To Buy Or Not To Buy? – Illumicrate October 2020 – Life and Death

Hey all! I’m really on a roll with these To Buy or Not to Buy posts these days. They’re quite fun to write late at night when the insomnia hits, and hey, if they keep the FOMO at bay and keep my blog active with content, it’s a win-win! Today I’ll be talking about one of the boxes I’ve still yet to try: Illumicrate, and the box that got away. (This post is written somewhat in retrospect, as I made my decision last month.The box is now sold out.)

As usual, all of the opinions in this post are my own, so please take them with a grain of salt, and don’t be offended if my least favorite fandom is your favorite. We all have our own preferences. 🙂

SPOILER ALERT! These posts will name the included book of the month, which often isn’t announced in advance. Please don’t continue to read if you want to be surprised by the book.

The Box Details

Company: Illumicrate

Theme: Life and Death

Month: October 2020

Information Link:

Cost: £27 + shipping

Included Fandoms: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. (Everything else is fandom neutral)

Anticipated Book of the Month: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Special Book Features: Exclusive cover, hidden cover, endpapers, sprayed edges, and signed.

Early Reveals: Hades and Persephone inspired art by Elithien, and art by Rosiethorns88

The Rationale

Illumicrate is one of the few bigger subscription boxes that I’ve yet to try, and for a fairly good reason: Shipping costs. Illumicrate is based in the UK, and as a US-based blogger, shipping costs to the US can be sooo expensive! That’s always been my biggest deterrent to getting a pretty yellow Illumicrate box.

In early September, I got the email to get off the waitlist for this box! I was super conflicted about whether to follow through and get the box for this highly anticipated book, or if I should save some cash and avoid it.

I only had about 24 hours after getting off the waitlist to decide what I wanted to do. Shipping was crazy expensive whether I got the book-only option or the full box. I forced myself to start to answer why I wanted the box. I’ve never even read a V.E./Victoria Schwab book before. My “hype and excitement” for this box was purely based on the social media hype for this book. (People looking for arcs, raving about it, and struggling to find and collect every special edition possible.) While I think the premise is interesting, I’m not dying to add this book to my V.E. Schwab shrine.

I was both intrigued and disinterested in the fandom neutral box. Intrigued because I know that Illumicrate typically puts out high quality items, but also disinterested because fandom neutral items might not sell as well secondhand if I ended up with items I didn’t want. Definitely depends on the item itself. Rosiethorns88’s items are normally pretty sought after, so that’s something at least.


  • Highly sought book (could be sold/traded if I ever want to)
  • Popular artists creating art for the box
  • Will probably be hard to find later, so getting the box prevents me from buying it at a higher price later.


  • Expensive US shipping
  • Fandom Neutral Items
  • I’ve never tried this box before

The Verdict

Ultimately, I decided not to get this box. This could very well be my “Box that Got Away” but I’m willing to take that chance. I already have enough boxes on the way in October, and I don’t want to get a box purely for a hyped up book that I’m not even completely interested in yet. I’ll save my money for other things this month. Besides, the normal UK edition is pretty and comes with sprayed edges, so I’ll probably try to get a copy of that edition! Still pretty (and prettier than the US edition,) but at a fraction of the cost!

Thanks for reading! Let me know in the comments what you think of this box! Are you getting it?

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