Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Isobel Harrop | The Isobel Journal

If you'd handed this book to me before I'd heard of it and said, "Here you are Emily, it's a book with no plot and it's full of drawings," I'd have laughed at you, at the very least because I hate art. But thankfully, I didn't find out about it like that. I first saw it on Sanne's (Booksandquills) Youtube channel. I didn't think much about it when I first saw it, but a few days later I remembered it, and a few days after that I had recieved an email from amazon telling me that the book had been dispatched. And I don't think I could love it much more.

The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop is the life of a Northern Girl from Where Nothing Really Happens depicted through drawings and photos from her journal. It is split into three parts: Me; Friends, Otters, College & Art; Love. Presented through a mix of photos, drawings and superimposed drawings on photos, it is, I'm sure, one of the most interesting autobiographies that you'll come across. Although this could have been about anyone, something that added to the book for me was that I think I'm quite similar to the main character. Some of the sentences next to the drawings read 'I buy a lot of records from charity shops', 'And because I, err, listen to a lot of cool indie stuff too, er, yeah', 'It's not that I haven't done my homework, it's just playing hard to get' and '"Valentine's day"? You misspelled "Eat Nutella And Lie In Bed Day"'. In fact, I think these are things that a lot of people can relate to, which is partly what makes The Isobel Journal so special.

Like I said, art and I do not get along. There is, however, one girl whose drawing style always made me smile and the style in this book is similar. If you're wondering, it's an endearing sort that isn't Da Vinci - in fact, it's closer to your own - but because it's in a book and done by someone else, it's really good, almost relatable. This combined with the at-times sarcastic and funny commentary, it makes for the kind of book you'd want to display proudly in your lounge, but wouldn't for fear of it getting dirty

I think the amount of red stickers poking out the end of the pages (there are 15) speaks for itself. Wherever Isobel Harrop is at the moment (hopefully doing English Lit at uni according to a cover), I'd like to thank/congratulate her for making such an inspiring book. Has this been enough to persuade you to pick a copy up? I really hope so. Trust me, you're missing out if you don't.

5/5 stars.

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