Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall – BOOK REVIEW
*I received this book from SocialBookCo in exchange for an honest review*
Under Rose-Tainted Skies follows Norah, a teenage girl who has agoraphobia (a phobia of open/outside places) and OCD. She lives at home with her Mum and she struggles to do everyday tasks such as collecting groceries or simply getting into a car. That’s until a new neighbour moves in – Luke, who despite Norah’s seemingly ‘odd’ behaviour, is intrigued and wants to get to know her better.
At first glance, you definitely can’t deny the initial similarities to Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon (which I feel is a shame because without a doubt, anyone who has read both novels will instantly compare them).
Teenage girl with fear of going outside?
New, attractive, teenage boy neighbour?
Yet saying this, I absolutely LOVED Under Rose-Tainted Skies, especially the ending, and was not disappointed whatsoever! (I did like Everything Everything but feel this really had the edge in terms of the characters, relationships and certain events in the plot). Throughout, I was completely intrigued as to what would happen next (as I keep saying, that ending though!). Even though the majority of the book takes place within Norah’s house and only a handful of characters feature, I felt it was very diverse as new events and situations were introduced.
What I particularly loved was how accurately mental health was written about. As I was reading it, I felt I was Norah. The description and mentality was portrayed so well, that despite not having OCD or agoraphobia, I completely understood where Norah was coming from and it was interesting to view everyday tasks in this way. Norah is a completely loveable character and it was hard to see her go through certain events which I would normally take for granted.
I also thought it was fantastic how Luke, the new next door neighbour, was in terms of accepting Norah and doing everything he could to make her feel comfortable. Sometimes in novels which deal with mental health, a boy comes along and suddenly the mental illnesses go away and they’re magically better BECAUSE of the boy.
This book was perfect in NOT doing that! There’s nothing more refreshing than reading about a strong, kick-ass female character who wants to do things for herself. To get better for herself. Ahhhh! This book was just faultless in this sense!
As for the writing of the novel, this was a quick novel (it’s just under 300 pages long and I read it in several hours in one sitting) and is a fast paced, engaging read. It reads and flows very well and Louise has a beautiful way with words, especially descriptions!
I would definitely recommend this book! Louise has done a fantastic job in writing this book and it’s one of those that I know I will continue to remember for a long time (You know when you’re busy doing something and then it suddenly pops into your head and you can’t stop thinking about it?!). Yeap. That’s been me several times already. A truly compelling book about mental health and the huge impact it can have on someone’s life.