Book Review: I’m Telling The Truth But I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi

I watched a review of this book on Youtube by book tuber, Rachel Eyo (you can watch her review HERE) and was immediately interested in reading it so I quickly went in search for it.

‘I’m Telling The Truth But I’m Lying’ is a collection of stories (even though they are called essays) that document the life of the Author, Bassey Ikpi, her journey through life and her experiences and struggles with her mental health. It is a very intense, powerful and poetic account of how Bassey has navigated through life not knowing what she was going through especially during her time as a star performer on HBO’s Russel Simmons presents Def Jam Poetry. She was later diagnosed with Bipolar II and Anxiety which has led her on a path towards encouraging others with mental health illness and also creating awareness about mental health.

This book is a very honest and raw account of the author’s journey through life and it is not for the faint hearted. I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Bassey herself and this made the experience so real as if she was directly telling me these stories. I loved how fluid and descriptive her stories were told however, I had to sometimes pause and take a break from listening because of the heaviness of some of her narrations. I have been highly educated by this book and I applaud the author for her courage and tenacity in spite of the challenges life has thrown her way.


I believe that this is a must-read for everyone although some may not be able to stomach some parts of this book. How we care for our mental health is very important to our wellbeing especially in these days of fast paced lives, cars and the internet. I highly recommend.

You can also listen to my podcast on Our Mental Health and Why We Should Care HERE .

Rating: 4 stars

Published: August 19th, 2019 by HarperPerennial

Pages: 257

Genre: Non Fiction (Essays)


The Author:

Bassey Ikpi – HarperCollins

Bassey Ikpi is a Nigerian-born American spoken-word poet, writer, and mental health advocate. She has appeared on HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry five times and her poetry has opened shows for Grammy Award-winning artists.

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