Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi | Review #liveyourstory

Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi
Published: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Pages: 256
Received: from publisher for honest review
Find Online: Goodreads | Amazon

If you are reading this, I am already gone.

It’s just a normal Tuesday…until sixteen-year-old Kai finds a suicide note from her beloved older sister, Jen. Now Kai is the only child in a family reeling with grief. Unable to make sense of her sister’s choice, Kai begins to lose control. She cuts class. Lashes out at the people closest to her. Pops the same pills that killed her sister.

As she spirals toward rock bottom, her parents offer her a lifeline: a summer away at camp. Grief camp…for teens. Kai reluctantly agrees to attend, even though she’s not exactly in the mood for s’mores. But she finds solace in meeting kids like her, and slowly she begins to come back to life—and even love—at The Treehouse.

Guys! This book! You have to read it. It's full of feels. Seriously! I ugly cried during the first portion of the book. The loss is so intense and the characters make you feel like you are part of this family who has lost an important member. Gah! Kai handles the news with overwhelming intensity - from it can't be happening to everything needs to be perfect for the funeral. It's how I felt when we lost my Mom. It brought back a lot of feelings for me, but in a good way. It was helpful to feel the grief this family was suffering and to know that I felt just like this. Everyone feels this heavy grief no matter how they lose a loved one, so even though this is a book about suicide and the aftermath for those left behind, know that it is a great book about healing for anyone experiencing loss.

I think the best thing in this book is the summer camp for dealing with grief. Honestly, I think it's such a great idea for kids and teens, so that they can work through things with others going through similar losses. The feeling of being surrounded by peers instead of one on one with a therapist is appealing to me. I think it was the best thing Kai's parents could have done for her even though she resisted at first.

Everyone deals differently with loss and you see that with how each member of the family. Kai starts trying to numb the pain with alcohol and some of the pills she stole from her sister's room when they found her, her Mom throws herself into organizing an insanely large funeral almost like it was a big party and her Dad works all the time and drinks alone in his man cave. They pretty much shut each other out and isolate themselves. Not healthy. They really needed to communicate and share what they were feeling. Thank goodness Kai has such good friends who intervene.

Now, the camp scenes were so well written. It's quite the balance to have teens talking about the horrible loss and then have then horsing around and flirting. It brings mixed emotions to the table for them as they feel like it's not the place to be falling in love or having fun, that they should only be grieving and sad. It takes them time to realize this camp is designed to help them let go of anger and hurt and allow them to start living again while coping with their loss. I loved the interactions between Kai and each teen at the camp. She's made some lifelong friends in a group she may never have chosen back home. I loved that!

In the end, suicide seems like such a hard thing to deal with. No one knows what to say the family while the family feels like they missed the signs and want answers. All loss is hard, but I think suicide seems to be the hardest to accept and understand. I think by having the teens around her with different types of loss, it helped Kai grow and realize they all hurt just as much and need love, support and comfort to get through it. 

Last, I'll touch on the relationships. Kai has great friends at home - TJ and Emily. They try to be supportive, but they don't know what it's like to lose someone like this. So I love that she meets such a great group of teens at camp and finally feels like someone gets her. And the romance! *swoon* The guy she starts to fall for is not who you think at first, but he is perfect for her. They get each other. And he's thoughtful, not only with Kai, but others in their group. I love this 'SHIP.

Also, read the Author's Note. It will explain a few things about why she wrote this book and...
"Everyone in this word does the best they can. You never know what anyone else is going through. Things look bright and shiny on the outside but can be very dark on the inside. No one has a perfect life. Lead with kindness. Live your story." #liveyourstory

About the Author: 
A graduate of Florida State University, Kim has built a successful career in film and television. After winning a Daytime Emmy for a web series she created and wrote, she went on to write for ABC Family's webisode series Pretty Dirty Secrets, the online companion piece to smash hit Pretty Little Liars. Kim lives in the Los Angeles area, working as Director of Special Projects for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. -from book cover



  1. This book sounds amazing. It's been added to my wish list. I hadn't heard of it before. Have you read The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand? It's a great read that handles suicide as well.

    1. Oh I hope you enjoy it. I haven't heard of that one, I'll have to go check it out. Thanks for the recommendation.


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