To Buy Or Not To Buy? – Illumicrate – August 2021 – Dark Academia

Time for a new To Buy or Not to Buy post! This time, we’ll be looking at Illumicrate’s August box, which has the theme “Dark Academia.” (Yes, this is the same theme that Owlcrate is doing this month as well. Check out my post from a few days ago for more details) Keep reading to learn more about the box and if I think it’ll be worth it!

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: Dark Academia

Month: August 2021

Information Link:

Cost: £27.00 + shipping and fees

Included Fandoms: Fandom Neutral!

Anticipated Book of the Month: The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino

Special Book Features: Entirely redesigned cover, sprayed edges, foil embossing on the hardback and is signed by the author

Early Reveals so far: Monthly matching pin designed by @stacey.mcevoy.caunt, Reading Journal, Book Pot designed by @chattynora, teacup and saucer set designed by @niallcgrant.

My Thoughts

As I mentioned in the Owlcrate post, this general theme is perfect for me. I love broadly aesthetic themes and coupled with the fact that all of the items are fandom neutral, I am so down for this box!

I’ll start by admitting that I’m not overly thrilled by the book of the month, The Devil Makes Three. The premise does sound interesting, and I’ll definitely read it, but it wasn’t on my radar prior to IC’s announcement. I am excited for the fully redesigned cover, as I’m not a fan of the original cover. (It’s not bad, but it’s not spectacular either. Pretty standard paranormal horror.) I have a feeling that their edition will be quite pretty and unique.

Now, let’s get into the real fun of this box! We already know several of the amazing items that will be included in this box. I was already excited when they mentioned a reading planner, but then they announced that it would have a teacup and a book pot??? Instant buy for me! I got my first book pot in the April box and I keep it on my nightstand to hold all of my pens and markers for my dream journal. I’m excited to see what this design will look like! The teacup set is going to be the first of a collectable series inspired by Greek mythology. I already have a teacup collection (a few bookish ones, as well as just pretty ones that I’ve collected over the years) so it’ll fit right in! I have a feeling that the other items in the box will probably be on the smaller and perhaps cheaper side in order to accommodate for the more expensive and breakable items in this box, but I’m sure they’ll be great as well! Illumicate has had some really amazing items in the past few boxes and I’m excited to see everything in person.

If you didn’t already infer this from my post, I’ll definitely be getting this box! I had initially planned on just getting the April box and then skipping until September, but it looks like I’ll be getting both August and September as well! (Stay tuned for a post all about September’s fun, highly-anticipated box!)


  • Fun exclusive book customizations, included a completely redesigned cover and sprayed edges
  • Includes a monthly enamel pin inspired by the book
  • Fandom Neutral
  • Really exciting, high-value items! (book pot and teacup!)


  • I’m not completely excited by the book.
  • UK shipping can be quite expensive to the US.

Thanks for reading my ramble! Let me know in the comments what you think of the book, theme, and items! Would you get this box?

Follow me on Instagram for book pictures, mini-reviews, and more!

Check out my shop, Total Bookish Eclipse!


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