A couple of months ago I received an email from a small publishing company asking if I would be interested in reviewing one of their Young Adult titles. I looked over their catalog and decided that I wanted to give The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop a read. I must confess that choosing just one book out of Switch Press' catalog wasn't easy, but I was intrigued by the Young Adult Graphic Novel format for The Isobel Journal. In large part, because I was in the middle of reading Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi another YA Graphic Novel and was curious to see what other authors were producing that would compare.
The book arrived yesterday evening and I was immediately impressed by the quality. The illustrations were unique, adorable and reminded me of my teenage doodles. The book itself was less a graphic novel and more a scrapbook/journal. It felt like stepping into the mind of a teenage girl and being privy to her random stream of consciousness. The book covers everything from otters to love and family, and does so in a genuine and charming way. That the author is herself a teenage girl just adds a dash more realism to the blurbs and bits pictured within.
Is The Isobel Journal a life changing work of literature like Persepolis? Probably not. But its familiarity will definitely hit the right notes for teenagers (especially those living through a particularly angsty phase), and its illustrations will make you smile. Overall, I would give The Isobel Journal 3.5 Stars. It's charming and adorable but not especially impactful.
Recommended for teens ages 13-17.
The Isobel Journal is available for purchase on Amazon.com.