Isobel Harrop is an eighteen-year-old girl from ‘where nothing really happens’ and The Isobel Journal is the charming scrapbook of her delightfully ordinary yet wonderful teenage life.
I snuggled up with The Isobel Journal and a blanket on a cold night and read until I consumed every last page. I was particularly keen to read and review it because it’s just the sort of book my fellow Tumblr-goers enjoy, but also because even though I’ve not been a teenager for four years – and there’s a lot I prefer about being an adult! – there’s a lot that I miss and wish I could go back and do again.
The Isobel Journal is a pretty collection of quirky illustrations (drawn by Isobel herself), photographs and random bursts of thought; a stream of teenage consciousness. It includes scans of tickets from concerts she’s attended to the myriad of people she’s observed and sketched over the years (and who often look like owls). Isobel’s life is not exactly like mine (although it’s about to get a whole lot similar since she recently started at the university I went to!) but there’s a lot I connected with. Stacey’s Teenage Life pretty much consisted of booksmusicinternet, rinse and repeat, so here’s some of my favourite pages:
I’m normally not an enthusiastic fan of otters – although I tend to love all baby animals – but this page is adorable! I sent a picture of it to my otter-loving friend. It’s so fun and colourful and hits you as soon as you open the book.
I also keep a little box full of cinema tickets, concert tickets, train tickets to fun places, band badges and other little things. My oldest cinema and concert tickets are from 2003, when I went to see 50 First Dates and Good Charlotte!
I used to love music as much as I love books. (Maybe more. Gasp!).
And one of my least favourite chores to do is change the bedclothes, even though I love the feel and smell of fresh sheets. I used to get inside the duvet cover in an attempt to put it on. I wouldn’t recommend this.
The Isobel Journal is a lovely book to curl up with while wearing your favourite cosy pyjamas and drinking a cup of tea (or hot chocolate and marshmallows, if you’re more like me). It’s pure joy to flick through – delightful, funny and perfect for the nostalgic – and it made me think about what my scrapbook would look like. If you’d love to buy a book for someone who doesn’t usually read, this could be the ideal present. And it’s also nice to come across someone else who thinks pigeons are ‘okay’.
Published: 7th November 2013
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Source: Thank you Hot Key Books for providing this book for review!