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The Tragedy Paper
Cover of The Tragedy Paper
The Tragedy Paper
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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...
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...
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  • 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.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • ELIZABETH LABAN worked at NBC News, taught at a private school, and has written for several magazines and newspapers. The Tragedy Paper is her first young adult novel. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 19, 2012
    The legend of a curse “that every year a senior would leave for some unforeseen reason” provides an eerie backdrop to this story set at Irving, a prestigious, tradition-laden boarding school. Foreshadowing and dramatic tension build through alternating, parallel narratives of two seniors in consecutive years, as details of a tragedy involving both boys gradually unfold. Duncan, occupying a room previously inhabited by recent graduate Tim, inherits Tim’s CD recordings describing “the words, the music, my downfall, as well as your perceived or actual role in it.” Tim’s first-person voice is a compelling combination of compassion and analysis, revealing his lifelong challenge of albinism, the unexpected romantic triangle he enters into, and choices that set in motion unfortunate events. Narrative transitions to Duncan’s third-person viewpoint are occasionally jarring; like Duncan, readers will likely find Tim’s senior year trials more interesting. As the relationship between the two characters becomes clearer, however, Duncan’s tale conveys greater dramatic resonance. A playful element infuses the story as tragic themes described in English class play out in the characters’ dramas, adding texture to this strong debut. Ages 12–up. Agent: Uwe Stender, TriadaUS Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2012
    Boarding school students learn the consequences of poor decision-making. Last year at the Irving School--motto: "Enter Here to Be and Find a Friend"--something terrible happened. Readers will have to push through nearly 300 pages, narrated alternately by Tim Macbeth, a recently graduated senior who transferred to Irving for his final semester, and Duncan Meade, the current senior who inherited Tim's dorm room and with it, a stack of CDs containing Tim's reminiscences of that fateful school term, to find out what it was. Tim, a deeply self-conscious albino, spends an idyllic 18 hours stranded in Chicago with lovely fellow senior Vanessa en route to Irving and is totally smitten. Tim's hopes are dashed by Vanessa's commitment to her popularity and her current boyfriend, the loathsome and jealous yet handsome Patrick. Predictably, however, Tim goes along with Vanessa's furtive occasional advances, all the while whipsawing between his conviction that she cares for him and his crippling self-loathing. Duncan, meanwhile, is alternately transfixed and horrified by Tim's story, as he feels partly responsible for the terrible outcome of Tim, Vanessa and Patrick's love triangle and eventually hopes to mine it for his Tragedy Paper, Irving's multidisciplinary approach to a senior thesis. With his overreliance on obvious foreshadowing, debut author LaBan creates a mystery without thrills and parallel romances that lack any frisson. Readers will wonder, what was the point? Completely, sadly skippable. (Fiction. 12 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2013

    Gr 9 Up-When Duncan returns to the Irving School, an elite boarding school in New York, he is as preoccupied with the thought of writing his Tragedy Paper, a sort of senior thesis on the nature and magnitude of tragedy, literary and otherwise, as he is with finding his assigned single room and the "treasure" left for him by the prior year's occupant. Once he discovers his name on a small room on the end of the hall, he encounters a stack of CDs left by last year's oddest and yes, perhaps even most tragic, senior: Tim Macbeth, an albino transfer student. Thus begins a compelling narrative tapestry of Duncan's senior year woven with Tim's, come to life from one's taped voice to the other's headphones, giving all the details about last year's traditional senior game that ended in tragedy. Tim explains about meeting a beautiful girl named Vanessa after their flight from Chicago was canceled due to snow and how delighted he was to spend an innocent night in a hotel room after a romp in the snow. He confesses how startled he was to find they were to be classmates at Irving, where his freakishness would preclude a public relationship. Strong plotting and characterization make Tim and Vanessa come to life for readers as much as for Duncan, whose understanding of tragedy becomes almost overwhelmingly acute.-Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Starred Review, Booklist, November 15, 2012: "LaBan's debut -- reminiscent of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why -- compassionately illustrates the tragedy of withholding love and friendship, or worse, never having the courage to seek them out."

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    Random House Children's Books
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