The Tragedy Paper, by Elizabeth LaBan

Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Tragedy Paper, by Elizabeth LaBan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads Summary: Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska, Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author, calls Elizabeth LaBan’s The Tragedy Paper “a beguiling and beautifully written tale of first love and heartbreak.” 

It follows the story of 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 and the lengths people will go to keep their secrets.


   From the first chapter in, this made me think of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why. It was so similar, and the idea wasn't exactly the same, but there was a total resemblance. 

  This book made me feel so happy and excited, even though it was a total tragedy. From the beginning, the author made it seem like a total replica, and this made me afraid because I didn't want the exact same book and idea as Jay Asher's astonishing novel that has stunned millions.

   Later on, Elizabeth LaBan made her idea/concept clear, and the book revolved to its own world and it went a different direction than I thought it would. The idea was bittersweet and captivating.

    The Plot: One word- amazingfluffiness. I loved it and it was written so differently than other contemporary-tragedy stories. This had some meaning and something upsetting behind it, but it felt so powerful and it sent a message across to all of us, all in different ways and outcomes. I was never bored (only in Duncan's POV at times) with this, and I would read it over and over again if someone begged me to. The ending hit me hard, I have to say it. It was unexpected, although I did know that a tragedy would occur sooner or later, just look at the cover. It's too mysterious and dark to be a fun-loving sweet chick-lit contemporary. And there you go, I predicted for something huge and upsetting to occur, but nothing like this.

    CHARACTERS- Tim: I surprisingly really adored this guy, he has to be my favourite character out of all of them. Tim had a soul, he was real and special to me unlike Vanessa, who you'll hear about in a minute. Although Tim was the popular top-notch guy that we all have in our schools or constantly read about, he had that something about him, and I loved him too much to see his dark side at times.

Duncan: I wouldn't describe Duncan as a character who had a personality that felt real. This guy was boring and I didn't like how he had his own POV. If Vanessa had her own POV, maybe I would've liked her better and find out about the real her. I completely understand that the author tried to create some sort of "past and present POV relation," but I didn't like it. It was too confusing, and reading Duncan's POV just bored me at times, because he's really a boring person looking for some sort of adventure that he didn't get. He brought on the legacy of the Tragedy Paper, and that's all.


   Byeee. I don't want ya here, understood? Vanessa was a really bad character, all of the suffering and problems were about her, and this "chick" didn't even realize it. She was so into her "fab world" to even realize that people were stressing out because of her. Maybe none of this would've occurred if she didn't meet Tim in the first place, but I guess you could say that fate has its plans. Meh. 

Romance: This book included a very sweet and cute romance. It was awesome to read about it because the characters had so much passion and love for each other... Tim and Vanessa were a perfect match, despite Vanessa's dumb decisions. But, they attracted one another and I love where it picked off at in the end, even though things happened. You feel as if the romance is going on forever, even after the book has ended. Romances like this rarely occur, and this book just had it.

Side Thoughts and Overall: If I Stay and Thirteen Reasons Why. This book is a mix of those two, with a little more spice and different ideas. But they're all going at the same thing here. If you adored those two as much as I did, then The Tragedy Paper will certainly please you and your high stern book standards. 

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