Parents' Guide to

Under Rose-Tainted Skies

By Mary Cosola, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Mental health issues meet romance in witty, touching story.

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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+

Good Mental Health Novel

This is a great novel that gives good insight into mental health. I would recommend it to more mature teens for the only reason that the author goes into great detail on the main character's cutting habit, how to carry it out, how to hide it, etc. The rest of the story would be fine for a 12 or 13 yo, but the cutting is what increases the age recommendation for me. I don't think a younger teen has the maturity understand and process the cutting.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (3 ):

A witty, charming narrator and crisp writing elevate this story of a teen girl whose life is constrained by mental illness. When we first meet Norah in Under Rose-Tainted Skies, she's struggling to leave the house to see her therapist. What starts as typical teen procrastination turns into full-on terror with her body shutting down. Author Gornall does an excellent job of giving readers a realistic look at the daily internal struggles that mentally ill people face. Norah as a narrator is funny and self-deprecating. Being inside a teen's head for a few hundred pages could get repetitive, but Gornall keeps the action and Norah's thoughts interesting and engaging. We feel her sadness and anger that her illness has kept her from enjoying normal teen friendships and rights of passage, but we also see her intelligence and wry sense of humor.

When Luke, the new next-door neighbor, enters Norah's life, her anxiety ramps up. She wants to get to know him, but her anxiety and germ phobia are major hurdles. The romance aspect of the book is cute, but Luke seems too perfect. The realism of Norah's mental illness clashes with the dreamy romantic aspects of the story. He serves as a foil and catalyst for Norah, but his character could have been more realistic. In addition to meeting Luke, Norah encounters a few other unexpected events that force her to confront her situation. She questions whether she'll ever be able to survive on her own, let alone realize dreams such as traveling to Paris. It's heartbreaking to see a kid with such potential stuck in an invisible prison. But readers will be cheering her on every step of the way as she discovers she's braver than she ever imagined.

Book Details

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