28 August 2014

Review: The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop

Isobel Harrop is just eighteen years old, saying good-bye to being a teenager and looking forward to college and pursuing her dreams. The Isobel Journal is a doodle-book look at her inner world. Here are my thoughts in a Bullet Review.

What's inside? Many of the pages of Harrop's debut consist of line drawings of people and faces on a plain background, supplemented by the author's thoughts. A few pages are more elaborately drawn (some in full color), and others have a scrapbook feel.

What's it about? The Isobel Journal does not tell a conventional story, and there's no plot. Although the drawings are arranged in a logical order, most of them could stand on their own. Harrop's book is not a graphic autobiography but an illustrated stream of consciousness. Through her drawings, we learn quite a few things about the teen, such as her taste in music, her favorite things to do, and what she observes as she explores her city.

What worked and what didn't? For the most part, I like Harrop's art style, with its simple lines and expressive faces. A few of things that caught her eye, made me smile (see the scan at the right). On the other hand, I had trouble relating to Harrop, and so most of the book was lost on me. It's not that I'm older than the intended audience but that I wasn't her kind of teen. We don't seem to share many interests, and thus I found it difficult to connect with her. For example, she likes to spend a lot of time in bed and shops for vintage clothing. I, on the other hand, spent most of my time outdoors and was happy in jeans and T-shirts.

General recommendations. Many other people will love Isobel Harrop's The Isobel Journal and will be thrilled to discover a kindred spirit. My issues with this book are purely personal and have nothing to do with Harrop's talent or her ability to express herself in art and words. This is a book that will likely resonate with a particular group of readers, and you might be one of them.

Capstone / Switch Press, 2014
ISBN-13: 9781630790035
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


rhapsodyinbooks 8/28/14, 6:51 AM  

I *love* your first sentence: "Isobel Harrop is just eighteen years old...." "just" - sigh..... LOLOL

Daryl 8/28/14, 9:38 AM  

waaaaaay back when i was a pre-teen in jr high and i was bored in class, i would draw much like what you shared of The Isobel Journal . now i wish i had it to publish

Vicki 8/28/14, 4:21 PM  

Sorry you didn't like it much. I'm not sure it's one I want to read...probably not.

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