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Louise Gornall

Author of Under Rose-Tainted Skies

2 Works 301 Members 17 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Louise D. Gornall

Works by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies (2016) 295 copies
In Stone (2013) 6 copies


Common Knowledge



An agoraphobic, OCD teenage girl meets a new boy neighbour.

I liked this one less than A Quiet Kind of Thunder. Everything seemed a little too coincidental and the boyfriend is a perfect macho saint—I think it's a little unrealistic.
KJC__ | 16 other reviews | Apr 2, 2023 |
I was sent this book to review by Chicken House and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The book centres around Nora, who is scared of everything and cannot leave her house due to her fears, anxiety and OCD, and her romance with her new neighbour Luke. While the romance started a little fast and Luke did seem to be a bit of a manic-pixie dream boy, I really enjoyed their relationship and the fact that it wasn't focused around healing Nora with love but accepting her and her limitations. Louise Gornall has written a realistic portrayal of what it is like to struggle with mental illness, how it can affect anyone as it is an 'invisible illness' and how it is never black and white. The supporting characters of Nora's mum and her therapist were excellently written 3D characters who gave Nora the help and support she needed without being patronising, controlling or negative. I also really appreciated how Louise Gornall chose to show therapy, recovery and medicines for depression and anxiety in such a positive light which helps address the stigma that is sometimes attached to such things. The description of Nora's anxiety and mental illness I found to be quite thought provoking, not just in a way that makes me think twice as to what people may privately be struggling with, but also in a way that made me think about my own anxieties and how I think about them or treat myself because of them.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who is interested in a healthy and realistic portrayal of mental illness and romance.

Trigger Warning for self-harm.
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sianhopper | 16 other reviews | Dec 6, 2021 |
The prose is very easy to read (if you want a book to wizz straight through this is it), though some of the subject matter is quite uncomfortable.

I just found it a bit unbelievable and fairly frustrating. The plot in particular was rather thin and predictable following the usual lines of building up to a major event which serves as a trigger for a seemingly quick and easy recovery.
Yes, I know she isn't perfectly fine by the end but I don't like this recurrent idea in YA books on illness that the character just needs to get to a sufficiently catastrophic nadir in order to trigger a speedy and straightforward recovery

One follows the same kind of plot, but ends in a much more realistic, believable position.

Maybe I'm just a miserable shit though and don't like books with hugely optimistic conclusions.
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mjhunt | 16 other reviews | Jan 22, 2021 |
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall is a poignant and heartbreakingly realistic portrayal of a teenager with debilitating anxiety, agoraphobia and OCD.

Other than appointments with her therapist, seventeen year old Norah Dean has not left her house in four years. Stricken with a multitude of inexplicable mental illnesses, she is homeschooled by her mom and relies on social media to keep up with her former friends' lives. Constantly struggling against overthinking things, Norah's mind always goes to the worst case for any given situation. With her life ruled by her crippling anxiety and overwhelming fears, she works hard to avoid succumbing to depression over her inability to live a "normal" life.

When a handsome teenage boy moves in next door, Norah is taken off guard by his interest in her. She at first tries to hide her problems from him, but when Luke's interest in her does not wane, she is forced to be honest with her issues. Luke takes her revelations in stride, but does he truly understand the limitations her mental illnesses will put on a relationship? And will Norah be able to put aside her fears that Luke will not be able to cope with all of the baggage that comes with dating her?

Narrated strictly from Norah's perspective, Under Rose-Tainted Skies is not always an easy book to read since living inside of her head means experiencing Norah's irrational fears, nearly uncontrollable anxiety and panic attacks right along with her. This unflinchingly honest look at the various mental illnesses that Norah is forced to live with is quite eye-opening. Norah is a likable and sympathetic protagonist and watching her open herself to a new relationship is extremely uplifting. This heartfelt young adult novel is a well-written debut by Louise Gornall that I greatly enjoyed and highly recommend to readers of all ages.
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kbranfield | 16 other reviews | Feb 3, 2020 |



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