The Tragedy Paper
by Elizabeth Laban
Genre: Young Adult
Published: 1/8/13 by Random House Children's Books
3 out of 5 stars
When Duncan arrives in his dorm room for his senior year at the Irving school, he is greeted with a gift from the room's former inhabitant, an albino named Tim Macbeth. Tim's gift for Duncan is a set of audio CDs, on which he has recorded the story of his tragic senior year and the love of his life, Vanessa. As Duncan attempts to write his own Tragedy Paper for his senior English class, he listens to Tim's story and learns more fully about what tragedy really means.
I found this book to be interesting at first, but I felt like it lost a lot of steam at the end. The entire book is focused on the tragedy that happened to Tim during his senior year. The incident is referenced constantly throughout the book. And while the reader does have an idea as to what happened, the exact details of the event are not revealed until late in the book. This reveal was anti-climactic, and the rest of the book went downhill quickly from there. I think the author was trying to impart some profound thought with this story, but I didn't get it. When the book ended, I was left thinking, "that's it?" I was expecting something more and bigger from the ending.
I did enjoy the story from the point of view of an albino character. I don't believe I have read a story about an albino before, and I found it to be interesting. I also liked the relationship between Tim and Vanessa, and I was sad that it was not more fully developed. Perhaps their unfinished story is part of the "tragedy" element of this story, but it left me unsatisfied in the end.