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.
Readers themselves will fall in love with Norah in this poignant, humorous, and deeply engaging portrait of a teen struggling to find the strength to face her demons.
Seventeen-year-old Norah has incapacitating OCD and agoraphobia: she hasn't been outside of her home, except to see her therapist, in nearly four years. After a cute boy named Luke moves in next door and takes an interest in her, Norah manages to fight her urges to hide away, slowly befriending him and showing him who she really is, phobias and all. Norah's unease permeates the pages ("Musings, meanderings, conversations that haven't even happened run in one continuous loop around my head"), leaving readers with a deep understanding of the limitations of her conditions. While Luke's almost-too-good-to-be-true patience and persistence help spur Norah to push herself in new ways, Gornall doesn't minimize the role of therapy in the progress she makes nor the difficult work that still lies ahead for the teenager. Through Norah's poetic internal monologue, Gornall, whose own experience with mental illness helped inform Norah's story, provides an intimate glimpse into the mind of a young woman battling some very real demons. Ages 12 up.