Norah is seventeen and lives her entire life inside her house. She’s homeschooled by her mother and she hasn’t seen her friends in four years. Norah doesn’t leave the house because she suffers from OCD, agoraphobia and severe anxiety. When a new boy, Luke, moves in next door, Norah is intrigued. Watching him from her window, Norah wonders what it would be like to be a “normal” seventeen-year-old girl. When Luke shows an interest in Norah, she’s both thrilled and terrified. Can she attempt a relationship or will her mental illness put a stop to things before they can even get started?
This book is intense. It’s told in first person, present tense. Ordinarily, I dislike books written in present tense, but in this case, I feel the author made the right call. It definitely adds to the tension. Readers get a raw and painful view of what it’s like to live with a debilitating mental illness – it’s exhausting, and the author captures this beautifully.
I loved the way the characters were written. They’re well developed, likable and completely relatable. The relationship between Norah and her mother was refreshingly lovely. A mother and teen daughter who actually get along? Perfect! Luke was a sweetheart and I was able to become emotionally invested in Luke and Norah’s relationship early on.
Ms. Gornall’s style of writing is wonderfully engaging. She’s captured the essence and voice of the teenager beautifully. Norah is witty, slightly snarky and intelligent. The dialogue is believable and serves to move the story along briskly.
The one thing I would say is that I feel the age recommendation is a bit off on this book. It’s listed as being for ages 12 and up, but because of the occasional strong language and some of the content, I’d recommend this for teens aged 15 and up. Overall, I’d say this is an excellent read and I highly recommend it!
5 of 5 Stars, Review by Susan Barton
eBook Review Gal received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.