The Isobel Journal

21891982Author: Isobel Harrop
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: Non-fiction, Graphic novels/illustrations

The Isobel Journal is composed of snapshots, vignettes from the life of a teenager and the time before she was one, as ordinary yet brilliant as can be. Harrop doesn’t explore the meanings of life, or her own mind-workings or secrets of the universe in this compilation; more like, it’s her stream-of-consciousness in the material world that is projected here, with random statements about herself. And I say this with no implication of negative connotations, because it’s fun and the randomness keeps the art fresh. On the other hand, the lack of a spine or connecting thread can be distracting and detrimental to a reader’s enjoyment.

In any case, I LOVED the art, especially the juxtaposition of Harrop’s creations upon the pictures from her daily life.

Besides that, it’s also quirky, innovative and sometimes just plain beautiful in its simplicity.

I don’t know about any of the other teenagers this book is being pitched at, but personally, I really connected with Isobel, albeit she’s far, far above me with her hipster styles and imaginative creations and talent.

For this:

And this:

Unfortunately, this is something my head still doesn’t get. Which is why I have a fucking bald patch above my right ear. No kidding.

Some more:

I did say that Harrop doesn’t explore the meaning of life or explore secrets of the universe, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t privy to some from the girl(or boy, if you please, or anyone between and beyond)-world.

And well, there is also this.

Ehh, I don’t know if that is cheesy or hilarious or creative. Maybe a combination of all three? I suppose a little cheese never hurt anyone.

On a superficial level, I enjoyed this book and the author’s wacked-up mind but there really isn’t any depth to my connection with it, for it is still very clean for my tastes, which distances it from the reader. Cleannnn, me never liked things clean, and I mean that in the abstract sense. I CANNOT stand dirty clothes, bedsheets and utensils.

All I can say with certainty is that I’d like to see more of this art style.

Review copy provided by Capstone.



4 thoughts on “The Isobel Journal

  1. I know Renu really liked this which was why I added it to my TBR in the first place. BUT seriously, I think I am going to need a hard copy of this one. Those images are so adorableeeee and colorful. 😀 I just want to run my hands over them (please don’t ask me to explain that :P)

    Fantastic review, Stuti!!! 🙂

  2. Awww, this sounds so cute. And you’re right, the art here looks a bit edgy and simple, but it’s kind of endearing that way. Taking into account the context of the novel, it’s even more beautiful to look at. If ever I chance upon this book, I’ll probably read it with the mindset it’s a picture book, because there having no connecting thread would bother me otherwise.

    Faye at The Social Potato

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