By: Melanie | December 7, 2015 | (49) Comments

Illumicrate subscription box review

Hello, it’s me.

I was wondering if after all these months you still remember me… *cue more corniness*

So yes. HELLO. (from the other siiiiiiide!!!) 

I’m sorry, I clearly cannot stop. Excuse me as I go take a break and sing it all out before continuing with this post.


Like I was saying. We’re back!! I feel like I said that on our last post which was wayyy back in October. (I’m sorry I totally lied. Please forgive me.) And this is actually a first for us here at YA Midnight Reads. We’ve never taken such a long break before and man… O.O it was weird. But also really nice, as I feel that I needed a real break from almost 3 years of blogging. (Blogversary is end of this month! Whooooop xD)

So where was I in October and November?

  • I binge-watched more TV shows. Yep… I have no self-control. I did end up watching How I Met Your Mother and if you follow me on Twitter you will know how SO DAMN PISSED I am at the ending. (But in general, it was amazing and I ship Ted and the mother so hard.) I’ve been rewatching the alternate ending on Youtube trying to replace it in my mind. I also started and finished all seven seasons of Boy Meets World. It’s an awful old show, but my friend and I decided to watch it together anyways. Unfortunately, due to my lack of self-control, I finished it just a week ago whereas she is still watching season 1. #melneedshelp I did try watching Girl Meets World, which is the spin-off show made by Disney, but ack… I’m not sure if I like it. I also finished binge-watching Jessica Jones which was totally BADASS and I’m still hung-over from how epic it was. Each episode was almost an hour long so it took me quite some time to get through this one. Just recently, I started Jane the Virgin which is really drama-drama but entertaining all the same. And I think that’s all, TV-wise.
  • I revised for my end of year exams and wrote my assessment tasks during the majority of October. Honestly, I think it’s one of the worst months of the year – my friend and I have renamed the month Stresstober, which I believe is pretty accurate. I am SO glad that’s over. *wipes sweat*
  • I attempted to write a blog post in late October but then conveniently had some technical issues with posting. IT WAS ALL KINDS OF FRUSTRATING. But finally that got sorted out after much internet researching (and by much I mean it took a whole month to resolve…) awks.

Other than that, I had a few other things going on but I really gotta shut up now and leave that for my Sunday post as there is an Illumicrate subscription box unboxing to be done!

“So what’s a subscription box?” You might ask. Because I think I’m so freaking cool, I’m going to quote myself.

You pay money to some Subscription Box people, and in return they send you a mysterious box each month (or, whatever depending on your subscription) filled with all sorts of fun and awesome things.

Totally Oxford dictionary standard, amirite?? I know, I am in awe of my describing skills as well. *hair flip*

The Unboxing (finally)

So today I’m unboxing the glorious Illumicrate – and this is what the box looks like! I absolutely love Illumicrate’s box. It’s one of the prettiest boxes I’ve seen, to be honest! I think yellow might be my new favourite colour.

Processed with Rookie Cam

So this is a general idea of what the box looks like when it’s opened up. It had so much yellow confetti in it and I basically just mucked around with that for a good few minutes. I know… really Mel??

So first thing in the box is the glorious book. It’s the UK paperback of Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin. I’ve heard nothing but great praise for this book so nice choice, Illumicrate!

Processed with Rookie Cam

And to match with the book, we have a handmade wolf motif bookmark from SkinnyHues and a signed bookplate! There was also an exclusive video from the author herself for us subscribers that we could access online, which was pretty nice as well!

I’m a huge fan of bookish related jewellery and it is literally the only jewellery I wear these days; so this necklace? Hands down my favourite thing in the box. It’s from a Mockingjay necklace from My Clockwork Castle and I love that it’s made of wood. Very unique!

Processed with Rookie Cam

I also got a pretty cool Books Before Looks pocket mirror from Raspberry Finch. I’ve already chucked it in my bag and have definitely found it useful.

GUYS. HARRY POTTER POSTER. HARRY. POTTER. POSTER. Bless you, Illumicrate. This was from the store Abbie Imagine.

Along with all these amazing goodies, there was also a This Raging Light postcard and a super tiny Six of Crows pin. And here’s what everything looks like together!

