Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Publisher: Chicken House
Seventeen-year-old Norah is essentially trapped in her own home, caught in the vice-like grip of Agoraphobia and OCD. She only leaves the safety of the house when her mum drives her to the regular therapy appointment - an almost unbearable weekly trial. Any other contact with the outside world is enough to trigger an intense panic attack.
Then one day a new young neighbour on the street arouses her curiosity and the smallest foundations of a relationship start to slowly evolve.
Norah is a convincing and captivating protagonist, and the book paints an authentic portrait of a teenager's struggle with mental health, clearly created with real knowledge. Observing her battle with OCD is agonising and at times brutal, bringing to light issues such as self-harm and severe depression.
However, this is first and foremost a beautifully told love story, and the book remains eminently readable, with genuine warmth, charm and humour. Honest, brave and utterly compelling.