Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Isobel Journal” as Want to Read:
The Isobel Journal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Isobel Journal

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  625 ratings  ·  195 reviews
THE ISOBEL JOURNAL is no ordinary snapshot of a contemporary teenage life. A charming and vivid narrative scrapbook of the eighteen-year-old author's sketches, mini-graphic novels, photographs and captions, it captures her wit, her observations and her creative talent as she takes us through the three central themes in her life: 'Love', 'Friends, Art and Otters' and 'Me'.

Paperback, 208 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Hot Key Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Isobel Journal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Isobel Journal

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  625 ratings  ·  195 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Isobel Journal

This book was crazy random! Probably the most random book that I have ever read. Random even for a journal. I didn't mind how random it was, I just am slightly overwhelmed by the randomness. I need to stop saying random.

This "story" follows teenage Isobel's daily thoughts and musings. It covers boys, family and her love of sea otters. The pages are mostly pictures from her actual journal which makes for an interesting reading experience.

I enjoyed the illustration, I was reminded of Quentin Blake
Mar 12, 2014 rated it did not like it
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I seem to be in the minority here but unfortunately The Isobel Journal just wasn't my cup of tea. I didn't care for the drawing style, nor the random ordering of the drawings.
Stuti (Turmeric isn't your friend. It will fly your ship
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 keep ...more
Steph Sinclair
Well, this was just strange. The Isobel Journal doesn't really tell a story, but rather is collection of random thoughts from an 18-year old girl. Some of these are personal drawings from the author, photographs and magazine clippings. It's an interesting book if you're looking for something different and it did make me laugh out loud at inappropriate times, so there's that.
Brigid ✩
Jun 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
I grabbed this at BEA because there were a bunch of copies sitting on a table and you know ... why not? I didn't really look through it until I got home, and discovered that it was basically a cute little YA picture book.

I finally sat down and read the whole thing a few days ago, and I really enjoyed it. 18-year-old author/illustrator Isobel Harrop shares tidbits of her life and personality, with each page being a different thought accompanied by an illustrations.

Harrop's art is very charming an
Literary Strawberry
I dunno, maybe I was just a little disappointed because I guess I'd been expecting a story of some sort. Even just a vague, loose one. Something to hold it together. What it actually is is a collection of drawings/sketches and some thoughts and whatnot by Isobel. There's nothing wrong with this; I actually like the idea. It just didn't match my expectations for a journal. Maybe if it had been called The Isobel Sketchbook.

At any rate, it's pretty cute, and it can be fun to look at the art. I just
2.5 stars

Not for me, younger readers would probably like it more, that said there were some aspects I quite enjoyed.

It was filled mainly with artwork and there was also the odd sentence/random thought thrown in - even though it was a quick and easy read, both the illustrations and the few words used captured Isobel and her life really well.

The book itself was lovely and well presented, the artwork wasn't anything special, it was a bit messy but it worked well with the 'story'.

Some parts were r
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
Easily read in one sitting, I liked The Isobel Journal. For most part, I think it's very random- but that's the mind of a teenage girl for you. Isobel shares about herself, draws the things that make up her life: friends, love, boys, sea-otters. Her illustrations are more like doodles and I think that went well with journal entries. I don't really know what I was to take or get from reading this book, but The Isobel Journal was a nice, refreshing read nonetheless! :)
Apr 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I loved the fact that on the inside covers there are otters <3 Adorable!

Overall, it was a nice and quick read. Don't expect too much. But it was a pretty realistic representation of a teenage mind and inner world.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was inconsistent it did not flow the pictures were okay it was a cute super quick read it was alright.
Jul 22, 2015 rated it liked it
This took me +/- 20min to read and I loved every second of it. The artwork was amazing and I loved how it was almost like a train of thought. Very cute.
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
A nice fun book, with beautiful illustrations!!!
Biena (The Library Mistress)
Mar 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, review-copy

Why this book?
I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley in exchanged for an honest review. But to tell you the truth, I requested for this book because I find the cover really cute. Blue and pink are some of the colors that really appeal to me especially when they are together. They just look clean and well, heavenly... to top it all, this is a picture book and I figured that since I don't have much time to spare, I'd read and finish a picture book.

The Plot
A collection of rants and rambli
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this courtesy of SwitchPress through Netgalley in return for an honest review

Just a girl from where nothing really happens is how The Isobel Journal is first introduced. No false statement is made here, nothing does really happen but this graphic novel is made all the better for it. Isobel Harrop does something I didn’t think was possible, she made regular teenage life feel special and funny while still keeping all the awkwardness and fumbles.

Quirky art featured through the book is ju
Jun 03, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a really intriguing graphic...novel? There's not a lot of text here, but sometime in the third chapter ("Love") a narrative emerges about the writer/artist's first real boyfriend--and continues in the final chapter, "Breakup."

I love the minimalism of the composition here, and the scrapbook-like arrangement of drawings and text. This would be great to use in a YA lit class to show the range of graphic narratives that are out there these days. I think a lot of teens (especially artistic on
Jenny / Wondrous Reads
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
The Isobel Journal is a brilliant, visual book written by eighteen-year-old Isobel Harrop. It's an illustrated scrapbook of teenage life, inspired by Peanuts comics and 1960s design (as the author info at the back of the book states). Included are numerous drawings, photos and ticket stubs interspersed with text and thoughts.

