“The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban is about a teen love triangle and a high school assignment at a prestigious private boarding school steeped in tradition. It is written in a unique way with two narrators, Tim who lacks self-confidence and Duncan who is pre-occupied with his tragedy paper and has trouble letting go of the past. The book kept my interest to discover what the tragedy was. I liked both Tim and Duncan and I also like the English teacher, Mr. Simon.”Karen Z wrote this review Friday, February 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Every year at a boarding school, the outgoing seniors leave a "treasure" behind in their rooms for the next senior occupying that room to find. Duncan finds a stack of CDs left for him that he doesn't think much of until he listens to the first one. Then he can't stop until he hears them all! What's on the CDs? You will have to read The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban.
Like the CDs, The Tragedy Paper is hard to put down. I finished it in two days! I got to really care about the characters, the writing is superb and the ending is shocking! Do I have your interest yet? All that being said, I give this book 5++ stars! ”
“(AUDIO BOOK)”Fiona R wrote this review Wednesday, January 23, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“11/13: Excellent read! Blew through this one in little over one day.
01/13: Learned about in a Barnes & Noble e-newsletter. Looks good.
B&N Overview: Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska, Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author, calls Elizabeth LaBan’s The Tragedy Paper “a beguiling and beautifully written tale of first love and heartbreak.”
It follows the story of 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 secrets.”
“I read the Tragedy Paper, in exchange for review from Netgalley. The book was written by Elizabeth Laban. The book was also published by Random House Children's Books. The book is geared towards young adults.
Synopsis of the description from Amazon:
The book's main character is Tim, who starts attending a fancy school. Tim does not want to be noticed, let alone make friends. He starts dating one of the popular girls in secret, which could ruin her reputation. The students also have to write a dissertation/thesis during their senior year, called the tragedy paper. Amazon also has an amazing interview with LaBan shortly after the pricing and general information about the book. Amazon also provides a map of the school.
My opinion of the book:
First and foremost, I love the cover. I used to attend graphic design school and this cover is simply amazing. The use of light and dark.
I also liked the concept of the tragedy paper. The kids had to define a tragedy, in the literary sense. I also feel the students' frustration in writing the paper. I am in the process of completing a masters project. I also have a dissertation during the doctorate portion of this program.
The book started out with Duncan, a senior, who is entering the dorms, waiting his surprise, from the last senior, who occupied his room. Tad is Duncan's friend. Duncan's gift was very interesting and made me want to read more. You definitely have to buy the book to determine his gift.
Chapter two starts the story of Tim. Tim is an Albino, starting his senior year of high school at Irving. Tim has already graduated and Duncan stays in Tim's old room. The gift really comes into play here and for the next few chapters. I had read about 50 pages at this point. Tim provides backs story of how his father died and information about his mother and step-father. Tim is an outcast and never really fit in. Going to the high school was supposed to help Tim fit in and find his self.
Enter Vanessa: The Popular Girl, the It girl. Vanessa and Tim met at an airport, during a flight delay (snow storm) Thanks to Tim's mother's travel agency connections, Tim was able to secure a room at a hotel quickly before they sold out. Tim invites Vanessa back to the hotel. Tim did not know at this point that Vanessa attended his high school. He had an inkling after seeing her in a shirt, with the school's mascot but couldn't id if it was for his school or another school. Vanessa also has a boyfriend.
The book was a very interesting read. Boy meets Girl. Boy invites Girl back to hotel. Boy likes Girl. Girl has boyfriend. Boy and Girl start a secret relationship.
The book is 9.99 on Amazon (kindle). It is also available in hardback and audio book.
“The Tragedy Paper is the title of the book and also the name of a huge assignment that every student at the prestigious Irving School must write in order to pass senior English. They all know the assignment is coming and it’s stressful. There are other traditions like the Tragedy Paper at the Irving School. It’s a boarding school steeped in traditions. Like the one that involves graduating seniors to leaving a “treasure” for the next student to get his or her room. On the first day of fall semester the new seniors are excited to see what was left for them. Was it a favorite book with a list of tips for passing English, a check for $500 (someone actually got that one year!) or something generic like a bag of M&Ms? Duncan finds a note and a stack of CDs narrated by and left for him by Tim MacBeth. Tim was a loner who only came to Irving for the last semester of his senior year. Duncan already knows what happened to Tim last year and it wasn’t good. But he doesn’t know the whole story. It’s important for Tim to recount it and for Duncan to hear it. This is an interwoven story of friendship and first love, and of peer pressure and the magnitude of certain choices.
The dual narrators complement each other and never seem forced. Readers will genuinely care about both boys and the compelling intertwined stories they have to tell. The writing draws the reader in with foreshadowing; I seriously couldn't put it down. There's some meat to it too. YAs who read it will learn insights to help with their own English assignments. The resolution is complete....but not overly tidy. Well done! Highly recommended for high school libraries.”
“Duncan is a student at Irving. Duncan is a senior this year. As part of Irving’s tradition, the graduating seniors leave a “treasure” for the next senior who will occupy their room. The treasure can be anything ranging from a bottle of bourbon, a snowman kit, or Cds.
In Duncan’s case, it is a stack of Cds. Although these Cds are not just your normal music Cds but recordings of Tim’s story. Tim was the senior prior to Duncan. Tim is giving Duncan his subject for his tragedy story. All students are given an assignment to write a tragedy story. A story where the hero has a tragic event. Duncan starts listening to Tim’s story. The one where he meets Vanessa and his life is changed forever.
