My rating: 4 of 5 stars
There have been several books in the last little while that have focused on girls with illness’. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon, (although it doesn’t deal with mental illness) and that book by Sophie Kinsella, Finding Audrey. All books have a young teen protagonist who, through one reason or another are dealing with illness that makes them virtual prisoners of their homes. All girls fall in love with the boy next door and find a kind of healing by the end of the book because of the boy. But here is why this book is the best of the bunch – in this one the girl saves herself. Sure, Norah is falling in love with Luke throughout the book, but its Norah who fights her demons and leaves the safe confines of her house for help. Its Norah deciding that medication was the right step to aide in her recovery that helps make the break through. Luke is just the carrot dangling in front of her. Its going to take therapy and taking medication before she can control her illness. The cute boy isn’t the cure, he is simply part of the story.
Under Rose-Tainted Skies is a book that gives a detailed look at mental illness that isn’t half hearted or done prettily with little flowers dotting the tops of the i’s. It shows the all encompassing nature of mental illness and the struggle to not let it overtake your life. This book has a love story, but its not an ‘insta-love’, its a friendship that grows with care and understanding. There are no quick fixes, no ‘insta-cures’. Its smart and its strong, very much like the main character herself. It has a hopeful ending without being unrealistic. Its entertaining without being sanctimonious.
Its a great read.