Under Rose-Tainted Skies
by Louise Gornall
I do want to start this review off by saying it was pretty triggering to my anxiety and my compulsive habits. But it was totally worth the read! It also has some other triggers: self harm and eating disorders.
I was really torn about the rating for this book. I don’t feel like it was exactly a 5 star read, but I really feel like it was better than a 4 star read. If I still did half star ratings it would for sure be a 4.5 star rating. But for the purposes of this review (and Goodreads/Amazon) I will be giving it a 4 star rating because I did really like it!
I connected with this book more than I’ll be able to put into words, but I will definitely try my best. My connection with Norah is mostly what made me love this book so much. I can imagine that some of the people who read this book thought that Norah’s illness was extreme and exaggerated. I wanted to make a point of saying, I know that it is not.
I sympathize with Norah so much because I know what it’s like to be confined by the thoughts your anxiety provokes. While my own anxiety / panic attacks / depression are not as extreme as what Norah experiences, I do know what that feels like on an internal level. I know what it’s like to worry about every little thing that normal people don’t understand why it matters. I know what it’s like to be so stressed and have so much anxiety that my body us completely drained and exhaustion just takes over.
Norah also suffers from agoraphobia, which I do not personally suffer from but my mom does. I’ve actually witnessed her reaction to having to leave the house and be around people. So I can definitely speak to the validity of the description Gornall gives for these different experiences.
My main point of this review is to try and combat the way of thinking that the things described in this book (and others) aren’t valid. I KNOW everyone suffers through their mental illness differently. So there has been some backlash about certain descriptions not being accurate. So I just want to speak for myself only in saying how completely accurate this was FOR ME.
I definitely think this book is worth reading for everyone, but only if you have an open mind to what you will be reading. If you cant read this an get a better understanding of what people like Norah (and myself) go through then you shouldn’t read this. If you cant read this book and learn something from it, don’t read this book. If you cant read this book and feel some type of sympathy for Norah, then you shouldn’t read this book.
While this is all my personal opinion, I don’t think this book should be used as a weapon or made into being a laughing matter. This is very serious content and it does bring truth to what some of us are facing every day.
I think the “invisible illness” aspect of the book is kind of what spoke to me the most. The fact that Norah was told multiple times by different people and even people closest to her that she doesn’t look sick is completely heartbreaking. I have experienced this as well. Because what does it look like to have anxiety? It might not LOOK like anything to someone from the outside looking in, but at that exact same moment it can be ravaging a person’s brain. The invisible part is true, but that doesn’t make it any less of an illness than anything else.
Lastly, I want to end this review with show love and kindness to everyone. You never know what inner demons they are facing right in front of your eyes.
Have you read Under Rose-Tainted Skies? Were you able to sympathize with Norah? Do you agree with my recommendations for who should and should not read this book? Let me know in the comments below!