Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi! This is a powerful and well-written book that explores some deep issues. Read on to discover all of the details about the book, the tour stops and enter to win in the giveaway at the end.
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.
About the Author
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
Just a Normal Tuesday is a beautifully written book that explores the aftermath of suicide. The main character, Kai, is a raw and relatable teen who has to learn to deal with the death of her beloved sister. Turrisi’s message is one that resonates throughout the narrative and really turns it into a guide for grief as well as a story of those who are left to pick up the pieces.
Turrisi’s writing is so captivating and right from the explosive beginning to its heart-wrenching end, the reader will have a hard time setting this one down. One of the wonderful aspects of this story is the way in which the author describes the strong feelings that Kai is having during the book. The descriptions are both vivid and real, drawing the reader into Kai’s mindset while she struggles with her grief, substance abuse, and eventual acceptance.
Kai is a character that is easily identifiable to readers. The fact that she is flawed, gives her a realistic and interesting personality. As the book progresses and Kai starts to discover and understand herself, it is her sense of hope that makes her relatable. She is also quite a resilient character who undergoes so many changes, yet is able to somehow overcome them.
One of the themes that pulses throughout Just a Normal Tuesday is: you are not alone. Kai learns that she has a network of people that she can rely on, such as her friends and parents, as well as those she meets at grief camp. It is this message that sets this book apart from other books for teens that have the theme of suicide. The reader comes away with a message that people grieve differently and there are many ways to cope.
The wonderful writing, relatable protagonist and strong themes make Just a Normal Tuesday not your normal book about teen suicide. Readers will come away from this novel with a set of strategies and a deeper understanding of what it is to grieve the loss of a loved one. Ensure that your box of tissues is nearby when you read this one!
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.