Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies – Louise Gornall

Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Book cover: A black bird in a black cage with an open door under pink-coloured skies

At seventeen, Norah has accepted that the four walls of her house delineate her life. She knows that fearing everything from inland tsunamis to odd numbers is irrational, but her mind insists the world outside is too big, too dangerous. So she stays safe inside, watching others’ lives through her windows and social media feed.

But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.

Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?

I buddy read Under Rose-Tainted Skies with @justLuciAce. I decided to read this book because it’s an #ownvoices book about a girl with agoraphobia.

This is an #ownvoices book.

It’s a really sweet romantic story and I loved Norah’s sarcastic and funny comments and reactions about and to the other people in her life. Norah’s mother and therapist are both very well-rounded and nuanced characters, and you really feel as if you know them after reading. I can’t say the same about Luke though as I feel like we didn’t get to know him that well.

Spoiler: I was really shocked that Norah’s mother didn’t ask Luke to leave the room when she got a panic attack. What was the point of having him in the room? It felt like Norah was being put in a spotlight.

One part of the book that I didn’t like is that the “enemy” character is the popular and beautiful girl. I’m quite tired of this trope and we never really find out if she’s actually awful. She doesn’t get much page-time at all. Also, the stereotype of all Latino men being flirts is mentioned in this book and not called out. JustLuciAce mentioned some of the passages that were fatantagonistic that I had not picked up on.

I was also quite surprised with the plot after the big event. It was so fast, and there were a few things that were unresolved. I felt like it was just brushed over and not discussed at all.

It’s a cute romance, but I wasn’t happy that some of the questions brought up by the book weren’t answered, nor was I happy with with the microagressions that were included in this book.

Trigger warnings: self-harm.

3 stars

Have you read Under Rose-Tainted Skies? What did you think of it?

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