Book Review: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan


The Tragedy Paper
Author: Elizabeth LaBan
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Released: February 11th 2014
Review Source: Ember

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.


The Tragedy Paper was surprisingly good. You pretty much live through two point of views, both are students of Irving School Boarding School. We first meet Duncan, he is concern about two things on his first day of his senior year, one: what treasure is left behind for him and two: his Tragedy Paper. Why is he concerned? Well, every senior is required to write a tragedy paper. And there is a mystery… about what happened last year, and Duncan is hesitant to return the school because of this. Once he enters his new room, he finds CD containing a confession from his previous tenant.

Once Duncan begins listening to these discovering CD, we meet my favorite character of this book, Tim, he is the second person in which this book alternate views. His story is very engaging and Duncan becomes obsessed listening to him. Tim is an outcast and has always struggled in life. See Tim is an Albino, and for the most part people have tried avoiding associating with him. Within his story, Tim confesses Duncan the truth about last year tragedy and how Duncan was involved.

The Tragedy Paper is worth reading. I felt myself breezing through this story within a story that completes each other at the end. I loved how it was unique among other books. I really enjoyed Elizabeth’s writing and I look forward reading more books from her.

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