The blurb peaked my interest, but it was the whole ‘fishing for groceries’ line that truly hooked me (yeah, the pun was and wasn’t intend) because I started to imagine just what that would look like so I jumped in and found it to be sweet, intense, heartbreaking, heartwarming and utterly fascinating look into the life of a person who lives with mental health issues and the struggles they, and those who love them, face daily.
Norah has lived with, and been caged by, agoraphobia and OCD for four years. She finds peace and safety within the walls of her home because it is the one space that she has ultimate control over. But with the arrival of a new, and very cute, neighbor Norah finds that she may want to try and break free of her cage, even though it scares the hell out of her. Norah’s journey was intense and yet honest in what she wanted vs. what her mind would allow her to do. We get an up close and personal view of what it means to not be able to shut your mind off and have no control over where it can take you. There were times where I felt my own anxiety start to rise along with Norah’s and I couldn’t help but empathize with what she was living with.
Luke’s appearance in Norah’s life and desire to get to know her sends Norah into a tailspin that causes her anxiety to spike and yet has her contemplating making changes to her very structured life. I really liked Luke. I know there will be those that will say that a teenager wouldn’t act in the way he does in the book, but I don’t agree. My teenage years are far, far behind me and I don’t spend much time around teens now, but I’ve known some who would have done as Luke did with Norah and have faith that there are more like him out there. His patience, awareness of more than himself and earnest sincerity had me smiling and hoping their relationship would grow into something more.
This was an intense read because we are in Norah’s head the entire time and some may find it uncomfortable, but that is the point, to experience what one who lives with mental health issues struggle with on a daily basis and, if and when faced with someone living with the same struggles. The writing was engaging and I found it difficult to put down since I wanted to see what would happen next. The only real issue I have is that I felt the ending was somewhat abrupt and wished there had been a little more added between the end and what is the epilogue, but other than that, I’m happy with how everything turned out and would recommend this book to others to give a go, regardless if YA isn’t their norm.
~ Copy received from the publisher via NetGalley & voluntarily reviewed ~
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.
My name is Louise, and I write YA books. Sometimes contemp, sometimes horror, sometimes thriller. My debut YA contemp, Under Rose-Tainted Skies, will be published by HMH/Clarion (US), and Chicken House/Scholastic (UK) in the fall 2016/17.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is about this chick, Norah, who suffers from agoraphobia, OCD and depression. Her life is one long blur of cheese sandwiches and trash tv, until she meets the new boy next door, Luke, and he starts to challenge her way of thinking.
I’m represented by the amazing Mandy Hubbard of Emerald City Literary.