Review: It's All Absolutely Fine by Ruby Elliot

In my January Favourites I mentioned that the first book I read in 2017 was It's All Absolutely Fine - life is complicated so I've drawn it instead by Ruby Elliot. I received this book for Christmas from my parents after wanting it for ages and ages. I've always loved Ruby's work ever since it first started floating around on Tumblr a few years back. I think the first one I saw was the "I am my sun, my moon, my tired pissed off stars". I don't think there's a picture she's done that I don't like. Going through Ruby's work is sometimes like looking in a mirror - my life is full of coffee/anxiety jenga, I am an emotional weetabix, I relate so deeply to that squiggly little caricature.

And so, as you can probably already guess, I loved this book.

It's All Absolutely Fine isn't just a collection of Rubyetc artwork, it also contains essays written by Ruby herself covering a whole bunch of things, a lot of it mental health related. I found myself agreeing with so much of what Ruby said, and relating to her experiences quite a lot. I'd often end up Snapchatting people bits, to show them what they were missing, or being close to tears because the feels, man, the feels. And yet on a personal level I only really relate to half of the book. I don't have bipolar and I haven't had an eating disorder but I still found myself gripped onto Ruby's words really feeling all of the things that she feels.

Off topic but related story - my Mum bought this from Waterstones in Bolton. There's a sales assistant who works there who's the absolute bees' knees and I really wish I knew her name because her taste in books is excellent and she just knows things, you know? But anyway my Mum went in and was like "I want this book for my daughter and it's yellow with cartoons and stuff" or something, and apparently the sales assistant had a lightbulb moment and scampered off returning with the book. Then talked about how awesome it was. Waterstones sales assistants know their stuff.

I mean, apart from the lovely essays I think Ruby's artwork is really the standout feature here. From the deep emotional pages, to the lovely inspiring comics, to the ones that are just absolutely crackers, I challenge you not to be able to find at least one that you don't love.

Above is one of my favourite drawings that Ruby has ever done. I need it blown up and wallpapered in my room. It's definitely something that we should all live by, and something that I need to tell myself more often.

Basically It's All Absolutely Fine is my book of 2017; I've read and will read a lot more books this year but I honestly don't care. Ruby wins.

No comments