The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth Laban

When Duncan returns to the elite Irving School for his senior year, all he wants to do is forget what happened the year before. His focus, he tells himself, should be on graduating, having fun, and finishing the dreaded “Tragedy Paper”, an assignment traditionally given by Irving’s senior English teacher. However, once Duncan is back on school grounds, nothing goes as it should. He gets the worst room in the dorms, his relationship with almost-girlfriend, Daisy, is weird, and he gets the feeling his friends are treating him differently. Worst of all, Duncan receives a gift from Tim Macbeth, an albino student who was a senior the previous year. Soon, Duncan is sucked into Tim’s last semester at Irving, reliving everything he hoped he’d forget.

I was super disappointed in this one. While it was sort of interesting and I didn’t have a problem finishing it, I also didn’t care that much about it. It has a great set up — Tim leaves CDs for Duncan that tell his story. Creepy, really. But the plot was incredibly predictable, the secrets revealed not that juicy, and just all around meh. If you’d like a quick read that has a little bit of action, go for it. Who knows — you may love it!

Rating: 2.5/5

*YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2014

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.


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