It’s okay to not be okay is a book of life lessons. It redefined the true meaning of family and their place in our lives. Aside from that, this Korean drama brought mental health awareness and the importance of loving oneself. It was indeed a healing story.
In line wit that, we decided to compiled the 16 story books that was shown on each episode of It’s okay to not be okay
The Boy Who Fed On Nightmares
The boy woke up from another awful nightmare. Bad memories from that past that he wanted to forget were replayed on his dreams every night and haunted him nonstop.
He was terrified of falling asleep, so one day, he went to the witch and begged. “Please get rid of all my bad memories, so that I won’t ever have a nightmare again. Then, I will do everything you ask.”
Years went by, and the boy became an adult. He no longer has nightmares but for some strange reasons, he wasn’t happy at all.
One night, a blood moon filled the sky and the witch finally showed up again to take what he had promised in return for granting his wish. And he shouted at her with so much resentment, “All my bad memories are gone but why can’t I become happy.”
Then the witch took his soul as they had promised and told him this, “Hurtful, painful memories. Memories of deep regrets. Memories of hurting others and being hurt. Memories of being abandoned. Only those with such memories buried in their hearts can become stronger, more passionate, and emotionally flexible. And only those can attain happiness.”
The Lady In Red Shoes
The little girl wore her red shoes everywhere she went, even to a God-fearing church.
Once you wear those shoes, your feet start dancing on their own and you can never stop dancing or take off those shoes. But even so, the little girl never gave up on those red shoes.
In the end, the executioner had to cut off her feet. But the two feet that got cut off still continued to dance in those red shoes.
Once upon a time, in a castle in the middle of a deep forest lives a princess who had been asleep for many years.
A needle on a spinning wheel will kill her — that was the curse the evil witch put to the princess the day she was born.
Frightened, the king burned every spinning wheel in his kingdom to avoid the curse, but the princess ended up getting prick by a thorn on the rose given to her by the witch in disguise and fell asleep.
A baby boy was born in a small village. He had pale skin and large eyes. While raising the boy, his mother naturally came to the realization that he had no feelings at all.
All he had was the desire to eat like a zombie. So, his mother locked him up in the basement so that the villagers wouldn’t see him. And every night she stole livestock from her neighbors to feed him. That’s how she raised him in secret.
One night she’d steal a chicken. The next day, she’d steal a pig. A number of years passed like that, then one day, an epidemic broke out. It left the remaining animals dead, and it also killed many people.
Those who survived the epidemic left the village. But the mother couldn’t leave her son all alone. And to appease her son crying of hunger, she cut off one leg of hers and give it to him. After that, it was her arm. She gave him all her limbs when she was left with nothing but her torso, she embraced her son for the last time to let him devour what was left of her.
With his both arms, the boy tightly held his mother’s torso and spoke for the first time in his life, “Mom, you’re so warm.”
Rapunzel and The Cursed Castle
A long time ago, deep inside the forest, there lived a little girl in a cursed castle. The little girl’s mother always told her daughter that she’s too special to live among everyone else outside the castle. The mother told her that she must only live inside the castle.
However, the little girl felt like she was imprisoned. So she prayed to the moon every day, “Please send me a handsome prince who can save me from here. Will he come today? Will he come tomorrow?”
The little girl waited every day for her prince to show up.
Once upon a time, a count with a blue beard lived alone in a huge castle. He was very wealthy but everyone avoided him out of fear because of his blue beard.
But one day, a poor woman came to the castle and said that she wanted to be his bride. Brimming with joy, Bluebeard brought out all the jewels and treasures from each room and gave them to his wife as a gift.
However, there was an exception, the room in the basement. He warned her to never go into that room but his curious wife eventually opened the secret door without telling her husband.
Do you know what was in that room? Corpses of women were displayed on the walls. They were the wives of Bluebeard who had ignored his warning and opened that door. That’s how they all ended up
The Cheerful Dog
Once upon a time, there lived a dog that was very good at hiding his emotions. The dog was tied beneath a shade tree. He always wagged his tail and acted cutely. So he got the name, the cheerful dog because he is as cheerful as springtime.
The dog always had lots of fun with the village kids during the day. But every night, he’d moan and whine when no one was around. That’s because he wanted to cut off the leash and freely run around out in the spring field. However, he couldn’t. And that’s why he cried every night. Every single night.
One day, the voice inside him asked the Cheerful Dog, “Hey, why don’t you just cut off the leash and run away?”
And this was the cheerful dog said, “I’ve been tied up for way too long so I forgot how to cut myself free.”
Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast is a story about Stockholm syndrome. The beast lives alone in the castle because of a curse. He holds a lady named Belle hostage in the castle and grooms this victim of his. That’s what the story is about.
The Beast is usually selfish and harsh on Belle. So doing something nice once in a blue moon and gazing at her with a faint smile on his face was enough to move the naive lady, Belle.
“The Beast is lonely. I should embrace him with my love. Only I can change him.”
No. The Beast turns into a prince because of the power of Belle’s true love.
Belle’s love calmed the Beast’s violent nature. That love embraced his wounded soul. The greatest thing anyone can do as a human being, it’s pure love.
King Donkey Ears
The guy goes to the forest and shouts, the king has donkey ears!” — Sang Tae
If you keep a secret to yourself, you end up getting frustrated. You need to tell someone in order to relieve your stress. — Moon Young
The Boy Who Cried Wolf
The shepherd boy lied all the time. The boy repeatedly lied to the villagers that a real wolf showed up.
Do you know why the boy tricked the villagers like that? Because he was lonely. He did that because he was lonely all by himself in the mountains.
