August OwlCrate Unboxing: Dark Academia

I don’t usually get book subscription boxes. I’ve gotten one before from a company that I’m pretty sure no longer exists, and I’ve never bought OwlCrate even though I love watching other people’s unboxings. But when I saw the theme for August was Dark Academia (a favorite subgenre of mine), I knew I had to get it. And I’m so happy I did! Opening this is the most fun I’ve had in a while.

First up is the spoiler card. I absolutely adore the artwork. It’s definitely getting hung up in either my apartment or my office. Also, I want that skirt. I know a lot of people like to not look at the item list before opening everything, but I don’t have that kind of self control. I went through to at least see what books the items were from (had to make sure they hit all my favorites). I’m going through them in the order they are on the card, but I don’t think it’s the order I actually took them out of the box.

This book sleeve features Raven Boys inspired art by Dri Comez (@_saintdri). This isn’t an item that I’ll likely use regularly. The art is lovely, but it’s not something I’d be comfortable walking around with on campus, for example. But I do think this will be useful for packing my tablet when I travel.

This Darker Shade of Magic inspired book tin by Forensics and Flowers is the third in a four-part set OwlCrate is releasing this year. I haven’t read the series, but this is a beautiful tin that I can use to store the Magic: The Gathering cards I’m slowly amassing as my fiancé gets me into the game. And since it’s book-shaped, it will fit perfectly on my shelves and look awesome!

The Ellingham Academy Brew by Riddle’s Tea Shoppe is inspired by Truly Devious, another book I haven’t read. But I love tea, and this sounds delicious. Plus it’s dairy free and caffeine free, which means I can actually have it (always nice)! I can’t wait for the weather to cool down so I can make myself a mug.

This reading kit by @paperbackbones is probably the item I will get the most use of, which is great since it’s inspired by one of my favorite books: If We Were Villains! I’m starting to prepare for my comprehensive exams, which means lots of reading and note taking. I was actually starting to run out of sticky notes, so this came at the perfect time.

This ex libris stamp designed by Little Inklings Design isn’t inspired by a specific book, but it certainly fits the theme. And it will be seeing a lot of use from me. I’ve always wanted something to mark all my books with.

And now for my favorite item in the book: a bookmark inspired by The Secret History made by @paperbackbones. It’s so beautiful! Even the box is gorgeous! Honestly, it’s far too pretty for me to use as a bookmark. I’ll probably hang it up in the apartment, and it would also make a nice tree ornament come Christmas time.

This pin by Icey Designs is inspired by the book that came in this month’s box, which I’ll reveal below. “Ex scientia ultio” is Latin for “from knowledge comes vengeance.” This is such a nice pin. I just need to find somewhere to put it.

And for this month’s book: A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee. I added this book to my TBR a year ago, so I was so excited to pull this out! It features a boarding school, witchcraft, two girls, and dark pasts. Sign me up! I’m not going to lie, I like the original cover more than this exclusive one. I just think the dark colors of the original work better than the white. But I do like the pink flowers, gilded edges (they’re shinier in person), and foil stamp (done by @paperbackbones). It’s gorgeous!

And the beauty continues with the reverse side of the dust jacket, which features art of the main characters done by Nicole Deal. I love it!

There is a letter by Victoria Lee that made me even more excited to read the book. She describes it as “a story about grief & anger & trauma & female agency . . . And, of course, lesbians.” Hell yeah! Sign me up. The box also includes a little magazine with an interview with Lee, Dri Gomez (who designed the book sleeve), recommendations, and a little quote matching game. I thought that was quite fun.

And finally, there is the September spoilers card. The theme is Haunted Hearts, the art is beautiful, and the box will include an item designed by Lichen and Limestone. And I think I’m going to have to buy it. I mean, look at the art! How could I not get it? Keep a lookout next month!

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