by Louise Gornall
Genres: Contemporary, Mental Illness, Young Adult
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017 by Clarion Books
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Source: Publisher via Mail
If she can't go out...
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.
Can she let him in?
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.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Nora suffers from Agoraphobia and OCD. These disorders have slowly been building up over the years. Now, she has to be home-schooled and ONLY goes out to see her doctor. Even then, she gets anxiety attacks when she has to walk the short distance from her house to the car. Norah’s only friend is her mom, who’s been a great supporter from day one. Suddenly, a family is moving next door and Norah is intrigued by the boy with muscles, carrying boxes to the house. Luke is just as intrigued and leaves her notes at her house. They begin to form a friendship but Norah feels she’ll be a burden to Luke. Will she fight these disorders and learn how to live with them, or will she ruin her chances of having a friend, maybe something more?
I really liked how the friendship/relationship developed. You could tell they were attracted to each other, but it was always so innocent, seeing as Norah’s disorders prevent her from wanting human touch. I do think it was developed quite quickly, but since the focus of the story was Norah and her afflictions, it never bothered me. It was so nice to see Luke’s patience with Norah. He never pushed or asked more of Norah. He was content just being by her side, watching movies or talking. It made me adore him even more.
I love the mother/daughter relationship. Norah and her mom are so tight! Her mom is so understanding and loving towards her daughter and not once did she complain of the lifestyle she has to live. She really wants best for Norah and supports her a lot. I loved that the mom was so constant throughout the story, which made it easy to believe the bond between them.
Norah’s story was a little heart-breaking. I mean, she’s in her teens and dealing with two disorders that are so life-changing. Sometimes, I could relate to Norah’s anxieties and it made me feel so much empathy for her. Agoraphobia is something so real and difficult to live with. I had never read a YA book that talked about this disorder, so it was quite eye-opening. Even though I majored in Psychology and discussed this disorder as well as OCD, it’s different to read how it could be in real life, especially from an author who’s experienced it.
Overall, Under Rose-Tainted Skies is a raw, enlightening story on disorders that are so life-changing and aren’t talked about often. Norah’s anxieties felt real and I could feel the author telling me her story through Norah.
Read the first chapter!
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