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Just a Normal Tuesday
Cover of Just a Normal Tuesday
Just a Normal Tuesday

For Kai, nothing will ever be normal again. Sixteen-year-old Kai's life is shattered forever by a letter from her sister, Jen, which begins, "If you are reading this, I am already gone." Jen has committed suicide. Heartbroken and furious, Kai gets caught in a downward spiral, self-medicating and lashing out. When her parents decide to send her to a summer camp for grieving teens, she resists. But eventually, sharing her feelings with kids who understand helps her move forward...and even fall in love. This stunning novel offers a roadmap for anyone touched by loss or looking for hope in a broken world.

For Kai, nothing will ever be normal again. Sixteen-year-old Kai's life is shattered forever by a letter from her sister, Jen, which begins, "If you are reading this, I am already gone." Jen has committed suicide. Heartbroken and furious, Kai gets caught in a downward spiral, self-medicating and lashing out. When her parents decide to send her to a summer camp for grieving teens, she resists. But eventually, sharing her feelings with kids who understand helps her move forward...and even fall in love. This stunning novel offers a roadmap for anyone touched by loss or looking for hope in a broken world.

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  • Lexile:
    650
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

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Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    March 15, 2017
    It really is just a normal Tuesday...until it isn't.When Kai Sheehan's older sister, Jen, commits suicide, her own life spirals out of control. The rage-filled white 16-year-old drinks, smokes pot, and pops prescription medication to numb her pain. Her tough-love-invoking best friends, TJ, a gay white boy, and Emily, a well-to-do girl with -cocoa- skin, attempt to support her, but there's only so much they can do. Kai's parents have, understandably, been too wrapped up in their own grief to help, so they send Kai to a -grief camp- for teens. Guided by her olive-skinned counselor, Marco Esposito, Kai talks, writes, and paints her way through the stages of grief. She also falls in love. Graham, a white boy whose brother died, makes Kai feel normal again. He understands what she's going through in a way no one else does. She also forms close bonds with the other teens in her group, and with their support, she's on her way to accepting she'll never know why Jen killed herself. Loads of brand name-dropping and current pop-culture references will undoubtedly date this book. However, the timeless themes of love, loss, and moving forward will find a readership among those who are also grieving and need to know they're not alone. Inspired by the author's own loss of a sister to suicide, it's sensitive and uplifting without being sappy. (author's note) (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2017

    Gr 9 Up-A nuanced tale about grief in the aftermath of suicide. It's just another Tuesday for Kai Sheehan, until she receives a suicide note in the mail from her beloved sister that turns her life upside down. After Jen's suicide, Kai reckons with overwhelming emotions and spirals out of control, drinking too much and taking the medications Jen used to overdose. To save their daughter's life, the Sheehans send Kai to the Tree House, a grief camp for kids and teens who have lost loved ones. Though skeptical, Kai eventually accepts the camp and the people in her small group as she comes to terms with her sister's death. She particularly connects with Graham, a teen who lost his twin in a car accident. Their budding romance allows Kai to understand that there's a beautiful life waiting for her, one that her sister would want her to embrace. Turrisi, whose own experience with her sister's suicide informs the novel, has written a heartfelt story that looks at the complicated feelings and unanswered questions left in the wake of tragedy. More important, the author examines these issues through the therapy process, highlighting a little-explored facet of YA. Through Kai's experience at grief camp, readers understand the value of sharing their feelings with their peers and working through their emotions in a healthy and productive manner. VERDICT Centering on an underdeveloped topic in YA fiction, this title is a must-buy for all teen collections.-Jessica Holland, University of Kentucky, Lexington

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Just a Normal Tuesday
Just a Normal Tuesday
Kim Turrisi
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