BOOK REVIEW: the isobel journal by isobel harrop

15 December 2013

Publisher: Hot Key Books
Published: 7th November 2013
Book: For Review*
Format: Paperback, Finished Copy
Pages: 208
Genre: Young Adult {YA}, Coming-Of-Age, Art
Blurb: 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'. Resonant of Laura Dockrill's MISTAKES IN THE BACKGROUND and with the powerful naïve illustrative style of cult Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara, this is a collector's gift for teenagers and all who have the teenage experience still in their hearts. Readers will emphasise with this witty and honest journal of a girl getting to grips with impending adulthood. A must-have for all hipster teenagers and anyone who appreciates the raw creativity of youth. Enchanting and poignant. -goodreads
The Isobel Journal is a superb visual book stuffed full of doodles and photographs that will make you want to break out the paper and pen that you have stuffed away somewhere in your desk and create. It's a coming of age scrapbook that will fill your imagination and each page has its own quirky, unique touch that drew me to it immediately.It's only a quick read and took me around fifteen minutes to finish - however it's a book to read, and re-read and read again, just so you can absorb each and everything in it and one that you will never get tired of. I can see myself trying to copy the drawings in the book because I love them so much...but I can also maybe most probably see them ending up in the waste paper bin because i don't like them...
"my favourite past time is probably lying in bed or eating snacks...or both at the same time."
The blurb describes this book perfectly: charming, vivid, creative, witty, honest, enchanting and poignant. It's a striking collection of thoughts and feelings and is the perfect gift for a teenager because it's so unique and original. At times it is also amusing and by the end of it you won't fail to have a smile on your face. By the end of the book I felt like I knew Isobel; she was created through her own musings and scrap-collections and it's such a perfect way of bringing a character to life that by the last page, I felt like I could relate to her. I felt like I had shared a part of her life with her. I felt like I knew all the important things about her that maybe not many people in her life knew: like how she's waiting to discover her 'dark' side; but really she still drinks tea from a princess mug. Like how she loves 90's girl bands and wants to be a character in a cartoon. Small things, mundane things to some people; but things can depict someone's life so easily that you almost feel like you are them.
"sometimes pictures say more than words ever can."

Some pages I laughed out loud at simply because I could relate to them down to the T, {*le sigh* why do some parents just not know how to use a computer?!} and I almost feel like I want to stick some pages up on my wall, or scrapbook, the already scrap booked pages, but no, i will not ruin the book. Isobel Harrop deals with heartbreak, friendships, family, badgers, tea, and otters with brilliant little pieces of teenage wisdom and a scattering of doodles that are more vibrant and poignant than a thousand words.
*I received this book from the publishers free of charge in exchange for an honest review.


  1. That sounds like a really good book! I might have to add it to my Christmas list!
    Eden xx

    1. it is and you must!! thanks for dropping by. :)

  2. Goddammit, I just wrote a lovely long comment and it was promptly deleted by my stupid computer. Grrr... Anyways, no offence Hawwa but I really can't be bothered to write it all out again, so I will just say that this is a fab review and I'm glad you enjoyed The Isobel Journal too! ;D

  3. I REALLY want to read this book! It seems so quirky and different and I just love things like that! I'm glad that, by the end of the book, you feel connected to the author and feel like you know her!

    MY DAD CANNOT WORK A COMPUTER TO SAVE HIMSELF - IT'S EMBARASSING! *cringes* I could probably relate to a lot in this book too!

    Great review! :D

  4. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Seriously, one of my favourite books of the year. The drawings and illustrations and amazing, I couldn't take my eyes off em and I wanted to savour every last page. It's such a. Charming, relatable novel. Really great review! :D


  6. This book looks so adorable! WANT WANT WANT

  7. This sounds like such a cute book! Will definitely keep an eye out for it! :D

    Great review! :)


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