The Tragedy Paper
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The Tragedy Paper

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  3,986 ratings  ·  892 reviews
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, Van...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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3.5 Stars

The Tragedy Paper is not my usual type of read but something about the synopsis drew me in. I was affected by this story, but in a mixed way. I guess this is to be expected when this tale revolves around the re-telling of a tragic event involving two students, Tim an albino and social outsider and Vanessa, the popular and pretty girl.

Duncan is entering into his senior year at The Irving, a boarding school in New York. He’s trying to forget an event from the last year, which he had a pa...more
THE TRAGEDY PAPER's focus is a love triangle between 17-year-olds at a boarding school. What makes it a rarity in the YA field is how "clean" it is. Anyone reading YA these days knows that, as a genre, young adult literature has grown up and skewed strongly toward more adult themes, language, and issues. Not so with Elizabeth Laban's debut novel. The book is wall to wall free of profanity or R-rated acts of any sort. It's just a straight-out, old-fashioned love story -- with a few quirks.

Quirk #...more
As the contemporary lover I am, I ADORED this book! The boarding school setting was great. The characters were beautifully fleshed out and compelling. The plot was full of twists and turns and suspense. Basically, this book had it all and a whole lot more!

Official Review:

When I originally heard about The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LeBan, I instantly added it to my wish list. It sounded like an emotional and compelling story. Better yet, I had been hearing some comparisons of it to books by John...more

This is hard to tell but the first word I have is PROFOUND. I know there isnt anyone who reads this that will not be completely blown away. The situations and the story is pretty complex and dare I say tragic. There is a part when Tim answers to Mr Simon, the English teacher, that he didn't know id he meant tragic in the literary sense. That was like boom BIG reveal. You will get what happens next. They say you give five 5 yes 5 stars to a book that leaves you thinking, maybe laughing, maybe cry...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
(This review is also posted on B's Book Blog!)

2.5 stars

Sometimes it's hard, impossible even, to know how much magnitude a choice holds until it is all over.

Duncan Meade enters the Irving School a senior this year. As a school tradition, each senior gets their own dorm room without having to share it with anyone. On the first day of school, each senior will go to the senior hall and find their room; and in the room, there will be "treasures" left behind for them from the previous senior who live...more
Oceana Fern
ARC supplied by NetGalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.

Stopped at around page sixty.

What I read of THE TRAGEDY PAPER wasn't terrible. It wasn't bad. It wasn't infuriating. It was just tremendously uninteresting and dull, and that's the worst type of novel - the type where you have nothing to say about it, because there wasn't anything unique, or noticeable, or even angering.

Because you can't look away from horrendous books, as hard as you may try. It's sti...more
It's possible that John Green has ruined me for all other YA books.

The Tragedy Paper isn't plot driven nor is it a character driven book. If anything, it's concept driven and unfortunately, both the plot and characters suffer because of it.

Duncan is a high school senior at a prestigious boarding school and has traumatizing memories of the events of the previous year. The previous inhabitant of his bedroom, one of last years seniors, Tim, has left him a stack of CDs in which he narrates the eve...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
LaBan's The Tragedy Paper is contemplative and academic, sure to appeal to readers looking for a meatier, slower-paced read. It's a strange sort of book, though one that certainly has some good company. Though I didn't exactly fly through The Tragedy Paper or become caught up in the characters, I really enjoyed reading it, curious to find out what had happened during the previous year at the Irving School.

There's a whole subset of young adult fiction about boarding schools. Something about them...more
Tim Macbeth is an albino teenager. In the middle of his senior year, Tim is transferring to the prestigious Irving School. Tim's stepfather Sid is an Irving School graduate and suggests Tim attend due to the constant agony Tim suffers from attending his regular high school. Tim has to make the journey from his home in Chicago to the Irving School in New York alone. Bad weather causes Tim's flight to be delayed which leads to a chance meeting with, Vanessa. Tim later finds out that Vanessa also a...more
Apr 09, 2013 Sandra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All teens everywhere and those who love YA.
Recommended to Sandra by: Netgalley
This review can also be found on My Fiction Nook.

"Enter here to be and find a friend."

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when requesting this ARC on Netgalley, but the summary was intriguing, and I was hoping for a bit of YA fare that was different than most.

