book review,  Books

Book Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

I’ve been on a YA/Middle School reading binge (and a horror/thriller binge, and…fine, I’ve spent most of the past two weeks with my nose in a book.)  This was simply a remarkable, fun, smart, painful (at times, in a good, “I feel her pain” kind of way) read. Let me introduce you to Louise Gornall’s Under Rose-Tainted Skies.


 Under Rose-Tainted Skies 
 Louise Gornall  
 Clarion Books  
 January 3, 2017  


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.
“Through Norah’s poetic internal monologue, Gornall, whose own experience with mental illness helped inform Norah’s story, provides an intimate glimpse into the mind of a young woman battling some very real demons.”
–Publishers Weekly

“A love story set against the backdrop of debilitating mental illness, this debut novel is a poignant work, infused with humor, self-doubt, and, eventually, self-acceptance.”
–School Library Journal


Under Rose-Tainted Skies Review

 This book was simply amazing. If you can harken back to your high school days, and all the angst and struggle that came with it…now imagine you suffer from agoraphobia, anxiety and you are OCD – enough to keep you homeschooled and trapped in your house.  Author Gornall captures it and wraps it up in the smart, funny and lovely Norah.

Y’all, I just fell in love with Norah. Actually, I fell in love with all the main characters – her mom, Dr. Reeves, and Luke. They rang true and likable, and I loved how Gornall showed that each character has their own unique personality quirks. We’re all perfectly imperfect, right?  Told in the first-person, I felt Norah’s panic attacks, so the growth she has in the book with regards to her conditions felt like small victories for me. Mostly confined to her house, much of the tale reflects what is going on inside her head – and how that directs her behavior.  It’s not all pretty, but it felt very real.

The writing is engaging and descriptive, and this was another late-night, one-sitting read for me. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.

About the Author

Louise Gornall is YA aficionado, film nerd, junk food enthusiast, and rumored pink Power Ranger. Under Rose-Tainted Skies is her first novel, and she can be found on Twitter @Rock_andor_roll or at her website, , She lives in England.
Disclosure: I was provided a copy by the publisher via NetGalley, but all thoughts, opinions and typos are my own. This post also includes affiliate links, which may contribute to my caffeine dependency and hosting fees, but costs you nothing. Thanks.

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