☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s about:
Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.
Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.
Releases January 3, 2017 (US)
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is Louise Gornall’s debut novel. It is an excruciatingly detailed look into the head of a teenage girl who suffers from agoraphobia and OCD. By excruciating, I mean that Norah’s mental health issues are painful to experience along with her. Ms. Gornall has given her readers a clear picture of the extent of Norah’s debilitating mental state by using her as the sole narrator of the story.
Luke, the handsome new neighbor, is not your average 17 year-old boy. He is independent and self-reliant. His absentee parents have forced him to be more mature than his peers. Whether realistic or not, I adored his sensitivity and the patience he shows Norah. However, I frequently found his dialogue to be unrealistic for a boy his age.
“You don’t seem impressed by my outdated idioms.” –Luke
Norah and Luke’s relationship develops organically. It has to because of Norah’s limits. I loved that hormonal stirrings over the new hottie next door doesn’t instantly heal all that ails Norah. Instead, Norah’s interest in Luke, and to a large extent his interest in her, is the impetus for Norah to consider pushing her limits. A very frightening event at the story’s culmination, along with her relationship with Luke, pushes Norah to consider forms of treatment that she previously refused.
“Your mind adapts to what worse is. Suddenly, that thing that seemed so terrifying at first is dwarfed by the next challenge that comes your way. But you adapt again, and again, and again, until you find yourself fearless.” –Audrey Clarke
Ms. Gornall has drawn upon personal experiences to present a very realistic, sympathetic and respectful story about a young adult dealing with mental health issues and exploring the idea of her first romantic relationship.