Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Posted February 15, 2017 by Lily B in Reviews / 18 Comments

Review:  Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise GornallUnder Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall
Series: Standalone
Published by Clarion Books on January 3rd 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health
Pages: 320
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Rating:4 Stars

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.
But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.
Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

A story about a seventeen year old girl named Norah and her take on living with agoraphobia, OCD and anxiety.

This was interesting. As someone who hasn’t read a lot of books featuring mental health, I jumped into this unsure what to expect. What I didn’t expect was to read a book from Norah’s point of view. Under Rose-Tainted Skies takes us for quite a ride when we enter Norah’s head and get a taste of what it is to experience everything she is going through, and at times it wasn’t pretty.

Gornall’s debut novel was well written. It wasn’t suppose to be pretty, and we get to know Norah pretty personally.

She spends most of her days at home, afraid to leave her house. She builds stuff out of food and spit, watches junk TV, surfs the web and has to attend therapy at least once a week. Than her life takes a different turn when a boy named Luke moves in next door and he becomes instantly fascinated with her.

I found that I couldn’t put this book down and devoured it fairly quickly with a day with a lack of sleep. Gornall’s writing really pulled me in and immersed me in a story that was both fascinating and not always an easy read. But I love the way Norah prevails everyday despite what she finds herself going through. The snarky tone of the book does make this a lighter read. I adored Norah’s personality and her spunk.

The romance was an interesting twist, but I did find myself wondering how realistic was it really? Luke was a seventeen year old boy, and despite me absolutely adoring the relationship they form and how he sends her letters through the mail slot – I wasn’t completely sold on the romance.

I think my favorite part of the book is the relationship between Norah and her mother. The support she gets from her is moving and the closeness they share just squeezes my heart. It is so good, so refreshing to find wonderful, caring adults in Young Adult fiction and not painted into someone who doesn’t get it, and is downright evil. It was good, it was more of a realistic feel.

The only thing that bothered me about the relationship is when her mother goes away for a few days on a business trip. I didn’t know if it was also really realistic for a mother to leave Norah, given her situation, alone like that when she has so many things going on inside her head and can panic at any given moment. I felt that maybe she would have gotten her like a caregiver or a neighbor to check on her more often?

The ending was also a bit different. The wrench that the author threw into the mix did not make sense unless she intended it to be a way that Norah finally moves forward with her treatment. The ending was a bit open and basically left me wondering what was next. But, I really enjoyed the writing, it was really good. I enjoyed the humor. I was heartbroken by some of the more difficult moments and found myself really connecting and feeling for Norah.

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18 responses to “Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

  1. I love teen books with this theme. The struggle of puberty, finding oneself on top having mental issues is hard. I can do away with romance though, friendships I think is more realistic to sell than love. Lol

  2. You had many of the same issues that I did. I wasn’t sold on the romance either even though it was really sweet. I also felt the ending was way too rushed and too open ended. Still I liked the story and the writing and learning more about this mental illness.

  3. I’ve seen this book around! I knew it wasn’t for me because I really cannot get through YA tough-issue contemporary novels, but I think it’s a really powerful and important book, especially if it handles mental health really well. That’s awesome that the mother/daughter relationship had a spotlight in the story. I’m glad you enjoyed this book, Lily!

    Have a wonderful week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  4. I could totally see myself feeling the same way about this book but I don’t like the sound of the ending. I also think the plot holes need to be filled (at least the bigger ones) but you still have me curious enough to perhaps try this one. I may have to see if my library carries this one. Brilly review.

  5. I’ve seen this one around a lot (hard to forget that cover) but haven’t read too many reviews. I’m a little wary of the ending. based on what you had to say about it, but overall it really sounds like an interesting and thought-provoking read. Great review!

  6. This sounds like a great read, Lily. I haven’t read many books dealing with mental illness but I’ve read a few and this one sounds like it’s pretty well done, despite the few things that might be unrealistic. Norah sounds like a great heroine though – plucky even though she’s dealing with so much. I’m glad you enjoyed this. 🙂

  7. Wow. This is a tough topic and I imagine it isn’t easy to handle when you write a book about it. Glad to hear the writer did a good job and you enjoyed the result of her work. Nice review!

  8. My parents left me home alone as a teen when I was 16, since I had a job. However, being a parent with a child who has issues, we would never leave him alone unless someone was house sitting. Not that we don’t trust him, it’s just that if he panics or there is an emergency he might not handle it well.

    I rarely dip into the YA contemporaries but enjoyed this one as well.

  9. I like the sound of this one, mainly because of the relationship between the mother and daughter! I’m so used to YA taking a different approach *sigh* I also like reading about mental illness, because it speaks to me as a topic; and I like it even better when authors know what they’re writing about. I will definitely have to look out for this one 🙂

  10. I like that for a debut author she hasn’t held back and told the ugly side about mental illness too. And another WIN for a loving relationship between the the MC and her mum <#

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