The Tragedy Paper
By Elizabeth LaBan
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Source: PublisherTim Macbeth is a 17-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is, “Enter here to be and find a friend.” Tim does not expect to find a friend; all he really wants to do is escape his senior year unnoticed. 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, and she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone finds out. Tim and Vanessa enter into a clandestine relationship, 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 story unfolds from two alternating viewpoints: Tim, the tragic, love-struck figure, and Duncan, a current senior, who uncovers the truth behind Tim and Vanessa’s story and will consequently produce the greatest Tragedy Paper in Irving’s history.
Duncan is finally a senior at Irving School, meaning he gets to live in a single senior dorm and forget everything that happened last year. When he finds he got the smallest corner room, though, he's completely bummed. But when he discovers the gift the albino senior Tim who lived there before him left him, Duncan has no idea what he's gotten into. A stack of CDs from Tim narrating his senior year and finally telling Duncan what no one else knew about him pulls Duncan in. While Duncan listens, he can't help but get wrapped up into Tim's story, ignoring his own mess of a life.
Hmm where to begin? As soon as this book started, I was hooked. There's so much mystery and you have no idea how things will turn out until the very last page. I think the mystery of what had happened the year before and what Tim's story was really kept me interested in the book. If the author had just come out and said what had happened right away, I don't think i would have even finished reading it. But being in Duncan's place and listening along to Tim's CDs and his story about what happened the year before between him and Vanessa was so intriguing and I felt myself as entranced as Duncan was. And I love how the author added in romance. I'm a romance kind of girl, so that was definitely a bonus for this book.
In the end, I just couldn't put this book down. There were slow parts, but I knew I had to stick through them to get to the really good parts. As the reader, you can't help but connect with both Tim and Duncan as their past and current lives intertwine. This is definitely a unique read that I think deserves attention. It's not your typical YA book, so it's nice to have a refreshing read that offers mystery, suspense, and romance.