Norah remembers the time when she was younger and worry-free, but her world comes crashing down when she is diagnosed with agoraphobia. At 17, her panic attacks, anxiety, and constant fear of helplessness continue to take over her life. Norah can’t stop thinking about everything that could go wrong: a robbery, car accident, falling in the shower… But then a new neighbor, Luke, moves in next door. Everything feels so normal with him by her side, but how is she able to love him when she’s built a wall around her?
Reading about mental illness is something that I wouldn’t usually think about doing; however, this book reeled me in. I find it remarkable how Louise Gornall took her own life experiences and applied it to Norah, allowing her to portray the main character in a realistic manner. I have now gained a new perspective on mental health and what goes on inside the lives of individuals with illnesses such as this. I wish more books like this came out on the market; they’re informative, yet transformed into an interesting story. I really enjoyed Luke because he didn’t see Norah as some sick person, rather someone with a story and a life at hand. He made Norah so happy, and I don’t believe that anyone else would be able to make her feel that way. This book is pretty impressive, considering that this is Louise Gornall’s first. You were clearly able to characterize Norah, Luke, and the other people found in this novel. I find that a lot of stories are not able to build up characters or a plot line, yet Gornall was able to do so. Overall, I am in love with this book and recommend it to anyone who wants an informative good read.
One of the most memorable things about the book was how Norah attempted to persevere through her hardships. Even though a lot of times she was unsuccessful, she continued to fight and stay strong for as long as possible. I don’t think I would be able to do the same if I were in her shoes; it would probably be too much for me to handle.
Reviewed by Mitali, Grade 9, Twin Hickory Area Library