Published by Clarion Books on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Family, Love & Romance, Mental Health & Illness, Real Life, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Hardcover
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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.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall is a moving, at times heart-breaking, and utterly well-written YA contemporary novel that had me from the start.
The story is about Norah Dean who has agoraphobia and OCD. One day, after a not so helpful delivery man leaves the groceries outside forcing Norah to struggle with how to bring them inside, she receives unexpected help from her new neighbor, Luke. What was an awkward moment, opens the door so to speak, for a budding friendship and maybe new relationship with Luke, if she can find a way to let him in.
I really enjoyed this novel. Ms. Gornell has created a very character-driven story that feels real, honest, and pulls at your emotions as you read about Norah’s struggles to try to have someone new in her life and to keep them in her life as she continues to struggle with the everyday fears, frustrations, and limitations that she has to deal with. There were moments within the novel that brought about tears because I felt strongly for Norah and Ms. Gornell’s words echoed for me.
…I could see all the broken parts of me. Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I think the way normal people do? I so desperately would have liked to have him as a friend.
“How can I expect people to empathize with a sickness they can’t see?”
Besides the feelings this novel evoked, I also liked Norah’s relationship with her mom and the friendship/romance with Luke. I am a big fan of romance within stories, but I’m glad this romance didn’t eclipse the true story which was of Norah herself. Instead, it added and helped move her along her pathway.
Overall, Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall was a wonderful novel that I very much recommend. I look forward to reading more by Ms. Gornell.
(I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.)