Saturday, 30 November 2013
Review: The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Released: November 7th, 2013
The Isobel Journal is no ordinary snapshot of a contemporary teenage life. A charming and vivid narrative scrapbook of the eighteen-year-old author's sketches, mini-graphic novels, photographs and captions, it captures her wit, her observations and her creative talent as she takes us through the three central themes in her life: 'Love', 'Friends, Art and Otters' and 'Me'.
The Isobel Journal is a brilliant, visual book written by eighteen-year-old Isobel Harrop. It's an illustrated scrapbook of teenage life, inspired by Peanuts comics and 1960s design (as the author info at the back of the book states). Included are numerous drawings, photos and ticket stubs interspersed with text and thoughts.
Isobel's journal is full of all the usual teenage stuff, ranging from family to heartbreak college. It's surprisingly witty and thought-provoking, more so that I was expecting from a book like this. I've been through it again since initially reading it the first time, and there's some truly good advice dotted about. There's also a section dedicated to fat, hairy baby animals (lots of otters) and a reference to the Girls in Love TV show. I'd all but forgotten Ellie and Russel but now I have a sudden urge to re-read and re-watch it!
The Isobel Journal ended up being a lot better than I thought it would be, with more feelings, advice and an excellent style of art. It reminded me of Laura Dockrill's book, Darcy Burdock, which shares a quirkiness not seen too often in fiction these days. I'm sure this book took a ridiculous amount of time to produce, but the result is well worth it - it looks stylish and different and stands out in a crowded market. Very entertaining.