The Ugly Duckling
The other ducks are mean to the ugly duckling. They bully him because he looks different from them. — Sang Tae
So he gets really lonely and leaves his family. — Gang Tae
If the mother duck gives a lot of love, duckling wouldn’t leave. If the adult embraces the kids, the ducks and swan can get all along and live together just fine.
Romeo and Juliet
We look like Romeo and Juliet. — Ko Moon Young
The ill-fated mortal enemies. Who should’ve never crossed paths. — Gang Tae
No. they’re meant to be. It’s fate. — Moon Young
It’s a tragic fate. — Gang Tae
The Father of the Two Sisters
A Tale of Two Sisters. I hated the father in the story. Even though his daughters were abused by their stepmother and were on the verge of death, he turned a blind eye to all of it.
The one who neglects and turns a blind eye to the abuse is worse than the abuser. Those two sisters were practically killed by their father.
The Hand, The Monkfish
Once upon a time, a beautiful baby girl was born into a wealthy family. She was as beautiful and flawless as magnolias. Her mother loved her so much that she pledge she’d do anything for her baby. She said she would even present to her the sun and the moon.
When the baby started eating solid foods, her mother was thrilled, “My sweet child, I will feed you everything you want to eat. Open your mouth wide like this ahhh”
When the baby started walking, her mother ran hurriedly to where she was. “My sweet child, I will carry you. Come on, hop on my back.”
After raising the baby by always providing her with everything she needed, the mother said this, “My beloved child, I need some rest now. Can you get me some food?”
Then the child spoke, “Mom, I have no hands. I never used them so they’ve vanished.”
“Then my sweet child, can you carry me on your back? My legs hurt.”
Then the child said this, “Mom, I have no feet. You always carried me on your back. So, I’ve never even stepped on the ground. But instead, I have a huge mouth,” and she opened her humongous mouth.
Then the mother shouted in anger, “You weren’t my perfect baby after all. You’re like a useless monkfish. All you can do is eat what I feed you. You can’t do anything on your own. You’re an utter failure.”
Then the mother threw the baby into the far away sea. Even since that day, it’s been said that the fisherman can hear a baby’s cry on spooky, windy days out on the sea.
“Mom. Mom. What did I do wrong? Please come and get me. Please come back and get me.”
The Good Brothers
A long time ago, there lived two poor brothers who cared for each other very much.
One day, it was the harvest season so they both harvested rice. The older brother was worried his little brother might run out of rice. So he secretly carried a sack of rice at night and left it in front of his little brother’s house.
The same day, the little brother also carried a sack of rice and put it in front of his older brother’s house. Thinking that his older brother might need more due to his big family.
When they woke up the next day, they both noticed that they still had the same amount of rice as before. The two brothers thought it was strange so they did the same thing at night and left a sack of rice in front of each other’s house. And that continued for days.
Finding the real face
Once upon a time in a castle in the deep forest, there lived three people who had their real faces stolen by the Shadow Witch.
The Box Man spoke, “If we want to stop fighting and find happiness, we must retrieve our stolen faces.”
So they hopped on their camping car and began their journey to find their real faces. Then one day, they run into a mother fox who was bawling, curled up on the snow.
The Masked Boy asked the mother fox, “Ma’am, why do you keep crying?”
“Oh I came out here to find some food but dropped my baby whom I was carrying on my back somewhere in the snow,” the mother fox’s tears had run dry. She wailed while beating her chest.
When the masked boy saw that, warm tears started gushing from his eyes. Then the snow began to melt quickly and the baby fox who was frozen under the snow soon appeared.
The three of them resumed their journey. Soon, they ran into a clown who was dancing naked in a field of thorny flowers. The Emotionless Princess asked, “Why are you dancing with all your might knowing you’ll be pricked by the thorns?”
“I feel that this is the only way to make people look at me. But it hurts and no one’s looking at me,” he answered. The Emotional Princess walked into the field of thorny flowers and started dancing with the clown, “I am an empty can so I won’t be hurt even if I get pricked by the thorns.”
When she began hopping and dancing, loud clanking noises echoed from her empty torso. And upon hearing those sounds, the people began to flock to where they were. The crowd watched their dance and applauded them.
They began a new journey to find their stolen faces and the evil Shadow Witch appeared in front of them once again. She kidnapped the Masked Boy who shed tears on behalf of the mother fox, as well as the Emotional Princess who danced with the clown, “The two of you will never be able to find your happy faces.”
After putting such a curse on them, she locked them in a deep, dark mole tunnel. The Box Man found the mole tunnel a few days later but the entrance was so narrow that he couldn’t go in. “What do I do? I need to take this box off my head in order to go into the tunnel.”
That moment, the Masked Boy’s voice reached him from the inside of the tunnel, “Mister, don’t worry about us. Just ran far away. The Shadow Witch will return soon.”
However, the Box Man mustered up the courage to take the box off his head. He went inside the tunnel and save the Masked Boy and the Emotional Princess.
Upon getting out of the dark tunnel, the two of them saw the man’s face covered with dirt and grime instead of the box and burst out laughing. They laughed and giggled.
While laughing uncontrollably, the Masked Boy’s mask suddenly fell off. The can be surrounding the Emotional Princess’ torso also fell off and made a clanking noise.
The Box Man, now out of his box, said this when he saw the two of them finding their true faces while laughing, “I’m happy.”
What the Shadow Witch had stolen from them was not their true faces but their courage to find happiness.
WHERE TO BUY?
Most of the books have been printed with illustrations. There are also some stores that are selling with English version
- Korean Yes24
- Gyobo Books
The prices of each book from each site varies. It starting at ₩10,800 KRW ($9 USD)