Title: The Tragedy Paper
Author: Elizabeth LaBan (website, Twitter)
Genre: YA contemporary
I am going to gush. You have been warned.
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.
I almost cannot put into words how much I enjoyed this book. It was amazing. I have no idea how she did it but I completely lost myself while reading. I loved the dual narratives...the story within a story was interesting and made me look forward to continuing the book without a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter like some books have. Oh how I loved this story.
Tim. I wanted to both hug him and strangle him at the same time. It seemed as if he made himself an outcast in his own mind even when people did like him. Vanessa was my least favorite character because I felt like she was so very wishy washy. Probably a typical teen girl but still. Make up your dang mind already. I didn't get a feel for Duncan until later in the book and I wanted to find out just how he fit into Tim and Vanessa's story.
While it had great writing, excellent characters and wonderful dialoge, my favorite aspect of the book was the changing viewpoints. The chapters alternated between Duncan listening to Tim tell his story and Duncan's present day. Each time Duncan "was pulled back to reality" I was as well. I was completely lost in the story and completely taken with all of the characters.
Another 5 star book for me this year and I fully anticipate that this will be one of my favorite books for the entire year. Amazing.