Monday, 17 March 2014

Book Review: The Isobel Journal - Isobel Harrop

Pub. Date- August 1st 2014 Publisher- Switch Press Pages- 210
Genre- Graphic Novel/Young Adult Rating- 4 Stars

I received this courtesy of Switch Press through 
Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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.
Just a girl from where nothing really happens is how The Isobel Journal is first introduced. No false statement is made here, nothing does really happen but this graphic novel is made all the better for it. Isobel Harrop does something I didn’t think was possible, she made regular teenage life feel special and funny while still keeping all the awkwardness and fumbles.

Quirky art featured through the book is just like a stream of consciousness that you are getting a peak at here and there. Everything in this from the writing to illustrations is down right hilarious. At one point Isobel is showing pictures of animals and suddenly some killer animal puns occur that cause spontaneous laughter.  Even the very true tips that come out of nowhere and leave you gasping.

By using a mixture of black and white, coloured sketches and sketches done on top of photographs no page feels like the next. Even with all the mixed media and spontaneous ideas there was never any feeling of things being cluttered or disjointed. Some favourite pages of mine were the ones that included scanned tickets and other miscellaneous objects.

Reading snuggled up in bed is the best way to enjoy this, being cozy is just made all the better when you come across something so heart warmingly cute that you have to aww out loud.  If you don’t find one sassy quote to rival mean girls you need to go back a nd re-read this because it is choc-a-blocked with them so you have to be doing something wrong.

This is the first graphic novel I’ve read this year and it certainly has set a high standard for everything else. If you’re looking for something to bring back memories or something that makes you go ‘oh my god’ I feel like that all the time this certainly ticks every box.

Do you read Graphic Novels? Will you be reading this one when itreleased?


  1. Hmm I've never read a graphic novel before. You've made it seem prettttttty great though so maybe I'll have to check it out!

    1. I tend to like quirky graphic novels more than story ones. This was super enjoyable to read, if you get a chance to check it out I would definitely recommend it, even if it’s just to experience something new.


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