The Review


Maths time! So for the Illumicrate box costs £29.99 and shipping is an extra £4.99 – £13.99 depending on your whereabouts. If you’re like me and are all the way down under, it’s £13.99. So all together that is almost £44. I did a little researching as to how much all the items in the box cost individually and this is what I came up with:

This adds up to £50.54 plus the fact that I couldn’t find all these exact items apart from the Wolf by Wolf novel on their stores which means these were probably specially ordered products (or that I’m really crappy at finding store items) as well as the fact that there was a small Six of Crows badge, a This Raging Light postcard, a signed bookplate and an exclusive video from Ryan Graudin. And let’s not forget you get exclusive discounts to the shops featured in this Illumicrate box. I’d say, despite the exchange rate being ridiculous from the pound to Aussie dollar… totally worth it money-wise.


So according to Illumicrate’s Twitter, the Illumicrate box was shipped on the 12th of November… but I didn’t receive my box until the 26th of November. That was a little sad, but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming as shipping to Australia does take a while and express shipping is just simply INSANE. Unfortunately, that meant I got spoiled of what was in the box before I actually received it myself. DARN YOU SOCIAL MEDIA. Regardless, it was still a whole lot of fun opening the box because who doesn’t love unwrapping stuff? In fact, I love unwrapping stuff so much that all the things I’ve bought for myself recently have been wrapped up and put under the xmas tree lmao. (I am just clearly too cool for you guys.)

Do I Recommend? 

In all, despite having to wait longer than most other subscribers for my box, I was really satisfied with Illumicrate. Not only are all the products really relevant and useful, but also are good quality. I recommend Illumicrate if you’re looking for a YA book subscription box that offers a lot of bookish goodies (most other boxes I know have less items than Illumicrate). This is a quarterly subscription box that is curated by the blogger behind Winged Reviews and for her first time doing this, she did a damn fabulous job. If you’d like to subscribe for Illumicrate’s next box, head over to their website right now to secure a spot!

I received the November box of Illumicrate for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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49 Responses to YA Book Subscription Box Review + Unboxing: Illumicrate

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed your book crate! I’m too cheap to try one. Haha I’ve had the same problems! Netflix is dangerous! I have to see Jessica Jones! I’m currently on a Once Upon A Time kick. Nice to hear from you again!
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Winter By Marissa Meyer (Spoiler Free Review)My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Netflix is the greatest and the worst thing that’s ever happened to me lmao. Ooh yes I binge-watched OUAT last year! It was really quite fun but I’m not sure if I like it enough to try and catch up.

  2. Lexa Cain says:

    You’re so funny! You could write YA with the most hilarious voice. I’m delighted to hear you loved your subscription book delivery. It’s always nice to get mysterious new stuff! 🙂
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow & GiveawaysMy Profile

  3. Erica Miller says:

    I’m commenting about the whole HIMYM thing. Gosh, how I absolutely loved that show up until the ending. It was awful, utterly awful, but I just watched the alternate ending (THANK YOU FOR SHOWING ME THAT EXISTS)! I am so happy but so upset…if they would have just ended it that way, I would have been so happy.

    I think Barney should have grown up, which I thought he had, and him and Robin should have stayed together. They were so good together and they just made Barney look like a total jerk when I felt he grew up so much once he married Robin. Ugh, grrr…I watched the ending when it aired and I still rant about it. The ending will definitely go down as one of the worst endings in a series for me 🙁 Still, one of my favorite shows.
    Erica Miller recently posted…Hotel Ruby | Stay Tonight or Stay ForeverMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Right? The last few minutes completely ruined the show. If only the alternate ending was the actual ending, ugh <.< And on the Barney thing - again, completely agree. LIKE WHAT ARE CHARACTER ARCS??? They completely threw all the character development out of the window with that one. ._.

