UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES is the debut novel by author Louise Gornall, and it was one of the better YA books I've read this year. All of the characters in the book in flawed but it's in the flaws where their strength lies. It's also in their flaws that the reader roots for them, empathizes with their failures, and truly hopes for them to have that elusive HEA.
This book centers around Norah, a 17 year old agoraphobic with OCD who is essentially trapped in her own mind. She's pretty debilitated due to these things, and it's with the help of her new neighbor, Luke, that she's that although she has limitations, she still has a lot to offer.
Let me start off by saying that this book truly intrigued me. As a healthcare professional, I see quite of bit of psychiatric illnesses come through my office, but Norah is a case that I would rarely see as I am not a psychiatrist and work in an outpatient office. It was painful to read about the many difficulties this young woman was having, but it was also really encouraging to see how she was able to deal with them.
Although this book centered around Norah, I really loved the other characters too. Luke's awkwardness was endearing, Norah's mom was fiercely loyal to her kid when it had to be difficult to deal with her illness all the time, and Dr. Reeves, Norah's psychiatrist was amazing with her.
There was a bit of romance here, nothing heavy, but I thought Luke and Norah were cute together. I thought it was a bit unrealistic, but, I'm pretty cynical, so maybe their relationship could happen in real life. And that was one of my issues with the book. I wish the relationship between Luke and Norah seemed more authentic, but maybe that's what a relationship would look like for Norah.
But, what really drew me to the story was the inner dialogue that Norah had going. It was utterly engrossing getting to delve into the mind of this character. There were so many layers there, and I thought it was extremely well done.
UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES gets *4 STARS* from me for the story, the characters, and the author's voice. I am impressed that this is a debut novel, and I look forward to the great things to come from this author.
*Advanced Reader's Copy provided by NetGalley and Publisher in exchange for an honest review*