And boy, did Elizabeth LaBan deliver. In an exceptional debut novel, she explores the theme of tragedy in both literary and emotional contexts. What is tragedy? How is it defined, and is it possible that one person's tragedy is another pers...more
Jan 15, 2013 Lisa rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
The fact that I managed to trudge my way through to the end of this novel is more a testament to my misguided faith in the rave reviews this book received than the book itself. Something like that little train going up the hill, I just continued to assure myself that things would get better because so many readers gave it 5 stars! That means it must get better, right? Sadly, no.
So, here is my review and yes, this review contains spoilers. Here is my spoiler alert: there isn’t much to spoil. The...more
Jessica Jeffers
In the last few years, John Green has kind of become the king of contemporary “realistic” teen fiction. I mean, just look at the furor caused by The Fault In Our Stars. It’s so popular that anyone who dares post a negative review on this site is descended upon by hordes of angry fans who don’t get that someone else not liking something doesn’t have to invalidate your own enjoyment of it.

I love John Green as much as anyone else, but his books often contain many of the same young-adulty elements:...more
Mics Ivashkov
Reseña: 2.5

Bueno tenía muchas ganas de leer este libro y estoy enamorada de la portada pero tengo que admitir que no fue lo que esperaba. No digo que sea malo y tampoco me arrepiento de haberlo leído pero las primeras 100 paginas me encantaron, no podía parar de leer y quería saber que pasaría a continuación pero en las ultimas 100 (el libro tiene 200 paginas) sentí que fue decayendo, se me hicieron tediosas y ya me lo quería sacar de encima.

Este libro me hizo acordar a The Fault in Our Stars o...more
It's so complicated to express my feeling toward The Tragedy Paper. To be honest it's the kind of book I generally love. Very simple, no glitz or nonsense things, strong characters, well written and it holds you until the very end. But that very end happens at the very far of the book. As much as you wonder: what was the point?

"Enter here to be and find a friend"

In the first day of his senior year in Irving School, Duncan finds in his bedroom a pile of CDs from Tim Macbeth. A year ago Tim, a 17...more
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Tim Macbeth is a bright teenager who has a lot going for him, except for the fact that socially he feels he doesn't fit in since he is an albino. His stepfather, an Irving School alumni, tells Tim that he would fit in at Irving School and convinces him to attend for his senior year since he isn't happy at his current school. This works well for Tim's family since his parents are in the process of moving. On his way to Irving School in New York, Tim finds himself practically stranded at the airpo...more
I could make some puns about "the real tragedy of this book is blah blah blah" or "how tragic that bloopity bloop de bloop" but honestly? There's nothing in Elizabeth LaBan's "The Tragedy Paper" that hasn't been covered with more depth of feeling and a better sense of the struggles of young adults in works like "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "Looking for Alaska" or "Catcher in the Rye" for that matter.

Here we have the story of Tim MacBeth the unnecessarily albino recent transfer to the un...more
As part of an ongoing tradition, every year, the previous tenant of a private high school dorm room leaves something "special" behind for the next student. Senior Tim Macbeth was a 17-year-old albino who had been at the prestigious Irving School for only his last semester. His legacy to Duncan, who now has his room was a series of CDs telling his story of love, loss and growth during his time at Irving. Duncan, having been a part of Tim's story became completely engrossed and spent much of his t...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
After racing through this book today I have some mixed emotions about "The Tragedy Paper." On one hand, I really enjoyed it. The way the story was told was innovative and refreshing. The basic premise of the story is a 17 year old boarding school student receives a set of CDs hidden in his new room at school. The CDs tell the story of the former tenant of his room, a lonely albino student enthralled with a popular girl, and the "tragedy" that befell them. The writing of the book was very compell...more
Wow, this book was highly recommended by my friend, Randi and is on the PA Young Reader's Choice List this year. For high school English teachers and senior students this book has everything to keep you riveted; there is a love triangle, senior English classes, books, assignments (writing style and elements), Shakespeare, and high school drama. But what I really liked was Elizabeth LaBan's writing and how she told the story through a current senior, Duncan, who is also listening to CDs left espe...more
Lisa (A Life Bound By Books)
I can't even tell you how much I loved this book. Without a doubt it's in the top 10 books for 2013. I was so emotionally invested in the characters and the story. The writing is amazing, there is so much emotion throughout! There were tears a few times as well. It's just THAT good. I highly recommend this title to any and all comtemp fans everywhere. Full review to follow.
Somewhat similar to "Thirteen Reasons Why." In this case, it is a single person who is given a series of CDs explaining the chronology behind a major incident that occured the previous year at this school. There is a lot of foreshadowing but it isn't until the last few chapters that you discover what actually happened.

