Title: Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Author: Louise Gornall
Published: January 3rd 2017 by Clarion Books
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mental Health
My Rating: 3/5 stars
“I’m being forced to challenge ideas that have kept me safe for so long. There’s an entire library of information in my head, and suddenly I can’t decide if any of it is worth reading.”
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.
**This ebook was received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All of the opinions reflected in this review are completely my own.**
I developed a love/hate relationship with Under Rose-Tainted Skies. Half of the time I was in love with the story and the characters, while the other half I was just a little disappointed.
Louise Gornall created a story that is very raw and truthful about life with mental illness. Our main character, Norah, suffers from agoraphobia, anxiety, and OCD. Life is not easy for her, it’s a struggle and an exhausting fight daily. Gornall dives into the thought process of Norah. You find yourself exhausted from her way of thinking, which can be frustrating for sure, but it’s real. This is the mind on mental illness, and you can begin to feel the struggle right along with her.
I felt strongly for Norah and what she was struggling with. It seemed hard and her thought processes were genuine for her mental health. She took the world in a second at a time but thought at a million miles a minute.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is a very real and emotional look into severe mental health, and I think that is something we can thank Louise Gornall for creating. And she did it in a raw and open way. You have to admire that.
“Depression can’t come in, I think, drawing a glass half full in the condensation on the mirror. I’m already covering a multitude of colors on the mental-health spectrum. Depression can’t come in.”
However, the truthful and deeply real mind of Norah was paired with this overly cheesy and often way too cliche romantic relationship she develops with her neighbor, Luke. Their relationship just lacked depth. It felt far from realistic. So I found myself battling between admiring the brutality of examining mental health and the overdone contemporary love story.
Then there was the ending. It was out of the blue and ended in .25 seconds flat. All the sudden this thing happened, then this time went by, then things were different, not fixed, just different. It honestly just happened so damn fast and was rather anti-climactic. It was disappointing.
BUT, despite the hiccups, I think this book is very important to read. It is a truthful look into mental illness, much like what the author suffers from herself. What I saw in Under Rose-Tainted Skies was someone who wanted what mental illness looks like to be discussed more than they wanted to write a very well done story. And, honestly, I can’t fault someone for that when I agree it’s important we are all informed. However, it is a fiction book, and I have to also be honest with my rating and how I saw it through that category as well.
So, yes, it’s flawed, but it’s worth a read to better understand the type of world we live in. Especially with a great deal of people you see online, like myself, who escape anxiety and handle mental health behind a computer screen. I bet more people than you think suffer from some sort of mental illness, and because of that it’s worth taking the time to read up on it.
I do recommend giving this book a shot, if anything just to see into the mind of someone suffering with mental illness. You might just end up seeing the world a bit differently.