the tragedy paperAuthor: Elizabeth Laban

Number of Pages: 312

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Release Date: January 1, 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.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their love.”


Wow. What a lovely, heart-wrenching, marvelously written book this was!

I was originally attracted to this book because it takes place at a boarding school, and, as some of you may already know from past posts, I absolutely LOVE boarding school books! Most of the ones I have read (with the exception of a few) have been amazing: Looking for Alaska by John Green, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, Paper Covers Rock by Jenny Hubbard, etc. Needless to say, my hopes were quite high for this book, and luckily I was not disappointed!

I pretty much love everything about this book- scratch that, I do love everything! The alternating perspectives of Tim and Duncan as well as the lingering mystery of what happened between them kept me engaged and interested throughout the entire story. The atmosphere of Irving School seeps through Laban’s words, and it almost feels as though you are walking down the hall right next to Duncan or Tim. The idea of someone leaving CDs for the next person to live in their dorm room is really interesting, and it was executed excellently. I also love the idea of the Tragedy Paper itself. It makes me wish that my school had an assignment that everyone had to take part of and that was a tradition for the seniors.

My favorite character in this novel is definitely Duncan’s English teacher, Mr. Simon. He’s very strict and takes the rules of the class very seriously, but he is undoubtedly kind at heart and extraordinarily wise. He listens to what students have to say when they come and talk to him privately, and he acts sort of like a parent figure for the students at the boarding school. I would love to have Mr. Simon as my English teacher!

As you can most likely tell from this positive post, I absolutely love this novel. And much of it takes place in the winter (hence the front cover) so it’s perfect for this time of year. If you’re looking for a quick, thoughtful story, then this is the novel for you!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) :0)

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes!




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