But when Luke arrives on her doorstep, he doesn’t see a girl defined by medical terms and mental health. Instead, he sees a girl who is funny, smart, and brave. And Norah likes what he sees.
Their friendship turns deeper, but Norah knows Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can walk beneath the open sky. One who is unafraid of kissing. One who isn’t so screwed up. Can she let him go for his own good—or can Norah learn to see herself through Luke’s eyes?
Aw. I enjoyed this book so much and I powered through it in less than a day (I’m on me holidays).
So the premise is that Norah suffers badly from agoraphobia and OCD. I don’t suffer from either (apart from having to eating Tic Tacs in pairs, which I don’t think is quite the same thing) but this is an own voices novel, so I’m imagining that the representation of these disorders is true-to-life.
I find novels about mental health really interesting, but what set this book apart from lots of others was the narrator, Norah. You know when a narrator’s voice just grabs you and makes you listen? Well, that was what happened here. I loved Norah - her snarky observations, her self-deprecation and most of all her humour. Despite living like a hermit and panicking over literally everything that could possibly happen, she still manages to keep her sense of humour and thereby her sense of self. Obviously mental health isn’t something to laugh about, but Norah herself says that some situations - like when she literally can’t pick up a pen off the floor because of the germs and has to try and crab-pincer it up with her toes - are so awful you either have to laugh or cry. And she chooses to laugh.
Some of the time, anyway. Norah’s story is still littered with heartache and I felt so much for her. The attitudes society has towards ‘invisible’ illnesses still needs a lot of work. The romance with Luke was very sweet, but for a seventeen year old guy he really seemed too good to be true.
I’d really recommend this book. Loved it.