- Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Clarion Books (Jan. 3 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544736516
- ISBN-13: 978-0544736511
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.7 x 21 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #138,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Under Rose-Tainted Skies Hardcover – Jan 3 2017
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[Gornall's] managed to craft her own experience into fiction that is as engrossing as it is enlightening."
"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."
"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
About the Author
A junk food enthusiast, film nerd, and rumored pink Power Ranger, Louise Gornall writes about her own experiences to help encourage and facilitate conversations with other people also facing challenges with mental illness. She lives in England. Visit her website at www.bookishblurb.com , and follow her on Twitter at @Rock_andor_Roll.
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Top customer reviews
I was fortunate to read Under Rose-Tainted Skies during a vacation, and I must say that the book itself is like a vacation from the typical books we read. Louise Gornall has created a book quite similar to Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything, which stood as a flaw for me, but it had its own unique ideas - like its main concept surrounding a girl's agoraphobia—her fear of leaving her own house—and OCD. It's a real look at mental illness and how we all have the potential to find things in our lives that make us feel better or different about a specific fear we may have. In the main character—Norah's—case, we found that love and opening up were the best ways for her to succeed in life and realize that we cannot go through life solely in fear. This was amazingly written, poetically-inclined, and precious. I cannot help but FREAK OUT over everything Louise Gornall writes - or, in other words, I WILL FREAK OUT OVER THIS.
My first instance of love for this story began when I saw the cover. It screams out "beauty and poetic writing," and that's what it truly provided me with. It gave me a new, RAW (most important thing) look at love that other contemporary romance or chick-lit novels seem to fail at. Gornall proves that love is not perfect; every picture-perfect moment may not be picture-perfect because something goes wrong. Occasionally, couples have these moments where they fail to understand each other or what they are trying to get at in their relationship. I loved that about Luke and Norah's relationship - they somehow made love feel, you know: achievable. Under Rose-Tainted Skies had a direct reference to each reader's heart because honestly? We're all looking for a beautiful story like this.
"I want to be her. I don't care how much it costs; I would pay it to have her tan and high cheekbones," (195).
Things definitely took a turn towards the end of the book where I got so confused and anxious to the point that I couldn't put it down. The whole book revolves around Norah's issues of opening up to her new neighbour, Luke, who begins to appreciate Norah for who she is, even though she is afraid to kiss, to make contact with him. But hey - they find things that they can do, like freak out over the same fandoms and watch horror films together. That is my idea of a perfect relationship. The imperfectness of the characters is what made this story SO SO SO lovely and memorable. It's been a few months since I read the last few words of Under Rose-Tainted Skies, but it feels like it was yesterday, just because the characters kind of, you know... live with you forever.
Even though there weren't many characters in this whole story - because the fact that Norah couldn't leave her house, there was so much complexity all over the place. We get to see a struggling personality in Norah's mother, whose life also had to take a halt because of her own daughter's fear of experiencing things. But, as Norah gains strength, so do the people around her. I would really like to see a film come out of this with A+ actors who have the capability of mastering the emotional aspect of the characters and novel.
"I want to tell him I'm sorry. I want to tell him I'm insecure. I want to tell him that I am hard work, that my head is a mess, that my sickness was making even the smallest thought explore that night. I want to tell him the kiss scared me but I can't stop wanting a second one," (302).
Gornall's writing was raw and addictive. Once I began reading, I couldn't stop, but even if I had to, I kept reminding myself that it's worth the wait because I eventually will not be able to experience this story the same way anymore - the first time. YOU ALL NEED TO PICK THIS BEAUTY UP AND EXPERIENCE.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is going to be one of the best books you will read this year. It features issues we all need to talk about more, like phobias and mental illness. This is absolutely beautiful and deserves a try from everyone.
*A review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a honest review. Thank you so much!*
Norah is a bright and spunky teen who is housebound because she cannot step out of her house. Even going out to see her psychiatrist causes her to have a full-blown debilitating panic attack. So she has been homeschooled for the last four years, her only contact with the outside world being the Internet and her mom. Until Luke moves in right next door.
Suddenly Norah has to deal with situations and feelings that are new to her. Luke takes an interest in her, but how is she to tell him that she is sick, that she panics when someone touches her, that her mind works differently than other girls? But Luke, who is sweet and has family issues of his own sees Norah as the beautiful quirky girl he likes, who shares the same interests he does, who he feels comfortable talking to.