    *dies laughing at own corniness*
    Ahem, but I do hope you Midnighters are back because it’s been so quiet without you!! And I was seriously worried you and Celine might be gone forever. :O Which would be the saddest thing of the universe, let’s be honest.
    Also that box. BOX IS NICE. (I have a deep love of boxes.) I’ve never signed up for something like this because, hehe, I kind of like to KNOW what I’m spending money on? bUt omg, the unwrapping would be fun! A Christmas present to oneself. :’) I hope Wolf by Wolf is excellent! I’ve heard rave things about it. 😀
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…Beautiful Books #3 // The Editing ProcessMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Aw Cait you’re so sweet <3 Hopefully we won't drop off the face of the earth again anytime soon. Yeah, you make a great point about not knowing what you're spending your money on. But I guess if the subscription box has a good reputation then it's all good xD

  5. Sounds like a really fun subscription box. I’m currently subscribed to Owl Crate, which is similar to this except all the items in the box fit a theme. I really like the book you received- I loved Wolf by Wolf so I hope you do too!

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Status Update by Annabeth AlbertMy Profile

  6. czai says:

    we don’t have book subscriptions locally so I usually get jealous whenever book bloggers do these unboxing posts. you make feel so jealous for all those bookish things!! anyway, it’s nice to see you back! 🙂
    czai recently posted…NOVEMBER ROUNDUP (aka the back to UNI month!! but not really!)My Profile

  7. Yay! So glad to have you back. I hope that your Christmas season is a peaceful and relaxing one and that you have as much time as you would like to for reading and reviewing in the coming months. This looks like a fantastic box…I’m jealous! XD
    Audrey Greathouse recently posted…In The Wake of NaNoWriMoMy Profile

  8. MELLLLL *TACKLE-HUGS YOU* I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE BACK. OCtober should definitely be renamed Stresstober – mostly because that was the HSC. Thank god that’s over.

    I love these subscription box thingies! And yay for a Harry Potter poster!!

    Also, I think I’m now definitely going to wrap the presents I bought for myself. Great idea, Mel, you hipster 😉
    Emily @ Loony Literate recently posted…Ten Authors I Read in 2015 That Have Climbed Onto My “Will Read Grocery Lists” CategoryMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      YAY *TACKLE HUGS YOU BACK* Hehe yes, yay for Stresstober being over! Not looking forward to when it comes back next year *cries* Haha yes, be cool like me and wrap them up!

  9. Priscilla says:

    The box looks good! And yes, I’m watching Jessica Jones, too. I’m left with ep 13 🙂
    Priscilla recently posted…Dig Two Graves: Review + Tour StopMy Profile

  10. Shannelle says:

    I’m so happy that you like the box, because even though I didn’t design the box, I did make the logo. *squeals in happiness* And Wolf by Wolf is fantastic, and I really hope you like it.
    Shannelle recently posted…Some Time for Thanks GivingMy Profile

  11. O.M.G. I SOOOO want a freaking subscription box! I know it seems like a good buy and all but I’m crazy cheap so I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be happy with the prices but I’M IN LOVE with all of the things you have in your box! <3 Maybe one day I'll be daring enough to get one! Teehee! I cant wait to see what your next subscription box contains boo!

    Oh! And don't feel bad about being M.I.A. for a little while! At least you're back! We'll always be here so when you need to take a break, you do just that! <3

  12. Hi from this side! This box looks super awesome, but also expensive. But all the things looks so, so awesome. I obviously need more bookish jewellery in my life, and this looks like a lot of fun (also, yellow confetti. Why can’t you just go and buy confetti stuff whenever you want? This is a need in the world). Welcome back 😀
    Shar@weavingwaveswords recently posted…‘Tis the Season of Rereading: The Dragonfly PoolMy Profile

  13. OMG. IS IT REALLY MEL? ? Gah…you have no idea how excited I am to see this post. I have missed you and your wonderful posts so much. Hopefully this little break reinspired you and you’re back and ready to blog. xD

    And that box is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing it with us all! ♥
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Zoe Made Me Read It 1My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      *whispers* it’s actually mel’s evil twin but shhhhh i never said that….


  14. IT’S SO GOOD TO SEE YOU BACK! I hope your here to stay this time! And I’m so glad your Stresstober is over. End of year is always killer, school-wise.

