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Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
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Under Rose-Tainted Skies (edition 2018)

by Louise Gornall (Author)

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2951790,338 (3.98)3
Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML: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.
Readers themselves will fall in love with Norah in this poignant, humorous, and deeply engaging portrait of a teen struggling to find the strength to face her demons.
… (more)
Member:thea-block
Title:Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Authors:Louise Gornall (Author)
Info:Clarion Books (2018), Edition: Reprint, 336 pages
Collections:Read in 2024, Read
Rating:**
Tags:None

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Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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__ | 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. ( )
  sianhopper | 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. ( )
  mjhunt | 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. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |

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Not the usual book I tend to read, I picked up Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall because I wanted to see if she did justice to the way mental health issues are portrayed in YA media, and I guess media in general. The depressed, brooding anti-hero always so swoon worthy and magically not depressed or broody because he's found someone. Or the really smart girl that suffers from social anxiety suddenly becoming a social butterfly after meeting her prince and all her worries just float away. I wanted to see someone like me in this book and happily, I did! Gornall does a tremendous job portraying the feelings of anxiety that come with agoraphobia and OCD, the struggle the characters in the book go through, and then tops it with an ending that doesn't seem contrived or belittling to the mental health community.

The first part of the book is hard to get into. Norah's anxiety jumps off the page and is physically palpable to those sensitive to it. I know it almost sent me into an anxiety attack and I had to put it down for a bit to breathe. That's how good Gornall's writing is. The picture she paints is such a great example of mental illness it's amazing and heartbreaking all at once. Norah doesn't understand why her brain is the way it is and she hates herself for it. She wants to be normal. She wants to go outside. She just can't and there's no reason for it. She just can't. That's what I loved about the book. Other stories that don't "get it" usually give a traumatic event as the reason. Oh, she experienced this, or someone close to her died, etc. That can happen, but with Norah, we get the other half. The voice of those that haven't had anything happen and whose brains just decided one day to start going into overdrive on the what ifs until it paralyzes you, literally.

The conflicts and resolution of the book are realistic and well presented. From a literary perspective, I love how everything comes together and nothing seems far-fetched. Things happen and it makes sense. From a mental health perspective, I love that regardless of anything that happens, things aren't magically solved. Nothing can just magically cure Norah of her OCD or agoraphobia. It's something she needs to work on every single day.

With great pacing and amazing characters, Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall does a superb job of creating a story that is fun and likeable, while still serious enough to handle the topic of mental illness and actually do it justice instead of sugar coating everything.

// I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this title. // ( )
  heylu | Jan 8, 2020 |
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Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. HTML: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.
Readers themselves will fall in love with Norah in this poignant, humorous, and deeply engaging portrait of a teen struggling to find the strength to face her demons.

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