Isobel's journal is full of all the usual teenage stuff, ranging from family to heartbreak college. It's surprisingly witty and thought-provoking, more so that I was expecti
Sarah Churchill
I adore books like this. Illustrative and colourful, displaying mixed medias and a whole load of personality.

This is a journal of the author/artist's teenage years, covering topics like family, boys, friendships and her love of otters. There isn't a central story or narrative to follow, we just get glimpses into Isobel's mind as she muses over her life. For me this approach added another element of... I don't know... 'teenager'. I remember having most of these thoughts jumbled up in my head as
Nicola Mansfield
Dec 08, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nicola by: cybils
This book uses an interesting device and one that I wouldn't mind seeing used again. Isobel presents here the ordinary memoirs of a teenager, her feelings, dreams, private moments and silliness in the form of not just a journal but an art journal or a freestyle scrapbook. There is more art than text and I think the pictures say more than the words do, but together they are an intriguing look inside the mind/life of an ordinary teenager (and British at that). There is no plot, life seldom has one ...more
Isobel is an 18-year-old artist, cartoonist and writer. The Isobel Journal is a pastiche of illustrations, photos, cartoons and prose that serve as an utterly adorable journal. There's not really a particular narrative at play here; the book is roughly divided into sections like "love" and "friends". Isobel's musings may not be earth-shattering, but they're playful and relate-able. The aesthetic here is very similar to that seen in the Rookie yearbooks, which is always a bonus in my book. The vi ...more
Feb 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
The Isobel Journal is full of cool art and definitely looks like the kind of journal that I think we'd all like to have. However, there isn't much of a plot and it kind of reads like a sixteen year old's tumblr. So the quality of the book is dependent on the parameters that you use to judge it. As a piece of art, it's innovative, cool, and otherwise stellar. As a piece of literature, it's a little cliched, erratic, and subpar.
Mar 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thought this book was spot on when it comes to a teenagers life. I was thinking back to my teenage years as I read this and I could rate to it a lot. I thought this book was very enjoyable. It was a quick and very enjoyable read!
Nov 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This is awful in every way possible. I don't even know how something like this could be published.

The blurb for this book uses words like "witty" and "poignant." It is neither of those things. That sell is a lie.
Sunny (A Sunny Spot)
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A entertaining,fun, quirky and creative contemporary scrapbook, that I loved!
Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Quirky, interesting and an enjoyable read. I'd recommend it to any teenager who would happily drool over beautiful artwork for ages :)
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Does anything happen here? No not really, but the drawings are charming.
John Naylor
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had no idea what to expect from this.
It turns out to be a cute guide to the weird and wonderful brain of a teenage girl. Her thoughts, drawings and how she views life.

Of course, friends and boys are highly featured in both the text and the pictures. It was an interesting guide to a mind that I would rarely even try to get to know anything about.

It is a quick and enjoyable read. More books should be made like this. A voice with an idea that can entertain others. This must have been a gamble for
I would say that this is more biographical or memoir than fiction since the title is also the author's first name though our library copy came not as 92 but as 741.5. It's the loosest form of a graphic novel with more episodic tales with illustrations and commentary from love to family to feelings.

I could appreciate the what it was trying to do and while I didn't love it like I love the fictional Page by Paige, I liked what it accomplished.
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love this book so much, more than I thought I would. I would like a bit more, maybe longer, maybe just a touch more narrative, but I honestly love it the way it is as well. The pictures were terrific, as were the one off lines. I took pictures of so many of the pages to share with people.

Also, not sure if the writer deals with depression, but as someone who does, a lot of the images / writing resonated with me! But in a wonderful, uplifting way.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was completely random but none the less it was a quick cute read and I did enjoy going through all the little drawings and artwork done on the page. In some ways, I did feel slightly nostalgic going through it as I remember doodling a lot when I was younger and I could also relate a lot to Isobel, as let`s face it nothing extraordinary goes on in my life, but it feels nice to delve into stories where everything is so simple for once. Just normal struggles a teenager could go through. ...more
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
If you are looking for something with plot, this isn't what you're after, but if you want a light read to enjoy for a half hour, this is your jam. The illustrations were fun and it's a nice slice of teenaged life.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • I Am More Than a Daydream
  • The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures
  • She Was The Storm
  • The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #2)
  • The Hidden Witch (The Witch Boy, #2)
  • The Boneless Mercies
  • Giant Days: Early Registration
  • Best Friends (Real Friends, #2)
  • All About Us
  • The Life of Stuff: A memoir about the mess we leave behind
  • Ms. Marvel, Vol. 9: Teenage Wasteland
  • Sh**ged. Married. Annoyed.
  • Punching the Air
  • Pet
  • Last Girl Standing
  • Queenie
  • Sunny Rolls the Dice
  • The Okay Witch
See similar books…
Isobel Harrop is an eighteen-year-old girl from the North West of England, squished somewhere between Manchester and Liverpool. She recently finished college, where she studied A-Level English Literature, English Language and Media Studies. Now she's down in the South of England, studying English Literature "somewhere a bit more interesting". This is her first book that wasn't made using the schoo ...more

News & Interviews

Are you spending this season bundling up against the chill or enjoying summery southern hemisphere vibes (in which case we are...
77 likes · 28 comments