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Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Cover of Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Under Rose-Tainted Skies
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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...
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...
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  • 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.

    Readers themselves will fall in love with Norah in this poignant, humorous, and deeply engaging portrait of a teen struggling to find the strength to face her demons.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 24, 2016
    Seventeen-year-old Norah has incapacitating OCD and agoraphobia: she hasn’t been outside of her home, except to see her therapist, in nearly four years. After a cute boy named Luke moves in next door and takes an interest in her, Norah manages to fight her urges to hide away, slowly befriending him and showing him who she really is, phobias and all. Norah’s unease permeates the pages (“Musings, meanderings, conversations that haven’t even happened run in one continuous loop around my head”), leaving readers with a deep understanding of the limitations of her conditions. While Luke’s almost-too-good-to-be-true patience and persistence help spur Norah to push herself in new ways, Gornall doesn’t minimize the role of therapy in the progress she makes nor the difficult work that still lies ahead for the teenager. Through Norah’s poetic internal monologue, Gornall, whose own experience with mental illness helped inform Norah’s story, provides an intimate glimpse into the mind of a young woman battling some very real demons. Ages 12–up. Agent: Mandy Hubbard, Emerald City Literary.

  • Kirkus

    November 1, 2016
    Housebound with severe mental illness, a white teen fights her demons and attempts a romance with a neighbor.Seventeen-year-old Norah's high school career ended four years ago. Her illness arrived suddenly; now agoraphobia and OCD prevent her from leaving her house and direct every minute of her day and night. Her unflaggingly supportive and adoring mom home-schools her. Norah narrates her obsessive thoughts, terror, anxiety, tics, coping mechanisms, panic attacks, and losses of consciousness in a first-person voice that's vivid, tormented, sad, and funny: " 'I'm fine. I swear.' I twirl, because nothing says I'm mentally stable quite like an impromptu pirouette"; "I wonder if I can buy a lobotomy on eBay." Her self-awareness is believably inconsistent: she knows cutting is self-injury but won't accept that skin-scratching--which she does constantly, until she bleeds--also counts. She tries to date the respectful, devoted, almost-impossibly-perfect boy next door without leaving her house or touching him. She's a "tall skinny blonde with baby-blue doe eyes," but her insecurities meld into her illness. Although Norah's voice is droll, desperate, and compelling, her illness rules her plot arc as it rules her life. Disturbingly, Gornall uses a home invasion as a catalyst for Norah's out-of-the-blue progress at the end, rendering this traumatic event as not only benign--leaving no emotional scars--but productive. Excellent prose is undercut by a highly implausible ending. (author's note) (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    November 1, 2016

    Gr 10 Up-Seventeen-year-old Norah Dean hasn't left her house in four years, and the only people she allows around her are her mother and her therapist. She has been diagnosed with agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety, and because she attends school online, she experiences life mainly via social media. Norah's tightly structured world begins to change when her new, very cute neighbor Luke spies her using a stick to pull groceries in from the porch. Romance quickly blossoms but not without setbacks. A love story set against the backdrop of debilitating mental illness, this debut novel is a poignant work, infused with humor, self-doubt, and, eventually, self-acceptance. Drawing from personal experience, the author intelligently and sensitively presents Norah's myriad emotions and her constant battle against her own mind, depicting panic attacks, stream-of-consciousness inner monologues, and more. Mature language and situations combine with the frank, realistic detail as Norah explores her first relationship and her own mental health. VERDICT Great for teens who appreciated Sophie Kinsella's Finding Audrey and Nicola Yoon's Everything, Everything.-Erin Holt, Williamson County Public Library, Franklin, TN

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Louise Gornall
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