Just a Normal Tuesday

256p. Kids Can/KCP Loft. May 2017. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771387934.
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.

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