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Illumicrate Review: The Subscription Box For Book Lovers


So subscription boxes have been gaining more and more popularity in recent months and there are lots of fabulous (and weird) things that you can sign up for each month. I love the idea of getting a surprise package in the post each month so I couldn’t have been more excited when Daphne from Winged Reviews revealed that she was setting up Illumicrate, a quarterly bookish subscription box in the UK. Each box will include a new release as well as bookish goodies such as bookmarks, jewellery, stationery etc. There will be 3-5 items per box.

Here’s what came inside my box..


Illumicrate, as the name suggests, is a box of bright and cheery things, which is evident from the very moment you open the box. This service’s signature colours are white and yellow so unsurprisingly the first thing you see is a load of fun, yellow stuffing! But what’s underneath…

So I didn’t take photos of what’s inside separately because I’m stupid and seem to have forgot what the word ‘unboxing’ means but see below for everything included.


Obviously the thing I was most excited for was the book itself which is Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graduin. I’ve never heard of this book or the author but it sounds like it’s going to be a good read! It’s supposed to be Code Name Verity meets Inglorious Basterds and I’ve certainly never heard of, let alone read, anything like that before. Set in 1956 this book is both about Hitler and shapeshifters… An interesting combination. If you’re looking for books on Hilter, check out my review of ‘Look Who’s Back‘ in which Hitler wakes up very much alive in 2011. (It’s funny, I swear!)

The next thing that caught my eye in this box is the beautiful hand painted bookmark by Skinny Hues. This is no doubt related to Wolf by Wolf though as I haven’t read the book yet I can only appreciate it for its beauty. This bookmark is so simple at yet incredibly intricate at the same time and I love the thick paper that it’s painted on.

I was curious about the little packet in blue and white paper but it was so nicely packed I didn’t want to open it! After conquering my OCD, I opened it to find a little mirror with the slogan ‘BOOKS BEFORE LOOKS’ on it, which is uber cute and perfect for your purse or makeup bag. Available from Raspberry Finch.

Next up is the little Hunger Games themed necklace which is shaped like a Mockingjay and bears the infamous slogan ‘YOU BURN WITH US’. I’ve already got a few bits of bookish jewellery, including the mockingjay symbol necklace so this is perfect to add to my collection. As it’s made of wood it seems to me like something that Katniss herself would actually wear so woo for the rebellion! Available from My Clockwork Castle. You can also expect a review of Mockingjay Part 2 to appear on What’s Hot soon.

The last thing I opened was the poster, the thing I was least excited for, which then turned out to be my favourite! I am a huge Potterhead and a recovering poster hoarder so I was so excited to discover that this was a Harry Potter poster! I love images like this with a simple symbol per story and with all 7 stories on one poster this is perfect! Available from Abbie Imagine.


There was also a Six Crows mini badge, a postcard and some business cards for other cool things.

Here’s the full list of what’s included:


All in all, I’m really pleased with my first Illumicrate box! I had no idea what to expect from this really but it did not disappoint. Evidently this box is going to cater for numerous different fandoms as this box contained something from The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. There was also non fandom related stuff too which ensues that this will appeal to all book readers.

If you want to get your hands on Illumicrate’s next box, which ships out in Feb 2016 I believe, then head over to illumicrate.com to find out more. Illumicrate has quickly risen to become one of the best book subscription boxes out there and each box is more creative than the last.

One box will cost you £29.99, which may seem a little steep at first but remember it is a quarterly box, not a monthly one. Over the course of one year you’d end up spending £119.96, which is less than £10 a month! There’s free shipping to the UK but if you live internationally you’ll have to pay an additional £4.99 – £13.99 depending on your location.



*Product was received at a discount in exchange for an honest review. All images belong to What’s Hot? and cannot be reproduced without express permission.

If you liked this post, check out these:

Illumicrate Unboxing #2
The Ultimate Gift Guide for Book Lovers
Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide for Bookish People
Squishable Narwhal Review

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Laura is a culture and travel blogger based in London. She studied French at Oxford University and now studies Law in London. She’s an avid reader and traveller and loves to combine the two with literary travel. Find her tips and reviews on the best reads, eats and destinations on whatshotblog.com.

