I have to say, I think Under Rose-Tainted Skies is the first book I’ve had where I found myself constantly turning the corners of pages over because there were just so many beautiful quotes I wanted to save. At first I worried it would be very similar to Everything, Everything as the concept is similar – girl can’t leave her house but then meets a boy and her life changes. But they really are very different books.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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 is Louise Gornall’s debut contemporary YA novel and it is stunning. I’m a huge fan of novels that depict the journey through mental illness. It’s certainly no easy task to write a story that is so gripping and yet both sensitive and realistic. I really appreciated the fact that Norah wasn’t magically ‘cured’ by meeting Luke, which seems to be something that happens fairly frequently in books and which just doesn’t happen in the real world.
I really liked the writing style and found the book so absorbing because it was written how I would expect someone like Norah to write. She’s smart and very witty but also young and naive, going through the journey of becoming an adult trapped within the four walls of her house. Her relationship with Luke builds slowly and he is just absolutely adorable.
Aside from the relationship between Norah and Luke, I adored the relationship between Norah and her mum. Being really close to my mum, I love when novels explore that special relationship. I don’t think that’s something that is discussed enough. Norah knows her mum is her best friend and I loved how excited her mum was about her developing relationship.
In this novel, you walk hand-in-hand with Norah through her struggle with agoraphobia. Having had close friends and family members struggle with mental illness, I really appreciate books that increase awareness of what it’s really like to live with it everyday. This is a really great example of a contemporary YA novel.