Book Review: It's All Absolutely Fine

This "Emotional Smoothie Recipe" is Grand (4 stars)

I hate winter. By early February I'm ready to crawl into bed and never come out. Vitamin D supplements help a lot but they don't quite make me laugh like a good humorous book can. I picked this one up not being familiar with Rubyetc other than having seen a comic or two online. It was totally worth trying a new comic.

Simple and goofy the art may be, but these comics are quite affecting. The kind that'll make you laugh until you cry because they're quite relatable if you suffer from mental illness as I do. In fact, I found the title fitting from two different angles... that of someone who says they're fine when they're not and that of someone who knows it's okay to be struggling, afraid, lacking confidence.

If you enjoy the work of Jenny Lawson or Allie Brosh this is right up your alley!

Notes: ARC received through NetGalley.

It's All Absolutely Fine - Life Is Complicated So I've Drawn It Instead by Ruby Elliot

Humor, Comics, Mental Health

Digital/Print (256 pages, ANDREWS MCMEEL)

Explore the highs and lows of modern life through the sharp, dark wit of Ruby Elliot—creator of the massively popular Tumblr account, Rubyetc, which has over 210k followers and growing. Ruby’s simple drawings of not-so-simple issues capture the humor and melancholy of everyday life. Her comics appeal to both new adults who are beginning to explore these subjects and to battle-tested veterans of the daily struggles of life with mental illness.
It’s All Absolutely Fine is an honest and unapologetic account of day-to-day life as a groaning, crying, laughing sentient potato being for whom things are often absolutely not fine. Through simple, humorous drawings and a few short narratives, the book encompasses everything from mood disorders, anxiety, and issues with body image through to existential conversations with dogs and some unusually articulate birds.
With each chapter a particular set of struggles is picked up, looked at, and squished about a bit using visuals before being put down again with a little more resolve. Problems related to mental health that can be very devastating and even isolating are discussed openly in a way people are often told not to, but this is as much a book about the human emotional experience that touches all of us as it is about mental health. Through the drawings, the reader is shown that it is okay to struggle, and that it is okay to talk about struggling, to not undermine oneself by yelling ‘it’s fine’ when it isn’t, and while all this is going on to know that it is absolutely possible to hold on to hope, and of course humor.
Building on Rubyetc's huge online presence, It's All Absolutely Fine includes mostly new material, both written and illustrated, and is inspirational, empowering, and entertaining. Hope and tenacity abound in this book that is as heartening as it is hilarious.

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