Book Review + Giveaway: Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi


"Today feels like it could be a pretty decent day. When I woke up the first thought I had was one filled with life, not death." (196)

Title: Just a Normal Tuesday
Author: Kim Turrisi
Publisher:  Kids Can Press
Release Date:  May 2, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary 


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.





"Dying is black and white, but suicide is gray." (33)

What a tough topic for a book. Controversial for what the topic is, but honest and raw for what the emotions are. Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi is a story about grief, life, friendship and the thin line that tied them all together, and the balance it creates in one.

I really felt the emotional tug of this story, especially after learning at the end of the book, that the author too had lost a sister to suicide. There's a genuine aspect of this story throughout, and as a reader, you'll see it, feel it and even visualize it, even if you've never experienced the type of grief shown in this book.

The characters, not just Kai, but everyone were very well developed to a point of certainty in who they are and what they represent. The candor portrayal of the characters in grief camp created a well balanced atmosphere of the different stories that grief comes from. The downward spiral of Kai's depression that led to what finally brings her out of it had its affect, but in truth, I was uneasy with it. Possibly because it's so raw, but in truth, I think the easy access Kai and company get their hands on drugs and alcohol makes too much of a susceptible impression on readers, especially young readers. With that said, I still think  Just a Normal Tuesday make a great read for young adults that are going through grief that dealt with death of someone close to them. For a younger audience, possibly with some parental guidance or chance for discussion?

". . . it's not betrayal to allow happiness back into your life.." (198)

The parent-child relationship between Kai and her parents deserved a mentioned. At such a rebellious age, and dealing with anger and depression as a result of grief can be hard to manage, especially when the adults are also dealing with the same grief. The author's depiction of their relationship, from the beginning to the breaking point and to the reconciliation was well portrayed and managed. I thought the "learning curve" of getting back to normalcy aspect  was well done, and the ending was just perfect.

Just a Normal Tuesday is not about suicide, though more on the effects of what it does to the living. It is passionately heartrending and alarmingly real. It's not to be trifled with, nor a read to dismiss. Though those that don't appreciate foul language will find it excessive in this book. Despite that, I do believe the message of hope beyond makes it worthwhile.

"Only when it's dark enough, you can see the stars.." (232)

For my clean readers, please note there are some profanity and minor intimacy in this book, but not graphic.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

Please note, quotes were taken from an advance reader's copy, which is more a less an uncorrected proof. Please do not reuse these unless you've verified with the release copy. Thank you.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.

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A graduate of Florida State University, Kim Turrisi began her career in film and television. After a year of on-set production (getting coffee, wrangling actors and taking lunch orders) Kim segued to the development side of the business. First working as a development executive at Columbia-Tri-Star and eventually shepherding many projects in family entertainment for Disney, Viacom and Hallmark.

Kim created and wrote an online web series for which she won a Daytime Emmy. She wrote for ABC Family's webisode series, PRETTY DIRTY SECRETS, an internet companion piece to smash hit PRETTY LITTLE LIARS.

While she’s always been a voracious reader and writer, she never thought about writing for teens until she immersed herself in the children’s publishing world as the Director of Special Projects for the Society of Book writers and Illustrators. There, reading children’s literature is a big part of her job.

Her debut Young Adult novel JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY is loosely based on the author's own experience, the debut YA novel follows 16-year-old Kai as she struggles through the emotional aftermath of her sister's suicide. Kai spends a month at grief camp, discovering a roadmap to piecing her broken heart back together.

One of Kim’s favorite parts of the writing process is to create playlists for her characters that she listens to when she writes. When she revises her manuscripts, she’s generally in mismatched plaid and her desk is riddled with junk food. She collects Chuck Taylor’s, Van’s, and has a killer sock collection.

Born in Hawaii, she credits her love of travel to her life as an Air Force brat moving every two years. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found obsessing over her dogs, Riley and Rocco.

Represented by Tricia Lawrence at EMLA

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY & swag including a bookmark, magnet, & temporary tattoo, US Only.

1 winner will receive JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY swag including a bookmark, magnet, & temporary tattoo, US Only.


Week One:
4/24/2017- BookHounds YAInterview
4/25/2017- The Candid CoverReview
4/26/2017- Wandering Bark BooksGuest Post
4/27/2017- Angel ReadsReview
4/28/2017- A Gingerly ReviewExcerpt

Week Two:
5/1/2017- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
5/2/2017- Margie's Must ReadsGuest Post
5/3/2017- The Bookworm CentralReview
5/4/2017- Literary Meanderings Interview
5/5/2017- Just CommonlyReview



                                                                                                                                            


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10 comments:

  1. JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY sounds like a very interesting book that I'd like to read.
    Thank for the review and introducing me to a new author.
    Love to be one of the fortunate ones selected for the giveaway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kay for stopping by. Good luck!

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  2. I grew up in a country with suicide was so common for young girls. My godsister killed herself with cyanide because her fiancé left her. It has always been a subject that I am interested in. It is not easy grieving someone who commits suicide. You have so many question about what you did or could have done.

    Thank you for the book and warning. I appreciate it.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sonnetta for sharing. I am sorry for your loss. The acceptance and the forgiveness are hard. God bless you.

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  3. I love all I have read so far, and am excited to read more. I really am excited to read this book.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This book would be so awesome to read. I've known several people that have committed suicide and each one affects me in different ways. I'm 63 and a friend in our senior year in high school committed suicide and it still comes to my mind every now and then. Would love to win, read, and review for you!

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    Replies
    1. Gail, I'm sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing and stopping by. Good luck!

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  5. This is a much needed topic. Thank you.
    pjrcmoore@windstream.net

    ReplyDelete