I truly enjoyed reading this story. It was insightful, especially for me being the mom of two teens. I know how much hanging around with friends and being a part of a social scene is important to teens, so my heart broke for Norah who wanted to be a part of that but couldn't. The book is written in the first person, so we get to see how Norah thinks as she spews out all that goes on in her mind. This is what makes the book unique and realistic. Norah is vulnerable but she is also strong. I kept rooting for her throughout the book.
Because of my background in Special Care Counselling, I am always attracted to books that deal with mental illness. The author who has the same mental struggles as Norah, the character she created, states in a letter to the reader on the first page, "I believe passionately in the importance of talking about mental health issues and in opening the doors to safe and empowering conversations." I think this is so important, and I applaud the author for doing this and for succeeding with this novel!
Although this is YA fiction, (and there is profanity with f-words but no sexual content) I think this book would appeal to anyone who has an interest in mental illness. I especially liked the character of the mom who was supportive and compassionate, and knew not only how to deal with her daughter's illness, but also how to gently push her into making positive changes and facing coming-of-age situations. This novel is a great mother/daughter book. I think teens will enjoy Norah's story and will be able to relate to a girl who falls for the boy next door.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book. I willingly chose to post an honest review after I read it.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
As for the book, I rated it a five out of five stars because I haven’t really seen a book like this before. It reminded me something, a Booktuber by the Youtube name of Super Space Chick aka Kristen, once said “that this is not a YA where if Girl follows in love with a Boy, it will magically fix all of her Mental Illness.” This book perfectly describes a regular teen awkward romance but at slower pace. A pace that seems healthy for the main female lead and her Mental Illness. I just have to say I love how the professional therapist was written in this book as well. The doctor was written in a very healthy doctor wants to help patient type of way. I honestly wish we all had, more Professional Mental Health Doctors like Norah’s in this world. I also wanted to add that this book is a very fast read. The letters are semi big for the writing and the chapters are very short. I think the longest chapter was about four or five pages long which is not really that long. Also the type spacing between the writing was very nice as well. I can't honestly recommend this book enough. I suggest you go buy this book now, take a weekend to read it, because its life changing, especially if your dealing with Mental Illness or have a love one that deals with it. This book will give you such great real life perspective on Mental Health and how people live with it.
I was really torn about the rating for this book. I don’t feel like it was exactly a 5 star read, but I really feel like it was better than a 4 star read. If I still did half star ratings it would for sure be a 4.5 star rating. But for the purposes of this review (and Goodreads/Amazon) I will be giving it a 4 star rating because I did really like it!
I connected with this book more than I’ll be able to put into words, but I will definitely try my best. My connection with Norah is mostly what made me love this book so much. I can imagine that some of the people who read this book thought that Norah’s illness was extreme and exaggerated. I wanted to make a point of saying, I know that it is not.
I sympathize with Norah so much because I know what it’s like to be confined by the thoughts your anxiety provokes. While my own anxiety / panic attacks / depression are not as extreme as what Norah experiences, I do know what that feels like on an internal level. I know what it’s like to worry about every little thing that normal people don’t understand why it matters. I know what it’s like to be so stressed and have so much anxiety that my body us completely drained and exhaustion just takes over.
Norah also suffers from agoraphobia, which I do not personally suffer from but my mom does. I’ve actually witnessed her reaction to having to leave the house and be around people. So I can definitely speak to the validity of the description Gornall gives for these different experiences.
My main point of this review is to try and combat the way of thinking that the things described in this book (and others) aren’t valid. I KNOW everyone suffers through their mental illness differently. So there has been some backlash about certain descriptions not being accurate. So I just want to speak for myself only in saying how completely accurate this was FOR ME.
I definitely think this book is worth reading for everyone, but only if you have an open mind to what you will be reading. If you cant read this an get a better understanding of what people like Norah (and myself) go through then you shouldn’t read this. If you cant read this book and learn something from it, don’t read this book. If you cant read this book and feel some type of sympathy for Norah, then you shouldn’t read this book.
While this is all my personal opinion, I don’t think this book should be used as a weapon or made into being a laughing matter. This is very serious content and it does bring truth to what some of us are facing every day.
I think the “invisible illness” aspect of the book is kind of what spoke to me the most. The fact that Norah was told multiple times by different people and even people closest to her that she doesn’t look sick is completely heartbreaking. I have experienced this as well. Because what does it look like to have anxiety? It might not LOOK like anything to someone from the outside looking in, but at that exact same moment it can be ravaging a person’s brain. The invisible part is true, but that doesn’t make it any less of an illness than anything else.
Lastly, I want to end this review with show love and kindness to everyone. You never know what inner demons they are facing right in front of your eyes.
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