Genre: Young Adult Realistic/Contemporary
Publishers: Chicken House
Publication Date: 7th July 2016
I adored this novel. It was an enlightening, emotional and relate-able read, and I’m so grateful I had the chance to read it.
Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother.
For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is a wonderful book. I absolutely loved it, and didn’t find any flaws while I was reading it. I’m not going to ramble on and on (because I really could just keep saying how lovely this book was), but there are a few key things I’d like to mention.
The first thing I’d like to talk about is our main character, Norah, who we see suffering with OCD and agoraphobia throughout the novel. Our author gave a very honest insight into the struggles of having mental health issues, and handled it with extreme care.
Books with diverse characters like this one can offer comfort to someone who relates to what a character is going through, can teach others who don’t understand, and can help raise awareness. There’s this vile stigma that surrounds mental illness, and it’s horrible. We need books like this to keep being written, to keep being published, so eventually that stigma can be gone and the world be a slightly more accepting place.
‘See, anxiety doesn’t just stop. You can have nice moments, minutes where it shrinks, but it doesn’t leave. It lurks in the background like a shadow, like that important assignment you have to do but keep putting off or the dull ache that follows a three-day migraine. The best you can hope for is to contain it, make it as small as possible so it stops being intrusive. Am I coping? Yes, but it’s taking a monumental amount of effort to keep the dynamite inside my stomach from exploding.’
Another thing I wanted to mention was the romance aspect of this novel, because I really appreciated how it was handled – romance can often be the cure to anything in books, and that’s just not accurate. No matter how lovely Norah’s love interest may be, he will never ‘fix’ her mental illness, and we’re very clearly shown that. (But I will say that Luke is probably one of the loveliest fictional characters I’ve come across, just saying.)
This novel was truly wonderful, and I’m so glad I read it. It’s helped me in a number of different ways, and I’m sure it will do (and has done) for anyone who reads it – which you definitely should!
- OCD and agoraphobia featured prominently