POOR TO THE HILT, EXTENDING THEIR OWN LIVES BY CENTURIES.
And no one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.
But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
I haven’t read this book before and judging from the ratings, it’s quite a shame that I haven’t. I did go through some of the reviews and luckily, did not come across any spoilers except for some hints here and there. The plot is quite compelling since it holds many secrets and interesting twists that I’m yet to see as a reader. Of course, as debut authors go, there will be some parts of the story that may seem like a drag and maybe even repetitive or common in YA genre of books but those are things that we as readers are willing to slide by just to get a taste of the freshly served novel. While I do like the selection and how it goes really well with the theme of ‘Girls Who Slay’, Since, Jules seems like quite the character with some remarkable aspects to her personality as someone who is confident and brave, I believe. The copy I received is a little stained and spotted on the top left corner of the book jacket. Now, I personally am a little picky when it comes to the cleanliness for the copies I own, especially when they’re hardbacks and I know, some of you may think that even if the jacket is dirty, the book underneath it is probably just fine and it actually is but that doesn’t make this any lesser of a mistake quality check wise.
Defects: Spotted & stained on the top left corner of the book jacket.
Value(To Cost): 8/10
Relevance(To Theme): 9/10
The Moon & Galaxy Necklace
There were no tags that mention any seller but from what I can gather is that this is a metal pendant and necklace. It has a crescent moon that has an intricate design with another pendant that is circular and has the print of the galaxy within. I have found a seller on eBay, who is selling a similar necklace and if you’re interested, click here.
First off, I apologize for all the cat hair on my top because my cat, Momo, is everywhere and a part of everything in my household, if you follow me on Instagram @crypticriticchan, then you will see what I mean. I have seen quite a few sites like Flipkart.com and Amazon.in, selling necklaces like these and the reason I didn’t buy them is that I’m allergic to nickel, which is a popular metal used in cheap imitation jewelry and well, it’s a cheap metal. So, if you’re allergic to nickel, I suggest that you avoid wearing this necklace for a long duration’s. All that aside, this necklace is very pretty and the galaxy print pendant adds a dash of quirkiness to it. It’s a very good addition to anyone’s accessory quotient and boy, I wish I could wear this often but the warm weather makes it hard to wear this, since all the sweating will bring on the allergies and not to mention the fact that, it could start rusting a lot faster. So, that’s another thing that you need to keep in mind.
‘Genuine Fraud’ by E. Lockhart
Emily Lockhart was born in 1967, New York, America. She went to college at Vassar and completed grad school at Columbia. She has a doctorate in English literature with a focus on 19th century British novel and the history of British book illustration. She is also the author of We Were Liars, Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks and the Ruby Oliver quartet: The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends. How to Be Bad was co-written with Lauren Myracle and Sarah Mlynowski.
Here’s a quote from the book,
“Do you think a person is as bad as her worst actions?…I mean, do our worst actions define us when we’re alive? Or, do you think human beings are better than the very worst things we have ever done?”
If you want to know more about her or the books, click here.
Once again, this is another book that I haven’t read and in my defense, I prefer classics over genre’s like YA, Suspense, etc., but I do like to indulge myself in some of them every now and then. The ratings were at 3.4 stars which aren’t quite impressive for first impressions but as I went to the reviews, I did get the gist of the book. Now, I won’t reveal or give out any spoilers but this seems like a book which either an acquired taste for some people or the kind of book someone might specifically look for. To be honest, this is the first time, I think, I have come across such a style of writing. While I do understand how many of the readers have felt disappointed, I do see why a lot of people have also equally enjoyed having read this book. Now, I don’t necessarily see how the main character is fit for the theme, I suppose, there are deeper reasons for it that I know not, since I’m yet to read this book and spoilers aren’t an option. Just to put it out here, the Booklings Crate has taken a bit of a risk by selecting this book but for their sake, I hope they made the right choice.
Defects: Minor scratches but nothing serious to worry about.
The ‘Fight Like A Girl’ Bookmark
There aren’t any labels that suggest where it is from or who made it but let’s assume it’s Indian. It’s okay, this is more or less, a safe space. Some of the characters present of the bookmark are Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games, Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, Daenerys Targaryen from The Game of Thrones, Wonder Woman, etc.
This is a pretty big and wide bookmark, folks and I adore every bit of it. Sadly, I am not familiar with all of the characters but that doesn’t lessen my liking for this bookmark. Many of us own some really big novels and at times, the tiny bookmarks look kind of odd in comparison to the ginormous books but this bookmark handles that just fine. My only concern regarding this is, the prints are not as clear as they could or should be. They are a little blurry and not too clear on close inspection. Nevertheless, that won’t stop me from using this bookmark, if only there were more of these.
Defects: Slightly blurry prints.
The Harry Potter Book Holder ( Only In The Premium Box)
Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. This is more or less a Booklings Crate exclusive item yet again. It has the print of Hermione Granger from the movie Harry Potter along with a quote on it. The print has a different texture compared to the rest of the pouch and the quality of this pouch is very good and it’s soft to the touch. A pouch like this can easily handle the two books we received along with some of the bookish goods as well.
I really liked this idea of giving out book holders, it’s pretty handy for one when traveling and the Harry Potter theme was a smart choice as it compliments well with the original theme of the box,’Girls Who Slay’ and every Potterhead knows that Hermione Granger is the brightest witch of her age and she definitely slays. While I couldn’t find this pouch online, I did find some Harry Potter themed pouches of other kinds. Click here, if interested.
