Lets Open: February Illumicrate

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February has come and my latest Illumicrate is here. I am pretty disappointed if I am perfectly honest. Below is a shot of this months box and I'll go through it all and explain my disappointment, which I know is shared by many people this month. I've had a few folk on my bookstagram as well as subscribers in my book club express the same disappointment which makes me sad as I am always very loud and proud when it comes to my Illumicrate box. However this is a review and I need to be honest for you all. So here we go. 

For those not aware of this sub box, Illumicrate is a UK based quarterly subscription from Daphne at Winged Reviews. It's £29.99 a quarter with free p&p within the UK. You would need to check to find out the postage costs outside of the UK. You can subscribe over on the Illumicrate website.



This quarter included two books. One of which is a proof from the author. I have never heard of him before and a quick google finds very little printed work from him, but I am intrigued enough by the blurb to read it. It's called Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. You can preorder the hardback only for £10 so I would estimate the paperback at £6 like his other printed book.

The other book is Wintersong by S.Jae-Jones. As the letter and bookplate are also from SJ I take Wintersong to be the "main" book. I have a couple of issues with this. Namely, it is a book that you can get from Amazon for £5 and that it isn't hardback. A big part of the worth from Illumicrate comes from getting good book deals either by getting anticipated books prior to release (in which case paperbacks aren't a big deal) or in getting a good quality hardback that is worth the subscription price. I am excited to read the book though and it has been on my wishlist for a while, so either way the books will be read. I would estimate the value of the books at about £12 RRP.


Onto the items. This is where this quarters box fell hard. I was very excited to see Janes Tiny Things as a supplier as I adore her magnetic bookmarks. Only to find a paper bookmark instead. It's as cute as I expect from Janes Tiny Things but I fully expected one of her quality magnetic bookmarks rather than a paper one. At a guess I would assume the cost of these are maybe £1.50? Given her magnetic ones are £3.30. It was a big disappointment I will admit as I adore collecting bookmarks but am not too keen on printed ones.

The other items included are from companies I don't know that well but I had a wee gander so I could find or guesstimate at prices of the items included. We have, from a company called Literary Lifestyle Company, a bare necessities pouch that I wasn't too keen on. It's quite small so it wouldn't be useful as an actual makeup bag like the pouches I've received from previous boxes and as I already have a fair few pouches to compare with, not as high a quality as I have come to expect. Last quarter I got a gorgeous bookish mug cozy from Sparrow and Wolf and this just feels like a big dip in quality merchandise. I think I could use it for something small like threads when I take cross stitching with me on trips or useful as a coin purse perhaps? The website only has totes so I have to take a big stab in the dark and guess at rough cost, which I would think is around the $5.99 (£5.00) mark.


We also got some decent sized magnets from Her Bookish Things, who I realised I followed on etsy when I went searching for the shop! I like her art alot but I would have preferred a larger mix of magnets I think. I haven't read any Schwab books yet so I don't know the quotes :') If you've read the books you'll likely love these. I would guess maybe £4? on these, as they aren't the more expensive types of magnets you can get but are a good size.

The last product is the magic and mischief lip balm from the Bookish Serendipity Co. It does feel very nice on the skin but I can't place the scent and it smells odd on me. That may just be me though as scent is such a personal thing (and I'm fairly spoiled in scents with companies like Meraki Candles and Behind the Pages). A quick wee look puts her lip balms at £3.76.

All in all my guesstimated worth of this box is £26.26 which I am fairly disappointed with. Usually the worth exceeds the amount spent on the box and that's one big draw to any kind of subscription box. That you are without a doubt getting your monies worth, and this months just did not feel that way.

I will be sticking with it for the next subscription cycle in the hopes this was a one off, as previous boxes have ALWAYS been worth the cost to me. It's one I always recommend and I am hoping this does prove to be a one box issue as sub boxes are an extreme luxury for me, as I know they are for others. I promise previous Illumicrate boxes have always been of a very high quality. I know many people are disappointed but fingers crossed the next box marks a return to the usual high quality we're used to!

Did you love this box? Were you disappointed? I would love to know your views!

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