Posted in Young Adult Lit

The Tragedy Paper, by Elizabeth LaBan

13628178The Tragedy Paper
Elizabeth LaBan
2013 Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9780375870408
Genre – Realistic Fiction
Age – High School
 4.07 Stars

Duncan is starting his senior year at the Irving School, a boarding school in the North East. Every year the outgoing senior leaves a treasure for the student who moves into their old dorm room. Duncan is upset to learn that he has the smallest room possible. He is also disappointed that his treasure is a bunch of CDs left by Tim, an albino student who transferred in mid year. These CDs contain so much more than music though, they contain the story of how Tim ended up at the Irving School, how he fell in love with the ever popular Vanessa, and how his time at the Irving School came to an end.

I was not expecting greatness based on the description on the book. I, however, was pleasantly surprised. I still don’t think that my description does the book justice. I liked just about every character in the book, and even the ones I didn’t like (because I wasn’t supposed) were written well. They were realistic in their characteristics, their strengths, and their weaknesses. LaBan did a great job of weaving two stories together. I thought she was really able to keep their stories so separate, but also so inherently joined. For a book that doesn’t have a hugely distinct plotline, I sure felt the build up and waited desperately for the conclusion. I listened to this on audiobook, and though I wasn’t in love with the narrators’ voice, I thought they were pretty perfect for their parts.

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