This is a very unique story told by the very unique voice of a 10 year-old, who deals with issues way beyond his years. I'm not sure if it's shelved a...moreThis is a very unique story told by the very unique voice of a 10 year-old, who deals with issues way beyond his years. I'm not sure if it's shelved as middle grade or not, but it felt more for teens or adults. It has a lot of dark and sad content with a level of maturity higher than the character's age.
Jamie's older sister was the victim of a terrorist attack when he was just five, so he barely remembers Rose. And his family has fallen apart. His father's hate and sadness is most of the darkness in the book. To be completely honest, while I really enjoyed the originality of the story, it felt heavily depressing at times. I struggled with the situation til the very last page, I felt I needed to reach out and pull this poor kid from his awful life.
The prose was flawless, and the voice was very fresh and the characters were vivid and utterly believable. The story itself was extremely believable, and that's part of what depressed me a bit, that I know that kids live like this and worse, and I'm not sure I want to be reminded of that. But then came the last chapter and the very last words and the joy of those moments made it all worth it.
Overall, I would recommend this for the older crowd, Young Adults. I think it might be too much to deal for a middle grader. But it is a very compelling read, very well woven, and enjoyable for those who enjoy darkish stories. (less)
Wow. This was certainly an out-of-my-comfort-zone experience. Which does not make it a bad one at all. Starting from the fact that the main character...moreWow. This was certainly an out-of-my-comfort-zone experience. Which does not make it a bad one at all. Starting from the fact that the main character is a severely disabled kid who happens to be very smart but no one knows it. Shawn's voice really pulled me in because he managed to make his life interesting and witty, even though his news is mostly all bad news. He's convinced his dad is plotting to kill him. And, of course, there's nothing he can do about it.
Besides the initial disturbing wtf-moment I got when I read this, as the novel goes on you come to understand the dilemma both characters are faced with. Flawless writing and a unique premise make this novel more than worth the while. I also read it started out as a horror novel, and wow, I'm so glad it ended up taking a different route.
What I enjoyed the most though, besides the voice, was the ending. I love the open, make-your-pick endings, although since there's a sequel coming we kind of know now which is the right one. (Life Happens Next, releases today.) Nevertheless, the story was eye-opening and thought-provoking and something completely unique in YA. This short, quick read is definitely more memorable than most of the contemporary books I've read.(less)
I will start with the fact that this is the first book I've read that involves an albino protag. This was a different aspect that I enjoyed learning a...moreI will start with the fact that this is the first book I've read that involves an albino protag. This was a different aspect that I enjoyed learning about. Tim's voice was very unique and really interesting. The whole Duncan aspect though, kept irking me and I would have preferred if the book was simply about Tim.
In a way it was different from what I am used to reading in YA. It seemed more forced in a certain way, like the author was trying too hard to make it seem a YA book. But that may be just because the language was very clean and Tim seemed more mature than kids his age.
The Tragedy Paper is about an assignment that goes by the same name in a private boarding school. It is the hardest assignment students have to face during high school at this school. Tim decides to tell Duncan his story (of the previous year) for his assignment. So in this story within a story a tragic love triangle develops and keeps the reader at the edge of their seat until the last bit of Tim's story.
Overall, this is a story that will appeal to YA readers and adults alike, that is very reminiscent of YA classics in a contemporary way and that will entertain any one who picks it up.(less)