A slow & important trundle about understanding anxiety/mental health in…Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

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I finally got round to reading this book! It’s been on my TBR for so long. But I wanted a shorter book than my usual, and so I finally made a grab for this one.

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Let’s dive into Under Rose-Tainted Skies!

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Title: Under Rose-Tainted Skies

Author: Louise Gornall

Publisher: Chicken House

Series Status: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary, Mental Health, Young Adult

Number of Pages:  272

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(Found on Goodreads)

Agoraphobia confines Norah to the house she shares with her mother.

For her, the outside is sky glimpsed through glass, or a gauntlet to run between home and car. But a chance encounter on the doorstep changes everything: Luke, her new neighbour. Norah is determined to be the girl she thinks Luke deserves: a ‘normal’ girl, her skies unfiltered by the lens of mental illness. Instead, her love and bravery opens a window to unexpected truths …

An important and uplifting debut from a British author, which tackles mental health issues such as agoraphobia and OCD.(less)

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This is one of those books I wanted to throw at numerous people because it gets it. And books like this can help so many more people understand what it’s like, if only they’d read it.

I loved this book for how important it is. It’s the story of Norah, living with Agoraphobia and OCD.

Right off the bat, I’m placing trigger warnings on this for Anxiety, OCD, and self harm. While I do think it’s important for books like this to be written, read and shared, this book is heavily thought based, being from Norah’s point of view. So please be wary – if reading from the point of view of someone with these conditions can affect your own thoughts, be careful if you’re tempted to read this one.

But this is such a realistic depiction of Agoraphobia. I can’t speak for the OCD side of things – though that did feel true to form too, as far as I can tell and from the reviews I’ve read – but as someone who has Agoraphobia, I can assure you this is an honest show of it. While I don’t have it as bad as Norah, the thoughts are still there, and so I related to this wholeheartedly. Hence why I wanted to throw this book at the people around me, trying to get them to understand.

I loved how this book discusses the prejudices of mental health. It shows how frustrating it can be to have an invisible illness, with phrases like “you don’t look ill” thrown around when you try explaining, almost to dismiss it altogether. But it was this…this one paragraph I specifically wanted to throw at people –

“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.”

You know when you just find something that perfectly explains what you’ve tried saying to numerous people for ages? That’s what that paragraph is to me. And seeing it written right there, knowing so many more people have read those words…it’s comforting to know that there ARE people who understand, as frustrating as everyday life can be.

I will say that the ending was quite a sudden onslaught of events. While the whole book is a slow trundle of understanding, the ending just hits and BAM! The entire story is changed in a matter of pages. While I did enjoy it, it just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the book. I almost wish the aftermath/developments happened in a different, more…common (?) way. Not that these things don’t happen. But like I said, the book went from a slow trundle, working through the individual issues before this explosion of events hit.  So many things changed, and it was almost hard to process.

But still, I really enjoyed this book. It felt so relatable to me, and I hope more people read this book and understand, even just a tiny bit more. It made me realise things about myself I didn’t even know before, simply because to me, in my mind, these things were normal…until it was pointed out. It didn’t make me feel bad about it though, instead it felt more accepting. These things happen, and while it’s not exactly “normal” – whatever that is – it is OK. We’ll get through it.

Rated 4/5 stars

4 stars

Amazon

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Share your thoughts!

Have you read this book? What did you think?

If you haven’t, is it on your TBR?

Are there any books you’d recommend similar to this?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

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10 thoughts on “A slow & important trundle about understanding anxiety/mental health in…Under Rose Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

  1. Lovely review, Ashleigh! I really loved this book as well. I don’t have OCD or Agoraphobia so I couldn’t speak directly about those in my review, though I did talk about how it just felt right. Would you mind if I linked to this review in mine in case someone wants to read it?

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

    Liked by 1 person

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