This anthology is large, in physical size and in the span of its content. These five hundred and fifty-three pages carry an important weight; the weight of vulnerability and shared experiences. It’s Not OK to Feel Blue and other lies is compiled of stories from many different inspirational people, from Yomi Adegoke to Emma Thompson.
Most of the entries are in essay form, although there are a handful of illustrations from artists such as Charlie MacKesy and Jessie Cave. Each contributor opens up about their experiences with their mental health, with a particular emphasis on times they may have experienced difficulties. The scope is vast with the book separated into six different sections, from ‘It’s Ok to Shout’ to ‘It’s Ok to Ask for Help’. There is sure to be at least one entry that will resonate with readers.
A lovely detail to conclude the anthology is the inclusion of empty space at the back of the book. This is a space for readers to contribute their own piece, writing their ‘It’s OK’ list on pre-ruled lines. It is a nice little touch that can work as a prompt to get the reader thinking about their own mental health. They can draw on the strength of the stories shared on the pages prior to begin to examine how they are feeling, as well as how they might take action if they are going through a tough time. This book, with its encouragement of conversation about mental health, should be accessible to all teenagers.