Thursday, 15 May 2014

Mini Reviews: The Isobel Journal by Isobel Harrop and Losing It by Cora Carmack

Title: The Isobel Journal
Author: Isobel Harrop
Published by: Hot Key Books
Publication date: 7th November 2013
Pages: 208
Genres: Non-fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Bought.

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'. 

I am always happy to look at art. Always. Ever since I first discovered this book, I have been desperate to read it, so when a WHSmith gift card fell into my hands, I thought 'Why not?' I bought it.

The Isobel Journal isn't really what I expected, but nevertheless it was a nice way to spend the twenty minutes I had without Internet the other day. It brought out my arty side and I immediately felt inspired, which is always a good thing. Look - I even found my twin!

Screenshot from Book Haul #10 // Drawing from The Isobel Journal
This is a wonderfully quirky, fun and relatable journal that invites everyone who walks past it to have a flick through the pages, and to stare in awe at the gorgeous sketches and doodles inside. Do you really need more proof that this book is awesome? *sigh* Fine, here you go:

"My favourite pastime is probably lying in bed or eating snacks... or both at the same time."

However, I feel like The Isobel Journal wasn't worth the amount it's selling for; a lot of people on Twitter and Goodreads have been complaining about the price, including me. I get why it's so expensive - it's art - but I was disappointed as this was such a short read, and I feel a bit 'cheated'. Don't get me wrong, it's a lively, creative book and whenever I need inspiration for anything, I know I'll just be able to open The Isobel Journal and boom, hello instant inspiration!
Title: Losing It
Author: Cora Carmack
Published by: Ebury
Publication date: 28th March 2013
Pages: 288
Genres: New Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift.

As far as Bliss Edwards can tell, she's the last virgin standing, certainly amongst her friends. And she's determined to deal with the 'problem' as quickly and simply as possible.

But her plan for a no-strings one night stand turns out to be anything but simple. Especially when she arrives for her first class and recognises her hot new British professor.

She'd left him naked in her bed just 8 hours earlier...

It feels like every female book blogger has read this, and it was made out to be one of those 'love it or hate it' books. Me? I'm in the middle. It was good, but a few things irritated me. Firstly, the main love-interest Garrick is meant to be British. The author is American. Uh oh. I'm wondering whether the author actually knows anyone who is British, because Garrick just sounded like a normal American guy who calls people 'love' and who drinks tea every two seconds. At least he didn't go on about Corgis and the Queen. Ah, stereotypes... they made me cringe. Needless to say, his dialogue was written pretty badly and Garrick did not sound authentically British at all.

Secondly, Bliss Edwards was pretty annoying. She didn't really do much except get drunk or be pushed around by other people. Personally, I think the scenes where she was acting in her theatre class were best. The writing was better here - more descriptive, more authentic, and more interesting.

I admit, it was okay - it must have been, I kept reading, didn't I? - but it was disappointing at the same time. I wanted to enjoy it, and it had been on my wish list for a really long time, so it's a shame that I have to give this 2.5/5.


  1. I'm certainly going to buy The Isobel Journal at some point - it looks amazing!
    Actually I quite like British Stereotypes in books, they make me feel more patriotic, but I think some Amercian authors - like in this case - either over do it or under do it. If they are going to write about someone of another nationality then they could at least attempt to get it right.

    1. Yay, I hope you enjoy it! :)

      I agree, British stereotypes are okay sometimes, if they're well written. But you're right, this time it was way over done.

  2. No office but 'Twin' looks kind of creepy really went read The Isobel Journal this sounds awsome heard things aboout the book but not a lot.

  3. These are great reviews; very honest! The concept of the book Losing It sounds like it could be entertaining as 'romance' novels go but from what you've said I don't think I would enjoy as I can't stand female characters letting themselves be pushed around! Saying that, being a pushover can make for an interesting character trait if it is properly developed and centered on but otherwise I feel like its annoying, unnecessary thread in a book that causes women everywhere to sigh at the lack of a strong character.