Saturday, April 20, 2013
THE TRAGEDY PAPER by Elizabeth Laban.
Duncan is a senior. That means he, along with his classmates, have some perks: they are each given a room in the senior wing. The previous occupant leaves behind something for the new occupant. Sometimes it is liquor, sometimes tickets to a concert. Duncan’s room belonged to Tim MacBeth (yes, he has heard all the jokes already, thank you), an albino teen whose first and only year at the boarding school ended in tragedy. Tim has left Duncan a series of CDs on which he has recorded the events that led to the tragedy. Of course Duncan in immediately drawn into the story that tracks back and forth in time from Tim’s senior year to Duncan’s.
As students enter into the Irving School, they walk under the school’s motto: “Enter here to be and find a friend.” For Tim, the first friend was actually made before his arrival at the school when he and the incredibly beautiful and self assured Vanessa are stuck in an airport with now cancellations. Tim ends up inviting Vanessa (or did she invite herself?) to stay with him in the hotel room he manages to get once their flights are cancelled. When he finds out she, too, is headed to the Irving School where he boyfriend is also a BMOC, Tim knows that his immediate attraction to her will be one way. However, Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Damocles Sword called The Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher. This same sword now hangs over Duncan who, as he listens to Tim’s story, knows quite a bit about tragedy.
Tie this one to LOOKING FOR ALASKA, 13 REASONS WHY, and THE DISREPUTABLE HISTORY OF FRANKIE LANDAU BANKS.