O-M-G! My reading year for 2013 is starting off with a big bang in a good way. The Tragedy Paper is a definite must read. I was spell bound by this book. I picked this book up and by the time I put it down to take a breather and go to bed I was already half way done with it. I woke up and finished the book.
Just like Duncan I could not get enough of Tim and Vanessa’s story. Every time that Duncan would take a break, I would yell a silent scream “No”. So I was glad when Duncan did not stray long from listening to Tim’s Cds. I knew something tragic was going to happen involving Tim and Vanessa but I could not predict the truth. It was sad. Tim may have been the awkward misfit but I was cheering for him the whole time. Again, I can not say enough about how good this book is. You will just have to pick up a copy for yourself to really experience what I am talking about.
“The Tragedy Paper is both the title of this book and the intimidating assignment each Senior Class member of a prestigious residential prep school is facing. This debut novel for Young Adults is artfully arranged to tell two intersecting stories featuring two young men. One is a senior in the current class and the other graduated the previous year.
Duncan is the current senior. He considers himself very good at math and pretty weak in language studies. He is therefore already nervous about the English assignment that is in fact not even due until the second semester. When he arrives at the Irving School for his senior year, he tries to put it out of his mind. He's excited about moving into the Senior Dorm and finding out which room will be his. The school is rich in tradition, one of which is that a previous senior leaves a legacy of sorts, a "treasure," for the person who will live in the room from which he/she is departing. Duncan is at first deflated to realize he has the smallest room at the end of the hall, and that his "treasure" is a set of CD's from the previous tenant.
But soon he is intrigued by the story that Tim Macbeth is sharing with him. It is the story of his senior year at the Irving School. Duncan already knows that Tim's experience at Irving did not end well, but he did not know Tim well and, though he did not know him well, still feels responsible for Tim's apparent downfall, which is unexplained until later.
The author does a very credible job of unfolding each young man's experience in alternate chapters. Tim is afflicted with albinism and is extremely self conscious, expecting to be rejected and/or victimized by all but his family members. But he meets a beautiful fellow student, Vanessa, at the airport on the way to school. She seems to accept him as a friend and as an equal in spite of his appearance. But her boyfriend, the popular jock Patrick, does not share Vanessa's positive attitude toward Tim. Vanessa continues to interact with Tim, but continues her relationship with Patrick, trying to spend time with Tim behind Patrick's back.
As Duncan listens to Tim's story, he is attending classes, building a relationship with the English instructor Mr. Simon, and is developing a relationship with Daisy Pickett, another senior that he has had a crush on since the end of his junior year. He begins to see elements of the classic tragedy in Tim's story and to an extent in his own experience. As the book builds toward a climax in each of the young men's stories, Duncan is not sure he has the courage to even listen to the end of Tim's tale, though in the end, his desire to know what actually happened the previous year trumps the bad feelings he has about the probable outcome.
This is a story of courage, young love and the value of friendship. Just like Duncan, the reader is ever eager to hear the next element of Tim's personal growth and struggle, and cares just as much about Duncan and his struggles, hoping that he can and will learn from Tim's experience.
This is highly readable and full of insight into the experience of a person who is dealing with an affliction like albinism that marks him as different and set apart because of his outward appearance.
You'll be glad you read this one!
“This is Duncan's story, but it's told through Tim's story of the previous school year. Irving is a top-notch private school where both boys share the story of their senior year, and of the senior project, a composition that must provide evidence that students have grasped the concept of tragedy and what it looks like.
This is a solidly-crafted story line with an intriguing plot and exceptional interaction between characters. But those characters are less-well developed than the reader would want in order to understand the implications of the plot developments.
I happened to be reading a book by Gary Schmidt (First Boy) at the same time I was reading this book -- and the contrast between the depth and development of that plot and its characters, and the details of Tragedy Paper was striking. Duncan and Tim's stories are less compelling, less engaging, though more dramatic more of the time.
The over-laying of Tim and Duncan's stories (and of their common friends and experiences) makes for a skillful tale that many young adult readers will enjoy. The points of sameness, though from two different lives, makes for a very good story. Foreshadowing is skillfully woven into the action and thoughts of the protagonists. And there is tragedy, of course, but not earth-shaking tragedy. I think young adult readers will like this story. And I appreciate that the book includes a protagonist that is different.”
“As part of an ongoing tradition, every year, the previous tenant of a private high school dorm room leaves something "special" behind for the next student. Senior Tim Macbeth was a 17-year-old albino who had been at the prestigious Irving School for only his last semester. His legacy to Duncan, who now has his room was a series of CDs telling his story of love, loss and growth during his time at Irving. Duncan, having been a part of Tim's story became completely engrossed and spent much of his time listening to what Tim had to share. What unfolds is a story of a young man who has always been different, living on the outside, never fully accepted until he met and fell in love with Vanessa. Their story becomes the basis for a required paper to be written for the eccentric English teacher.
The author has written this amazing and heart wrenching story from both Tim and Duncan's point of view, blending the two magically. Tim's story will both warm your heart and chill you to the bone. One can only benefit by learning from it.
Being suitable for all ages, this is a MUST read!!!! I cannot express how deeply I was moved and how I began to examine my own dealings with others. Five stars are not enough!
I received this ARC edition of THE TRAGEDY PAPER from Netgalley and Random House Children's Books in exchange for an honest review. T”