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Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Notes: Review copy received via Amazon Vine.
Young Adult, Mental Illness, Romance, Social Issues
Audio/Digital/Print (336 pages, CLARION)
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.
Author Site: website

The stigma stops here. (5 stars)

When you suffer from a mental illness the stigma can be nearly as crushing as your condition. UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES is one of the first YA novels I've read that I felt actively voiced this. Norah's agoraphobia and OCD have built a life that she and her mother manage in their own way. It's not perfect but for the most part they make it work. Some readers may find the lengths they go a bit over-the-top but I can speak from experience that they're actually realistic.

As I read URTS I found myself getting frustrated with Norah a lot. At first I thought it was that I didn't like her but as the story progressed I realized that it wasn't that I didn't like her, it was that I was unwittingly seeing my own struggles with mental health in her. The things I thought I didn't like about her were things I felt frustrated with my self over. For readers who live with mental illnesses this might be a struggle. But what ultimately made it a 5-star read for me was feeling like Norah was able to grow stronger in her fight both against her disorders and the stigma of living with them.

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