Tim MacBeth is an albino and has spent his whole life being gawked at. His mom and stepdad are heading out of the country for months and have sold their house to fund their travel...more
On Duncan’s first day as a senior at Irving School, a boarding school in New York State, he’s disappointed that he’s been assigned what is clearly the worst room on the floor. Not to mention that the former occupant was the weird albino kid, Tim, who only reminds Duncan of the unfortunate events of last winter that still haunt him. Every year, seniors leave a treasure for next years seniors in their room, and Duncan’s is a clear disappointment: nothing but CD’s. But Duncan’s treasure actually pr...more
The Rusty Key
Reviewed by Rusty Key Writer Jordan B. Nielsen

Recommended for: Both boys and girls ages 12 and Up. Though the story features two male protagonists there is nothing in the plot or characters that would make this story particularly alienating to girls. And though the main characters are both seniors in high school, there is no sexuality or vulgarity to speak of, only a minimal amount of downplayed teenage drinking.

One Word Summary: Unsound.

The immediate and obvious sense of The Tragedy Paper is t...more
When Duncan arrived for his senior year at the prestigious Irving School, he knew things would be different from his previous year. For a start the seniors got special privileges, with them having rooms of their own, though with a shared bathroom. There was also a special tradition which continued every year, where the previous occupier of the room left a ‘treasure’ for the new senior. This treasure could be anything from a slice of old pizza, to a double pass to the movies, or a voucher to a re...more
1.5 stars

I was so close to just barely liking this book! But even then, it was a slow and extremely boring read. The concept of tragedy could have been so heart-breaking, but no, readers are left with watered-down characters and the most uneventful plot ever. I was left having no feelings for any of the characters, none of whom had any depth. With the premise of the novel centralized around literary tragedy, this novel could have been one of those emotionally draining, world-changing stories! Bu...more
Jan 15, 2013 J rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: High school students
Shelves: my-favs
Mesmerizing, compelling, brilliant, and haunting----a tragedy in a literary sense and a tragedy on a personal level. After reading this story, I am convinced that we write our own tragedy paper----the seconds, minutes, hours and days that compose our lives and the choices of magnitude we make everday, all day which affect those we care about the most. But One's tragedy paper does not have to end on a solemn note, leaving One with issues of guilt if the Author is willing to identify his or her ow...more
Andrea (Cozy Up With A Good Read)
This review was originally published on Cozy Up With A Good Read

What constitutes a tragedy? This is a question that Mr. Simon asks his senior class every year, and causes them to think about the biggest project they will have to do for school 'The Tragedy Paper'. In this story, the senior students must write a 20 page paper about tragedy using an event in their lives and connecting it with literature. This paper is a huge part of the story, because you see how this story connects with the paper,...more
Raina {The LUV'NV}
I immediately picked up the ARC of this because of the promising summary and, quite honestly, because I needed a break from YA novels with the typically hot or mysterious male lead. I'm also a sucker for tragedies, and boy, did Elizabeth LaBan deliver.

She brilliantly explored the definition of a tragedy in the literary context, both with the story's concept and through her characters, who are assigned by their senior English teacher to write a tragedy paper. The book's main character is aptly na...more
Not knowing the who, the what, or the whatever of a novel and starting it, is not a rare thing for me. Doing things this way has yielded some pretty terrible reads for me, but this method has also led me to discover some pretty good ones too (Burning Blue and The Story Teller are among the latter.) This one’s in the middle, but leaning toward the good the more I think of it. So, while I can’t say I loved this like I did the last author debut I read (Infinite Sky), I will say that this one pulled...more
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Henrico Youth Boo...: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan 3 10 Jan 30, 2014 02:42PM  
Tragic Hero 2 22 Apr 13, 2013 06:06PM  
YAB Gabbers: Tragic Hero 1 3 Feb 06, 2013 09:53AM  
South African Boo...: The Tragedy Paper (No Spoilers) 2 12 Jan 16, 2013 09:56AM  
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“I had the distinct feeling that the universe was out of whack and normal rules didn't apply. I sort of liked it.” 15 likes
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