Author: Kim Turrisi
252 pages in Paperback
To Be Published: May 2, 2017
Dates Read: April 15-19, 2017
My Rating: 5 Stars
Book Summary from Goodreads:
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.
This will be a difficult review to write as Just a Normal Tuesday is difficult to read. It deals with the issues of death, suicide, and teens. Kai is sixteen and comes home from school and finds a letter in the mail from her sister Jenn. She finds this strange as no one write letters any more when they can call or text, especially when Jenn lives close by. Then Kai opens the letter and her life changes forever as it is a suicide note from Jenn. Kai rushes to her sister’s apartment but it’s too late. This is just the beginning of Kai’s story.
This is Kim Turrisi’s first novel and what a debut it is! Just a Normal Tuesday is raw, gritty, and real! After her sister’s death Kai spirals out of control. She drinks heavily and begins taking drugs, including the prescription drugs her sister took. The feelings Kai has feel so real! Once her family and friends realize she needs serious help she is sent to a grief camp against her will.
The second half of the book focuses on the grief camp and we see the transformation Kai experiences as she gets comfortable with her group she is assigned to. We see all the teens change for the better as they go through camp. We come to care about them all and want them to all overcome their grief from their various losses. Just a Normal Tuesday ends with a positive note towards the future.
In the Author’s Note Kim Turrisi shares that when she was fifteen her sister committed suicide. She shares how writing Just a Normal Tuesday helped her with forgiveness and the loss of her sister. Everything feels so authentic that it seems like she took the feelings Kai had when she was out of control from her own experiences. The words she wrote could only come from someone who had experienced that kind of grief. With that you feel a connection to the author. At times it felt like these were Kim’s feelings and experiences. Just a Normal Tuesday is that real.
I want to share that I lost my dad just a few days after my nineteenth birthday. It was not in the way that Kai lost her sister, but it was still a heavy loss that I still feel at times. Reading Just a Normal Tuesday brought back that time for me and the memories and feelings from then and because of this at times it was difficult to read. I knew it was going to be difficult when I began it, but it is a book you do not want to put down.
Just a Normal Tuesday is very highly recommended for anyone who has lost someone, especially at a younger age. The target demographic is 14-18 but anyone could read this book and take something away from it.
I want to end with this: My dad passed away on May 4, 1999 which was a Tuesday.
“It was just a normal Tuesday. And then it wasn’t.”- Kai
**Special thanks to Kids can Press and KCP Loft for sending me an arc. Just a Normal Tuesday deeply touched me and it was a pleasure to review it.
Today’s First Line Friday sounds like it is a Groundhog day type of book. The premise is intriguing and one I look forward to reading.
Sometimes, if he was not so drunk or the twins so loud, Bobby Barnes would consider how those rides to the mountain had become the echo of his life.
No one in Mattingly ever believed Bobby Barnes would live to see old age. Drink would either rot Bobby from the inside out or dull his senses just enough to send his truck off the mountain on one of his nightly rides. Although Bobby believes such an end possible—and even likely—it doesn’t stop him from taking his twin sons Matthew and Mark into the mountains one Saturday night. A sharp curve, blinding headlights, metal on metal, his sons’ screams. Bobby’s final thought as he sinks into blackness is a curious one—there will be stars.
Yet it is not death that greets him beyond the veil. Instead, he returns to the day he has just lived and finds he is not alone in this strange new world. Six others are trapped there with him.
Bobby soon discovers that rather than the place of peace he had been led to believe he was in, it’s actually a place of secrets and hidden dangers. Along with three others, he seeks to escape, even as the world around him begins to crumble. The escape will lead some to greater life, others to endless death . . . and Bobby Barnes to understand the deepest nature of love.[Top]
Today I am the final stop in a blog tour for Accidental Damage by Alice May. Today I will be interviewing her!
Jessica’s Reading Room(JRR): What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you?
I remember my father reading ‘Swallows and Amazons’ by Arthur Ransome to me, at a very early age. My siblings and I would snuggle up together by the fire and Dad would read aloud. We always begged for ‘just one more chapter please!’
