Monday, June 26, 2017

[Review] Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)07/07/2016
Publisher: Chicken House
Pages: 272
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity
Trigger warning: self harm

Book Tunes

My Rating
5/5 stars
My thoughts

US Cover
My heart is (still) in a frenzy. Under Rose-Tainted Skies was absolutely perfect back when I read it in March, and I could not be more grateful that there is a book like this out in the world. I had been wanting to read this book for a while and had been holding out to buy the US version of the book because I find it to be infinitely superior to the UK edition, so I was able to read this book courtesy of my local library. This one is a must-buy for me as I will certainly want to read this again in the future.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies is a heart-rending and realistic portrayal of a teenage girl who is afflicted with OCD, anxiety and agoraphobia. The best thing about this book is that it is an #ownvoices book: the author is actually writing from her own experiences! I have actually watched a few of her videos on Youtube (links at the bottom of this post), in which she elaborates about these experiences and how they have shaped her and her decision to write, and it is absolutely brilliant. I cannot stress enough how important it is for these kinds of books to be published and shared, awareness is the first step to understanding and empathy.

The writing was crisp and lovely and simple, the voice well established. We follow Norah as she navigates the confusing and frustrating struggles that come with being a teenager with mental illness, and the budding friendship and romance that develops between her and the cute boy-next-door is without a doubt the sweetest thing ever! I cared so much about these characters that I cried during the low-points and smiled during the high-points. All of it, ALL OF IT! I loved it, loved it, loved it! Just re-writing this review is reigniting my passion for this book and all it stands for!

 I enjoyed every single minute I spent reading this book - I just cannot fault it at all. Strong characters, well-written and engaging, Under Rose-Tainted Skies might very well be my favourite read of 2017 so far! The author writes from her own experience with OCD, anxiety and agoraphobia so the contents of this novel are made even more illuminating and realistic. I think that reading realistic fiction should make you a better and more empathetic person; I definitely feel that reading this book made me just that little bit more understanding of people who may suffer from similar fears and compulsions. I am always interested in reading more realistic accounts of mental illness. Just love! ♥


First lines: 
"I'm going to kill the damn blackbird sitting on my windowsill, chirping an squeaking at the top of its lungs. It hops back and forth, wings spread and flapping, but has zero intention of taking off.The point is, it can fly away whenever it wants. And it knows it can. It stops chirping, turns its tiny head and looks at me. Smiling for sure.Smug bastard.
"See, anxiety doesn’t just stop. You can have nice moments, minutes where it shrinks, but it doesn’t leave. It lurks in the background like a shadow, like that important assignment you have to do but keep putting off or the dull ache that follows a three-day migraine. The best you can hope for is to contain it, make it as small as possible so it stops being intrusive. Am I coping? Yes, but it’s taking a monumental amount of effort to keep the dynamite inside my stomach from exploding.


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