    And can I say how good it is to have someone else that didn’t like the HIMYM ending!? I shipped Ted and the mother so much that it just hurt so, so, so much with that change over in the last five minutes. You know what I mean (I’m trying not to be spoilery in case someone reads this). I shipped Robin and Barney together just as much, and just the ending choice… no. I didn’t like it. At all. What’s the alternative ending then??
    Rachel Lightwood recently posted…{Bookish Babble} Why I’m Giving Up the ARCsMy Profile

    • Melanie says:


  15. Hi, Mel! Happy to see you here. I hope you won’t disappear again. I love your box, thanks for sharing.
    Ksenia @ Ksenia’s Book Blog recently posted…Kiss and Tell #2. So Over YouMy Profile

  16. DanaSquare says:

    Welcome back from your blogging break, everyone needs one sometimes! All of the TV binge watching!! I haven’t heard of Illumicrate before but the stuff that you got was really nice. The shipping was crazy though!
    DanaSquare recently posted…10 Reason Why Jessica Jones Should Be Your Next Binge WatchMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, I definitely needed the break or else I’m pretty sure I’d be dead by now loool. Illumicrate is a new box which is why you might’ve not heard of it before!

  17. WELCOME BACK, MELANIE! I’m super glad you’re back and looking forward to your blogoversary. And OOH, you watched Jessica Jones? Tumblr is going crazy over it and I so want to watch it but … mid-term exams. *weeps*

    I know I’ve said this before but WOW SUBSCRIPTION BOX IS ALL THE FANTASTIC. Wolf by Wolf I’ve nabbed from TBD but hasn’t arrived, and I’m so excited for it! AND THE MOCKINGJAY NECKLACE AND HP POSTER.
    Alyssa @ The Devil Orders Takeout recently posted…RIP 2015, Hello 2016 (Takeout in 2015)My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      YAYYY HI ALYSSA!!! You defs need to start Jessica Jones as soon as you finish those mid-terms (good luck!!!) it is super intense and amazing in general.


  18. YAYYY Mel I’m so glad to see you posting! I was getting withdrawals from your blog lol! It looks like you had a great October, sometimes to cope with stress you just need to veg out and do nothing but watch TV! Illuminicrate looks pretty cool with lots of great value in the box.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Mini Reviews #4: One, Signs Point to Yes, Risk & All My SecretsMy Profile

  19. I think I might consider doing this one day! Though I have far too many books at the moment, haha. I met her at an event who does illumicrate and how she does this business on top of her own work is beyond me. But I think I will make this a thing on my list for 2016.
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book by its Cover recently posted…REVIEW – DID I MENTION I LOVE YOU? by Estelle MaskameMy Profile

  20. Why, hello there. Who might YOU be? Just kidding, missed you Mel! I’m so glad you’re back! And woah its creepy how quickly you finished binge watching…you MIGHT just need a little help.

    THAT BOX IS GORGEOUS ASDFGHJKL. I don’t live in Australia, so I’m sure I’d get it earlier, but lets face it, Indian shipping isn’t much better. But oooh, that box honestly looks worth it. Pwetty pwetty. Its so good to have you back Mel :’) I’m tearing up here. I need hugs.
    Madiha @ Paper Skies recently posted…Review: The Book of Ivy // Wherein It’s Hidden Agenda of Torture is DiscoveredMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      I missed you too, Maddy!!! Haha, yeah I am quite fast on binge-watching stuff. Once I start a show I just can’t see to stop lolllll.

      Hmm yeah India might habe the shipping a little bit better but I don’t see it being much cheaper lol. *TACKLE HUGS YOU BECAUSE JUST NORMAL HUGS AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH*

  21. Awesome bookmark and Harry Potter poster! Awesome that a blogger is putting together this Illumicrate. She does a great job putting this together quarterly. That must take a lot of work!
    Stephanie@ThesePaperHearts recently posted…Can Book Bloggers be Successful on Pinterest? YES!My Profile

  22. Krazzyme says:

    THE MOCKINJAY necklace is love

  23. how fun and exciting. I really need to check this out. this book is on my TBR list. the stuff that came with it is cool too. great fun.

  24. Ryan says:

    Excellent post, i definitely appreciate this site, keep on it
    Ryan recently posted…RyanMy Profile

  25. I have been seeing more and more Indian subscription box nowadays, and it is so good to see them grow! I have found so many new ones in the past couple months. Story Trunk seems amazing, especially the candle! Great unboxing!

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