Source: ARC from Engelman and Co
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
The Tragedy Paper is the first book I have finished in 2013 and it's so unbelievably good. When I first heard about it I thought it would be a good read, but I had serious problems putting it down. There were a few work nights where I stayed up until the early hours in the morning because I kept telling myself ten more pages. Tragedy Paper is told from two points of views, Tim and Duncan's.
Tim doesn't have friends in his current school and he's counting the days until he leaves, when his mom's boyfriend offers him an opportunity to go to a private school he went to. He tells Tim that living at Irving was the best experience of his life and it could be for Tim as well. Being albino has made Tim an expert at not noticing people and ignoring anyone who stares at him. Tim's trip to Irving is completely chaotic, starting when Vanessa, a girl at the airport spills a drink on him right before his flight. As if that wasn't enough his flight is cancelled. Vanessa, making small talk, finds out Tim managed to get the last room available at the airport hotel and she decides rather than spend the night at the gate she's going to share his room with him. The two get to know each other and spending a day snowed in at the airport turns out to be a great thing. Tim finds out that Vanessa is also on her way to Irving, but doesn't tell her he's going to Irving as well because he's afraid of how she would react. It's one thing to be friends with him when no one knows, but he can't deal with her rejection at school, if she shuns him for being albino. The story from Tim's point of view is perfection. He's sweet, love struck and completely fearful of what could be.
Duncan is returning to Irving as a senior. Irving has a number of traditions, the first is that each student must write a Tragedy Paper and the students work on it all year. The second is that the graduating seniors leave a gift for the new students living in their old room. Duncan gets the room nobody wants, it's where Tim lived. Tim leaves him cds telling him all about his senior year. He promises to be completely honest with Duncan and that it could be the topic for his Tragedy Paper. Duncan starts to listen, but at the same time he is afraid to relive the horrible accident that happened last year.
The Tragedy Paper is Elizabeth LaBan's debut novel and I can't tell you how much I loved it. You won't believe how wonderful it really is until you read it for yourself. Elizabeth LaBan is going on my buy anything she writes list! If you need more convincing Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Weiner, and Sarah Pekkanen all are talking about it!
To learn more about Elizabeth Laban visit: http://elizabethlaban.com