Friday, March 22, 2013

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

by:  Elizabeth LaBan
published by:  Knopf Books for Young Readers
publish date:  January 8, 2013

Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

The Tragedy Paper started out as one of my random audiobook picks from the library.  It ended up as one of my favorite books so far this year.  Tim's story is moving and I was instantly captivated by it.

The Tragedy Paper is told from alternating viewpoints of Tim, in the previous year at The Irving School, and Duncan who is currently attending The Irving School.  They share a common tragic night, however, Duncan was never fully aware of all the circumstances around the incident.  On Duncan's first day of his Senior Year, where this story starts, he receives a stack of CD's that Tim recorded for him explaining the whole year and all the events leading up to the terrible night that their lives became entwined.

I really enjoyed both characters, Tim and Duncan.  Both of them were so well developed, all their decisions made sense for them.  Another aspect of this book that I came to appreciate was the pacing.  Initially, I was really frustrated with how slowly the story was being pieced out, but in the end I was pleased how it all came together.

The Tragedy Paper is a fantastic contemporary YA.  I highly recommend it.  I don't have any parental warnings for this one.  From what I recall, everything in it was YA appropriate, although it might be a bit over the heads of the youngsters.

1 comment:

The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I'm really excited about reading this one especially because it's a contemporary set in a boarding school-that is a setting that I'm very partial to.