Review: Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall

Book Review- Under Rose Tainted Skies

Under Rose-Tainted Skies*Please note: I received this book gratis in order to provide a review. This review is my honest opinion and is unaffected by the receipt of this for free.*



Around the age of 13, Norah developed OCD and agoraphobia. For the following four years, she has spent every moment, barring exceptional circumstances and therapist appointments, in the confines of her house. When Norah’s mother has to leave for a conference she finds herself in sticky position. Her groceries ha ve been left on the front porch, past the threshold of her door. When she’s unable to come up with a way of getting to them her new neighbour, Luke offers to help. He keeps coming back and soon they’re becoming friends and discovering more about each other. Norah discovers the difficulty that comes hand in hand with wanting to be around someone, who she has the inclination to touch, but the terror of actually possibly touching.


Before having a chance to read URTS, I added it to my recent Mental Health reads suggestion post and I can retrospectively say that this book deserves it’s spot in that list and on people’s bookshelves.

Let me start by saying that though this book combines the themes of romance and mental health, it by no means follows any delusions of love instantly fixing everything.

This is an important book because it describes so very deeply the thoughts and feelings of someone who is struggling with mental illness. Louise Gornall has given life to the romance genre in a way that not many YA books I’ve read have been able to do. Norah is in many ways just like every other teenage girl; fretting over text messages, what to wear, bitchy popular girls. However, she is also studious and would love to study in France, though she self-aware that she may well never get the chance.

Under Rose-Tainted Skies Covers

Gornall demonstrates very clearly that mental illness does not have an on and off switch. Yes, there are good days and bad days but elements of her OCD are constantly playing on Norah’s mind. This can range from an uncontrollable need to stack things just so, or the fear of what bacteria might be on the bottom of someone’s shoes as the walk through the door. Louise’s depiction of Norah’s stream of consciousness resonates a certain level of authenticity, relating to Louise’s own experience. This adds another level of complexity and emotion to Norah’s story that I believe makes it truthful, iconic and important for others to read.

The love interest – Luke – is another point of intrigue. He’s very open and concerned about Norah. He tries to understand what she’s going through and naturally he makes mistakes. Their relationship shows that you can’t instantly understand a person’s thoughts and fears but you have to grow to understanding their limitations. At first Luke does this in a brilliant way. He helps Norah to explore the possibility of something outside her current thinking, but he gives her the power to choose to do so. It is when he takes that power away that everything is thrown into contention. Luke’s family have an equally complex arrangement that gives him a broader understanding than Norah’s previous friends and could explain his original intrigue that lead him to want to know Norah better.

This is a must-read book on mental health, that will clench your heart and take you on an emotional rollercoaster.


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30 Days, 30 Reviews – Day 5: Jet By Jay Crownover

Jet Jay CrownoverJet (Marked Men #2)

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Sequel to Rule, Jet is an enigmatic romance about a man who doesn’t know how to commit and a woman whose family trials has led her to lock away her emotions. Ayden is a student who works part time at a bar, and Jet is a musician and music producer. Jet’s family life has left him unwilling to commit, but he cannot stop himself from flirting with Ayden. This all becomes more enthralling with the added factor of Ayden and Jet living in the same house, along with Cora, they’re tattoo artist friend. Can they figure out their own problems to allow themselves the love they want and deserve?


Jet is a fantastic New Adult novel with heated arguments and even more heated romance. Jet’s character is tempestuous but proud. Jay Crownover’s writing is both sexy and serious simultaneously. Her portrayal of the “bad boy” is definitely a unique and I would suggest honest portrayal.

Ayden on the other hand, is a feisty woman. She takes no prisoners and knows exactly what she wants. And she wants Jet. But she won’t allow herself to admit it. Her moral dilemma about her family gives her character an unknown depth that we don’t see in the first novel from her friends perspective. She has her weaknesses but she refuses to show them to anyone. She has an admirable façade and her personality is not unforgiving.

Crownover writes in a way that really emanates the emotions of her characters. She you feel what the character feels. When Jet left for his tour, I genuinely felt the sense of loss on the part of both protagonists. This is something she does consistently throughout the book.

She also makes good use of foregrounding to make sure that the novel runs at a steady pace and the foregrounding acts as a bridge between earlier scenes. It also helps build tension for the end of the book where all ties that seemed loose begin to tie together.

A well written emotive book. I cannot wait for Rome in January.

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Review: The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

The Worlds Wife Carol Ann Duffy

It’s not often that I find a full collection of poetry by a poet to intrigue me. I normally find two or three that catch my eye, but I find I prefer to read a breadth of poets. However, every so often I come across a collection that is so well collated and has a brilliant meaning that I can’t help but get excited by reading it.

Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife does just that. The collection takes figures from factual, fictional, mythical and fairy tale history, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Dr. Faustus and Freud, and creates a feminist viewpoint. The poems are written from the view of these figures (if they are already female), their wife’s or have been portrayed as female themselves (The Kray Sisters). The poems can be sinister like Mrs Faust or romantic like Anne Hathaway and are chosen for the topic of discussion of many academic curriculum because of their feminist approach.

My favourite of the collection has to be Anne Hathaway. Shakespeare’s romances have wooed us all for just under 400 years. Whether they end tragically or romantically, we remember them because of his lyrical writing skill and I think Duffy attempts to imitate this with her extended metaphor for Shakespeare’s work and their sex life. He bequeathed his wife their second best bed and the poem stems from this one line of his will; this is one of the reasons I love this poem so much.

Anyone that knows me personally is aware that my favourite Disney film is The Beauty and the Beast. So naturally, I was very intrigued by Duffy’s take on the tale, in the form of Mrs Beast. This poem was quite a refreshing surpise for me with cameos from The Little Mermaid and Goldilocks etc. It takes the Prince and Princess ‘lifestyle’ and bears all its hidden animosity. Claiming that sex with the Beast is better, Duffy uses fairytales to bring to light the truth about love and how you should see all the sides to a person before you get into a complex relationship with them.

These are just a couple of the poems that I found stuck out for me in the collection, but there are plenty more brilliant pieces, such as Little Red Cap and Mrs Midas, that I also really enjoyed and suggest you check out.

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