Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Review: Just A Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi + GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Hello, everyone! I'm really excited to bring you guys my stop on the blog tour for JUST A NORMAL TUESDAY by Kim Turrisi hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Also, a HUGE thanks to Kids Can Press for sending me a review copy!

I was sent a physical copy of this book in exhcange for an honest review as part of this blog tour.

Down below is my full review of this novel, the purchase links should you fancy buying a copy, the author's links, tour link and finally, a GIVEAWAY! Please enjoy!

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Young Adult
Score: ❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 256
Stand Alone
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Published: May 2nd, 2017

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.

1. I was so super happy when I got a spot on the blog tour for this book because I just LOVE my mental health reads. I've said before that they're my favorite kind of books to read even though most of them are pretty heartbreaking. I love reading about mental health because it is such an important topic that affects so many people and it isn't talked about enough in YA literature. So when I found this novel, I just knew I had to try getting a chance to review. And I did! Here's my review:

2. First off, the book starts off raw and doesn't let up. The story opens up with Kai having a normal day at school and coming home to find her sister's suicide note, or letter rather, and her world comes crashing down in an instant. One of the things I liked about Kai's character was that she reacted in anger. There is no right or wrong way to mourn but I've noticed that mainly sadness and depression set in when a main character experiences a loss in the books I've read thus far about suicide or grief. Kai, however, chooses to let her anger take over and instead of turning to professionals for help or even her own parents, she turns to alcohol and drugs, blame and anger to help her cope. Kai wants someone to blame and be mad at for her sister's suicide and she's constantly pointing her finger at someone new, including herself and her sister. I liked seeing this new reaction to grief as some people do use anger to help mourn the loss of a loved one. Kai was drowning in grief and used her anger to disguise how heartbroken she was, almost doing some serious damage to herself before she's able to get help at a grief camp.

3. Kai has to learn throughout the book that sometimes, you just don't get to have the answers you're looking for. She soon realizes that she truly isn't alone in her loss, that it's okay to be mad about what happened and suicide causes a domino effect, hurting more people than just a couple. I loved that the book portrays Kai's journey through grief in such a real and raw way. We get to see how Kai thinks, justifies her actions and emotions even when she herself can't seem to justify them enough for her own liking. The writing paints a beautifully painful picture of how suicide is a hard thing to accept let alone admit to yourself that it happened and there's no changing things. Kai has to come to the harsh reality: the past is the past and there's nowhere left to go but forward.

4. This book really was heartbreaking and I'd suggest having a box of tissues with you if you choose to read this one, which I HIGHLY suggest you do. Even though it's short and a quick read, it holds a lot within its pages that's totally worth reading. The reason I didn't give this book a five-star rating is because while I enjoyed the book a lot, I couldn't help but feel the book got a little tropey towards the end when the romance really comes into play. At first, it was subtle but towards the end of things, it took too big of a role for my personal liking in these kinds of stories. If the romance hadn't felt too much like a trope, I would've totally given this book a full five stars.

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

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.

Author Links:

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