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The Tragedy Paper

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  8,317 ratings  ·  1,432 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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Holly Honestly, I don't think this is a must read. I went into it thinking that but the "tragedy" really isn't so much a tragedy as it is a mildly bad event…moreHonestly, I don't think this is a must read. I went into it thinking that but the "tragedy" really isn't so much a tragedy as it is a mildly bad event. Very anticlimatic. The thing that kept me reading was waiting for that tragedy and the writing style of the whole book.(less)
Alyssa Definitely New York, specifically Westchester county.
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  8,317 ratings  ·  1,432 reviews

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Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley-e-book
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
Jun 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2012, ya
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 #
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Bookphenomena (Micky)
DNF @25%.

Dull as dishwater and I like my water far more interesting. Annoying narrative voice and characters that were gray, pale gray and light gray.
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing

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
(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 liv
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
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, bookclub
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
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
Jessica Jeffers
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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:
Feb 13, 2013 rated it it was ok
The Tragedy Paper is a book that I would have LOVED as a teenager; it is a prime example of my favorite genre at the time: YA books about teens with REAL PROBLEMS. The book opens with Duncan going back to boarding school for his senior year. One of the school's traditions is that seniors from the previous year leave a gift for them in their dorm rooms. While Duncan's friend get a bottle of whiskey, Duncan gets a stack of CD's from Tim, "that albino kid." We are told that SOMETHING TERRIBLE happe ...more
Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi/James
Review also posted at Ja čitam, a ti?

Even though this book sat on my shelf for over a year and even though I felt pinch of guilt for not reading it, now when I finally read it I regret nothing! The day I picked up this book and started reading it was better than any before it.

Reason for that lay in the fact that after a whole semester of reading and discussing Shakespeare I was ready to understand all the jokes here, together with all the concepts and themes presented in his works that could b
Alli Chin
Aug 07, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
Carly Roth
Jul 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
OH.MY.GOD. I can't believe how bad this book was. I came in with mediocre expectations, since both my sisters gave it a 3 or 4 star rating. If I had not been on a vacation and had other book options I would've ended it at 30%. I never got the vibe "Oh I just NEED to know what happens" I got the vibe "I honestly couldn't care less about what happens". The ending was the most disappointing thing ever! I mean, WHAT?!?! BOOOOOO that's what I say to the ending. I was trying to finish this book on the ...more
Polly Roth
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it
I got really into The Tragedy paper, and consequently ended up speeding through its pages to get to the big reveal at the end. The entirety of the book is spent alluding to this "terrible tragedy" that changed the course of everything, and LaBan did a terrific job creating a need-to-know-what-happened-next type atmosphere. But I have to say, when I finally learned what the tragedy was, it was a major let down. First of all, one of the main characters Duncan spends all of the book feeling guilty ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Apr 16, 2013 rated it it was ok

from the beginning, those first 100 pages or so, they really grab you. honest. for sure, this was going to be a 4/5 book. then i kept reading. now, that's the end of the praise.

blend "the outsiders" with "that was then, this is now". okay? now blend "13 reasons why" with "looking for alaska". got that? okay. so now, what i need you to do is mix "ethan frome" and "a seperate peace" with "dead poets' society".

cool. ready? alright... now be mediocre.

be mediocre in your inventiveness, story arc
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
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I originally started reading this novel mostly due to the fact that the author, Elizabeth LaBan, was coming to our school and I was going to get a chance to go to a workshop during class (I did go, and it was really cool, for anyone who's wondering - Elizabeth LaBan is like, super nice). While I was reading it I heard mixed reviews from most of my friends. The overwhelming message I got from those reviews was that the book was okay - not great, not horrible, but fine. There was a lot of talk abo ...more
Ashley (JaffaCaffa)
(First off I'm writing this super late so apologies for any grammar mistakes.)

2.5 Stars: This book definitely wasn't horrible, but it wasn't as gripping and emotional impacting as I had hoped. The relationships in this book were very unhealthy. It almost reminded me of (500) Days of Summer, where it seems to be romantic and lovely from a distance, but you quickly realize the obsessiveness and unhealthy relationships the characters have.

I liked the fact that Tim was albino and had to deal with th
Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, netgalley
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
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. ...more
lucy  Ü
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Rusty Key
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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Henrico Youth Boo...: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan 3 21 Jan 30, 2014 02:42PM  

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