The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban
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
As a whole the book was thrilling and fast paced making it the kind of book you do not want to put down, this is partly credit to how the story plays out. It is rather the opposite to the kind of book that makes you want to scream at the characters because you know what they do not and they fall into the trap anyway... no this is a book where the characters know something you do not. This unknown event is mentioned frequently throughout the book, and as the new story is told the old one is also revealed to the reader. This is why I wanted to keep reading, I needed to know what they knew.
The way the story is written I find interesting as I haven't read many like this, where the main character is left tapes where another character tells a story to him, therefore it was nice to read something new a refreshing.
The characters I found are very strong in that they are very defined to who they are, they have traits that are specific to them, which I like because it really shows how people are individual and a little if not a lot strange in ways.
One of the man characters, or voices in the book is albino, and because of this, mixed in with the story we really view things from the shoes of someone who has had it tough for a long time, and yes this makes us value what we have but I think it also highlights how we treat others. I admire this characters way in that he doesn't stare at people or pay too much attention when something happens around him cause he knows what it's like to be stared at, I think this is something people would be better off if they learnt to do this.
So overall, the plot was brilliant and the story interesting.. but I have to be honest and say that I was a little disappointed by the ending. Maybe it was just my viewpoint, but personally I felt the huge build up throughout the book made the ending seem flat... yes something tragic happened... and yes I guess it was life changing.. but I didn't feel like it was enough. I felt like the guilt of one of the characters would have meant they were more involved I guess. Maybe that's a character flaw of my own? But I wasn't best pleased with the ending of the book, it just didn't sit well with the rest of the book to me.
However I would still recommend this book, as it is thrilling and interesting, kicking up emotions different to those 'love stories' usual arouse, and after all you may have a different opinion on the ending.
If you have read The Tragedy Paper, I would love to hear your opinion on how it ends.
It would get a rating of 3.75/5 (can I do decimals?)
Reviewed for Random House, thank you for sending!
Also before you go, check out the trailer for The Tragedy Paper...