Defects: Some minor spots but nothing serious.
The Feyre Arrow Pin
Feyre Archeron is a character from the book ‘A Court Of Thorns And Roses’ by Sarah J. Maas and it is a New York Times Bestseller. For those interested, here’s a quick summary of the book, for those interested,
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world. As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it…or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
The pin is in the form of Feyre’s bow and arrow and it’s quite decent. The paint job done on it is passable but it could’ve been a lot better since it does have a great potential to be an eye-catching piece in your accessories. Nonetheless, I still like it and I can think of quite a few outfits and bags that this will go well with. Also, another smart decision made by the Booklings Crate team because Feyre is also a character with some remarkable strengths with a strong persona and perfectly fits the theme!
Defects: The paint is over the borders, though, it can only be seen upon close inspection.
The Gimble Traveller Book Holder
This product was designed in the UK and produced in China. It has an adjustable feature which allows you to hold quite a decently large sized book. The compactness of this product makes it easy to take it around when you travel and durability wise, this should retain its shape and sturdiness for quite some time. If you’re interested in this product then click on this.
Another handy product for the crate but it doesn’t correspond with the theme. Though, it does well in the bookish goods category. I can think of quite a few ways to use this but they don’t fall in line to needing them on a daily basis. This isn’t the kind of product I would have a use for often and I think this space could’ve been used for another product that was closer to a necessity than leisure or maybe something to do with the theme. Also, nowhere in the theme card is such a product mentioned, So, I don’t know, maybe it’s an extra(?).
The Golden Snitch Bookmark
The Golden Snitch is from the Harry Potter Series and it is the third and smallest ball used in Quidditch. It is a walnut-sized gold-colored sphere with silver wings. It flies around the Quidditch field at high speeds, sometimes pausing and hovering in place. The Seeker’s goal is to catch the Snitch before the other team’s seeker, which is worth one-hundred and fifty points. The game can only end when the Snitch has been caught, or by mutual agreement of the two teams’ Captains; the latter is very rare, however, as one team would have to lose.
Now, this is probably my favorite item from the crate and from the sounds of it, everyone who received this crate was delighted to find this bookmark among the others. It’s the perfect bookish goodie! We all know that any box with Harry Potter merchandise, official or not, will always makeup jump up and do a little dance in its name. Must I say this again? Yes, of course, so, a great choice made by the team, again. Now, If I had got a similar bookmark instead of the Gimble Traveller Book Holder then I would’ve been simply ecstatic.
The ACOWAR & Arya Stark Badges
ACOWAR stands for ‘A Court Of Wings and Ruin’ which also a book by Sarah J. Maas and it is the third volume in the New York Bestseller Series of ‘A Court Of Thorns and Roses’. Arya Stark is a character from the show series,’Game of Thrones’ and she is the third child of Eddard Stark and Catelyn Stark. The girl with the quote is Feyre Archeron and the girl with the sword is Arya Stark.
I haven’t read the books or seen this series, yes, people like me exist, who haven’t seen a single proper episode of Game of Thrones, even though it’s quite popular. I’m sure quite a few of the GOT fans must’ve been psyched to receive these badges but I really am not, and it’s even because I am not a fan. The prints are very badly done and the blur on the notes noticeable as well. No, this isn’t me nitpicking, but actually doing a quality check. The quote is barely readable and a bigger badge would’ve done better. While they do go with the theme, quality wise this is a bit of a letdown.
Defects: Blurry, bad printing, etc
The Bibliophile and Wonder Woman Art Prints
The word Bibliophile means a person who collects or has a great love of books and Wonder Woman is a superhero character from the DC Comic Universe. Sadly, I don’t know who created or made these art prints, since there are no artists signatures. For more information on Wonder Woman, click here. If you’re interested in art prints or posters, click here.
It was a pretty good idea to include art prints in the box, especially ones that coincide with the theme and the crate itself. Even though it has plus points like these, like all good thing goods, there are some cons. The art prints are a little blurry like a picture that has been zoomed in. Now, this does add to the slightly vintage look to the Wonder Woman art print but I can’t say the same for the other one.
Defects: Blurry prints.
And folks, that was the last item to be reviewed.
Here’s how the box came in and looked after being unwrapped and opened. I have got to say this, it was very neat and well organized.
As for the conclusion,
The theme ‘Girls Who Slay’ was a very well planned box that boded well with the theme. I had a great time reviewing the box and learning more about the books and contents within. Of course, there were a few things that didn’t impress me but while I think that there is room for improvement, quality is something that must always be kept in mind, especially when you’re a well known Subscription Service with a strong and loyal customer base because these customers depend on you to choose what’s best for them and to their liking. There is a lot of potential in the Booklings Crate and I’m sure, in time these issues will be resolved and great quality in their content will be visible! That being said, I will continue to review the Booklings Crate because I want to know whether this is how the crate usually conducts itself or is this just a fluke, a great error for this month only. Lastly, I recommend this box, not just because they have potential but because they listen to their customer’s needs and arrange boxes according to the popular themes with items that are useful and bookish!
If you have any queries, feel free to reach out to me via email at Iamnotchannel@gmail.com or via Instagram.
Until the next post,
laters, folks! :3