Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: The Tragedy Paper - Elizabeth Laban

Where I got it: ARC from AmazonVine
Rating: 3 stars  
Cover Rating: 3.5 stars (I like the colors and such, but it's not totally fitting.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 304 p.
Add it: Goodreads

Duncan is sort of excited to find his Senior dorm room and the treasure left behind by the previous occupant. Unfortunately he finds out that he gets the smallest, darkest room. The room that the albino kid, Tim, had. His "treasure" is some CDs. Duncan is pretty disappointed, but pops in the first CD. Tim's voice comes on over the speakers and says that he's going to help Duncan write his tragedy paper. The tragedy paper is pretty much THE paper that the seniors have to write. It's the culmination of everything they'll learn in Senior English. Tim is not telling Duncan a new story, just filling in some of the details that Duncan didn't know.

I was a bit disappointed in the "tragedy". I sort of expected it to be a bit more...tragic. Not that terrible things didn't happen, I just felt like it was built up to be significantly worse.

I liked the CD aspect, switching between perspectives. It was a bit like 13 Reasons Why except Tim wasn't blaming anyone else for his troubles. It's an interesting way to tell a story and I really enjoy it. I don't want every book to be written this way, but it really worked out for this story.

I didn't like how little there was about Duncan though. I know that the book would have to be really long to include two full length stories, but I felt like the amount of Duncan that we see is off. It should have been more or less, but not the amount given. It made Duncan seem unintentionally underdeveloped. He starts a relationship, seemingly out of the blue, and it doesn't really seem to add to the story.

I was definitely intrigued enough to keep turning pages to see the conclusion, but it was a bit disappointing when I go there. Maybe this would have been better as just Tim's story.

First Line:
"As Duncan walked through the stone archway leading into the senior dorm, he had two things on his mind: what 'treasure' had been left behind for him and his Tragedy Paper."

Favorite Line:
"It almost felt to him like he was reentering a bad dream, but he couldn't help himself."

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