Author: Kim Turrisi

Pub. Date: May 2, 2017

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Pages: 256

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, 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.

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.

How important do you think talking about issues such as suicide is in schools? Do you think the earlier the better?

I think it’s extremely important to talk about suicide as well as mental illness. There’s a stigma attached to it that education could help erase. The earlier we get a jump on encouraging children to discuss their feelings, the better. My opinion. Education is key in fostering acceptance, teaching tolerance and creating safe spaces for youth.

Do you think there is more suicide cases now than maybe 10 years ago, or do you think it may be the same we just didn’t hear about it as much? 

Unfortunately, according to studies, suicide is on the rise. (http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/04/22/474888854/suicide-rates-climb-in-u-s-especially-among-adolescent-girls )

How does Social Media play a role in all of this?

The question of social media is a tricky one. I will say that I have seen a lot of articles about teens who were victims of cyber bullying who have committed suicide. I don’t think we can deny the fact that some use social media to hide and harass others with no regard to the possible consequences. You see it every day on twitter.

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

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @kimmyt22

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Week One:

4/24/2017- BookHounds YA- Interview

4/25/2017- The Candid Cover- Review

4/26/2017- Wandering Bark Books- Guest Post

4/27/2017- Angel Reads- Review

4/28/2017- A Gingerly Review- Excerpt

Week Two:

5/1/2017- Here’s to Happy Endings- Review

5/2/2017- Margie’s Must Reads- Guest Post

5/3/2017- The Bookworm Central- Review

5/4/2017- Literary Meanderings – Interview

5/5/2017- Just Commonly- Review


%d bloggers like this: