We have loved doing our BAMF Reviews this year, so we thought we’d highlight the first six books we will be reading next year for our BAMF Reviews! There are some great books coming out next year and we need these titles in our hands. Some of the spotlights include an interview with the author, but all of them include why we are super excited to read this book!
In January 2017, we will be reading…
Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did. Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.
Also by this author: Under Rose-Tainted Skies
Published by Clarion Books on January 3rd 2017
Amazon ♡ Chapters ♡ TBD
Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did.
Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up.
Why We Decided To Read This One
Jamie: Mental Illness is something that is really important to me. I suffer from a variety of different mental illnesses and I love finding good representation in books, so I thought it would be good to read this one to find that good representation. A lot of my friends have said this was good rep, so I’m hoping that holds true!
Dani: Like Jamie, I’m big on realistic and positive representation of mental health. (So much so that I’m pushing mental health awareness at my business school, where there’s still such a big stigma surrounding it.) I already had a copy (thanks to a MaximumPOP! competition), so I thought… why not?
Why We’re Excited To Read It
Jamie: I really like the cover and am excited to have it in my hands. The summary sounds great and I am really looking forward to seeing a girl who has issues learning to live with them and moving forward in her life. I am just really excited!
Dani: This has been sitting on my shelf, taunting me for a while! I’ve been a good girl and waited… I’m a sucker for a good contemporary romance, but with my own issues, I’m often rather pessimistic about finding love when you don’t always love yourself. I want this book to show me the real issues while also giving me hope!
Interview with Louise!
BAMF: Describe UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES in 10 words or less.
Louise Gornall: An honest look into a life lived with Agoraphobia.
BAMF: Why do you write for younger audiences?
Louise Gornall: A little because I like living vicariously through my characters, but mostly because a teen mind is so open to possibility. There a still “first times” to be discovered, experiences to… experience, and especially now, in this current social climate, we can use our YA stories to share cultures and perspectives that may otherwise be inaccessible.
BAMF: What do you hope readers take away from UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES?
Louise Gornall: A greater understanding of what mental illness looks like, how it affects every aspect of life, and is more than the same 5 or 6 behaviours we see regurgitated in mainstream media. For those who are suffering with mental illness or know someone who is and are already familiar with how consuming it is, I would love nothing more than for Rose to offer a sense of hope.
BAMF: Which character from your novel would you most like to be friends with? Which character would you fight with the most?
Louise Gornall: Well, as some of you already know, Rose is based quite heavily on my real life, so I can say with absolute conviction that Luke is one of the kindest, most honest, and understanding people I have ever met. I’m very lucky to have him as a friend. I think maybe I would fight a lot with the Doc. I love Doctor Reeves, but she is essentially trying to take away the security that comes with having a mental illness.
BAMF: Describe your “I’m an author moment”
Louise Gornall: It came when I got my first message off a reader who I didn’t know. This person wrote to tell me how much the book affected them. They wanted to thank me for understanding their illness and putting it down on paper. It was a surreal moment. Not just because I had this book published and I actually had readers who weren’t my mum, but because it made me feel like I’d made an important contribution to the mental health conversation.
BAMF: Was Luke based on anyone you know? Do they know this?
Louise Gornall: Yes! He is. And yes, he does. I know a lot of people are uncomfortable with the romance trope in stories about mental health, but he’d be the first to tell you he’s never saved me. He’d tell you I saved myself. I’ve never strived to get better for him, but I am human, and a part of me wanted him to see me as well/healthy/normal. I trusted him enough to listen when he talked. So yes, a beautiful boy is a catalyst in my recovery, but I’m the reason I’m recovering.
BAMF: What advice would you give Norah and people who suffer from her mental illnesses?
Louise Gornall: I worry about this question because it is so personal to the individual, but I think it’s important, no matter who or what your circumstances are, that you don’t face this battle alone. You need support. You need another voice reminding you of the small victories that so easily get forgotten. You need someone to pat you on the back when you pass a milestone. You need someone to wrap you in a blanket on the dark days, and hold your hand through the tears and trauma. Mental illness can be so isolating, but it is hella important to remember you are not alone.