JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY by Kim Turrisi (KCP Loft, May 2, 2017) is packed with raw and honest writing—pain and heartache, but also laughter and hope. Until I read this book, I never knew family members left in the wake of a suicide suffered shame and worry over being judged. Turrisi’s writing sings, laying everything bare on the page and making the emotions and experiences accessible. This book is the real deal, and thankfully so, because the brilliance, beauty, and honesty of Kai’s story will serve as a gift to the teens who need to know their emotions are legitimate and they are not alone.
"It's just a normal Tuesday for sixteen-year-old Kai, until suddenly it's anything but. She's received a letter from her beloved older sister, Jen, a letter that begins, My very bestest sister, Kai, if you are reading this, I am already gone. From that moment on, Kai's life will never be the same, as she is forced to deal with the shock and horror of losing Jen to suicide.
Consumed with grief, Kai looks for answers, lashes out at people who love her and eventually turns to excessive drinking and drugs, all with disastrous results and no relief from her suffering. Struggling with their own sorrow, Kai's parents realize she needs more help than they can give, and they enroll her in the Tree House, a "grief camp" for children. Though reluctant to go, once she's there, Kai finally finds others who truly understand her loss. No longer alone, she's able to begin dealing with her pain. And to see light at the end of the dark tunnel.
Kim Turrisi's beautiful, wrenching young-adult novel sheds a much-needed light on the subjects of mental illness and suicide. Using the unique idea of a grief camp, Turrisi lays out a process for healing and moving forward for readers who have been touched by loss. But this book's appeal reaches beyond that. With combined elements of tragedy and romance, compellingly told in Kai's authentic voice, this ultimately hopeful story will be an unputdownable read for any teen. "
Barnes and Noble
May 2nd, 2017
Recommended Reading Age: 14-18