Find me on: Web | Twitter



  1. bericebaby
    8th December 2015 / 10:50 PM

    Noway is there a book subscription for book lovers! Will thats another thing to add to my mums Christmas list 😀 Thanks so much for sharing this hun – She will be over the moon.
    Charlotte x

    • 25th December 2015 / 10:33 AM

      Hope she likes it if you got her one for Christmas! Merry Christmas 🙂

  2. 8th December 2015 / 10:53 PM

    Ohhh this sounds amazing – I might just have to treat myself I do love a good book! x

  3. 8th December 2015 / 11:34 PM

    There are so many subscription boxes these days, if I signed up to all the ones I wanted I would be broke every month. I do love the look of this box though and know someone who would love this might be a christmas present sorted out 🙂

    • 25th December 2015 / 10:33 AM

      Too true, I would be so broke too!! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas 🙂

  4. 9th December 2015 / 12:04 AM

    I love the idea of a book subscription box! I’m such a book fan. xx

  5. 9th December 2015 / 12:47 AM

    Haha that packing list and poster need to be mine. I love this subscription box.

  6. Hungry_Healthy_Happy
    9th December 2015 / 10:08 AM

    This sounds like a great alternative subscription box for people that love to read.

  7. raine_hp
    9th December 2015 / 10:53 AM

    Sounds like a great subscription! Love the poster out of everything. Don’t know how I would be about getting one just because I’m super picky when it comes to books.

  8. Natasha Mairs
    9th December 2015 / 1:17 PM

    I like the idea of a book subscription box. I really like the Books before looks, but a bit pricey for what you get.

  9. Beautyqueenuk
    9th December 2015 / 3:43 PM

    What a great alternative subscription idea this is, I love the Harry Potter prints x

    • 25th December 2015 / 10:34 AM

      The HP print is definitely my favourite item in the whole box! Merry Christmas 🙂

  10. 9th December 2015 / 7:12 PM

    This sounds like an amazing subscription box. I am sure you are loving it.

  11. Ickle Pickle
    9th December 2015 / 8:18 PM

    This looks great – a bit different to other subscription boxes I have seen. Fab for book lovers! Kaz x

    • 25th December 2015 / 10:34 AM

      There are actually quite a few book subscription boxes out there but I guess no one talks about them quite as much as the beauty ones! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas 🙂

  12. 9th December 2015 / 10:00 PM

    This looks amazing! I love the poster, I am a huge Harry Potter fan and this is just amazing. What a wonderful box!

    • 24th December 2015 / 8:47 PM

      The poster is my favourite thing in the box I think!

  13. Wendy K
    9th December 2015 / 11:53 PM

    I’m obsessed with reading, and one of these boxes sounds like my idea of heaven! Harry Potter in it as well?! As a huge Harry Potter fan I think I would have squealed on receiving that as well as all the book paraphernalia. 🙂 I want one of those boxes, will have to look them up!

  14. Louise Collier
    10th December 2015 / 12:19 AM

    Ohh I love books so much, so I would love to get a book subscription box! I wish I had more time to read at the moment! x

    • 25th December 2015 / 10:35 AM

      Finding time to read is an issue I always have too >.<

  15. Charlotte
    10th December 2015 / 10:05 AM

    This is a lovely way to discover new books. What an exciting parcel to receive! x

    • 25th December 2015 / 10:35 AM

      I agree! I had never heard of Wolf by Wolf until I received this box, but I’ve only heard good things about it since!

  16. 10th December 2015 / 3:05 PM

    What a lovely box. My best friend may like this. Shall have to show her!

  17. Zena's Suitcase
    10th December 2015 / 9:55 PM

    This is a cool subscription box. I love the mirror too, getting this would brighten my day

    • 25th December 2015 / 10:36 AM

      The surprise of a subscription box brightens my day too 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  18. 11th December 2015 / 2:40 AM

    This is such a great idea for a gift for any book lover. I have to remember it for some upcoming birthdays 🙂

    • 25th December 2015 / 10:36 AM

      Great idea! Loads of subscription boxes have gift options and I think it’s a really easy but also really nice present!

  19. 12th December 2015 / 8:21 AM

    What a fantastic idea! I’d definitely love to receive a book-themed subscription box, and what a great way to discover a new book

    • 24th December 2015 / 8:46 PM

      I think so too! I love the anticipation of waiting to find out what book is inside 😀

  20. Kacie Morgan
    12th December 2015 / 1:17 PM

    I love the idea of this – would be a lovely Christmas gift for anyone who enjoys reading.

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