The Children’s Book Review | January 18, 2017
Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Written by Louise Gornall
Age Range: 12-16
Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books (2017)
What to Expect: Realism, Romance
Often times the best stories are not about made-up places, people, and events, but are instead about the real life challenges, triumphs, and tragedies of real and ordinary people. Under Rose-Tainted Skies proves the point, by sensitively exploring the lives of those touched by mental illness, with both pathos and gentle humor. Drawing on the author’s own experiences, the book both inspires and encourages others battling mental health issues by showing them they are not alone.
Norah seemed like just an average school student, until the day her first panic attack caused her to black out and wake in hospital, covered in stitches and confused. Now her condition has left her heart-breakingly crippled: afraid to go out of doors, she stays in her home and, when possible, in her room, plugged in to the internet in an attempt to stay connected to the world outside. The trouble is, it is the outside world that is the source of Norah’s troubles: as a sufferer of agoraphobia, Norah lives in constant fear of disaster in a world that feels constantly threatening, with no safe means of escape. In the opening chapter of the novel, the reader is introduced to Norah as she tries desperately to make it out of the house to a therapy session with a psychologist, only to become so paralyzed by fear that she cannot make it out of the car. Set against this bleak existence, however, is a single ray of hope for Norah: Luke is funny, sweet, friendly and persistent, and when he moves to her street Norah finds that even her determined self-isolation cannot keep him away. Even as Norah basks in the warm glow of a new relationship, however, she worries: can she possibly be the right girl for Luke despite her problems?
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is touching, poignant, and funny. Told from the perspective of the sufferer, it vividly illustrates the human capacity for overcoming challenges and finding the joy in life, offering inspiration and hope to anyone who finds they struggle with living from moment to moment. This book comes highly recommended.
About the Author
Louise Gornall is YA aficionado, film nerd, junk food enthusiast, and rumored pink Power Ranger. Under Rose-Tainted Skies is her first novel, and she can be found on Twitter @Rock_andor_roll. She lives in England.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies, by Louise Gornall, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Under Rose-Tainted Skies by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Mental Health, Reality Fiction, Romance, and Young Adult Fiction.
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