JRR: That sounds like great family time! Who is your favorite literary character?
My favourite literary character is Lessa in Anne McCaffrey’s ‘Dragonflight’ because she’s cool and there are dragons. I can’t say anything else without spoilers, but let’s just say I really love dragons. I stumbled across this book at the age of 18. I had a lot of time to kill waiting for someone one day and had the choice between a bookcase full of medical text books and one novel. Not surprisingly I picked the novel and haven’t looked back. I’ve since read every single book Anne McCaffrey has written and there isn’t one that I wouldn’t wholeheartedly recommend.
JRR: Dragons! I will have to look into that book! Which book have you always meant to get around to reading, but still not read?
War and Peace by Tolstoy. This is a novel that is regarded as a central work of world literature. I rather think I should have found time to read it. It’s on my to-be-read pile honest!
JRR: Good luck with that one. It seems like not many have read it. If you could only take one book with you on a desert island, which would it be?
I would take ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy – omnibus edition. Or is that cheating? It would certainly keep me going.
JRR: That’s not cheating, I promise! 😉 What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Katie Fforde’s new release ‘A Secret Garden’ and I am enjoying it very much. It’s a warm hearted, enjoyable read with a bit of romance thrown in.
JRR: Who would be at your dream dinner party (alive, dead or fictional)?
I would love to hold a dinner party for Katie Fforde, Trisha Ashley, Anne McCaffrey, J.K. Rowling, H. T. King and Kate Fenton. All are authors whose books have kept me going through the years and I would enjoy cooking up a feast for them to say thank you!
JRR: Great answers! What’s the best advice you have ever received?
‘Never ever give up!’ My parents have been instrumental in encouraging me to pick myself up and dust myself off after every setback in life. They are right. Anything is possible, you just sometimes have to believe in yourself, grow a thick skin and get on with it.
JRR: That is great advice! Yay for mom and dad! What’s the worst advice you have ever received?
“Do a French A-level. You’ll be really good at it!” Hmmmm – I passed, but only just!!!
JRR: Who is your hero or heroine (real or fictional)?
Soppiness alert! My Beloved Husband is my hero. Just because!
JRR: Awww! Where are you happiest?
I am happiest walking along the beach, whatever the weather, listening to the waves and just ‘being’.
JRR: Peaceful as long as there are not many people there! Who would you like to star in the film of your life?
Victoria Wood. She was such a talented lady. I have thoroughly enjoyed all her work, especially her poignant portrayal of Ella Last in ‘Housewife 49’.
JRR: Describe your best ever holiday.
Surfing (I really mean body boarding but I like to pretend I can surf) in Cornwall with my husband and kids. A whole day on the beach followed by chips and a pint of cold lager (lemonade for the kids of course) in the evening is my idea of heaven. Maybe I will take a learn-to-surf course one of these days.
JRR: That sounds like a good time! If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
If I could be invisible for a day I would probably sleep if, I am being completely honest. As a busy working mother, I spend my life running from one spinning plate / disaster issue to another. If I was invisible no one would see me just relaxing. Could I be deaf to all the people grumbling that I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing too, please?
JRR: Sure! If I joined you on your perfect day, what would we be doing?
My perfect day would involve sunshine and good coffee. Probably cake as well! I don’t have terribly high maintenance needs.
JRR: Cake! Can I join you?
**Thank you for your time Alice! I had fun getting to know you! **
Buy Accidental Damage Now!
If you think the normal school run on a Monday is entertaining you should try doing it from a tent in your back garden surrounded by the jumbled up contents of your entire home. It is vastly more diverting.
Our heroine has survived the sudden collapse of her home – or has she?
Certain events two and a half years ago led her to deliberately destroy an important piece of herself, hiding away all remaining evidence that it ever existed. What happens when she decides to go looking for it?
Does she really deserve to be whole again?
Inspired by a true story, this is an account of one woman’s secret guilt and her journey in search of forgiveness![Top]