"Enter here to be and find a friend."
--Motto on the entrance of the Irving School
Tim and Duncan are connected in more than one way. First they both resided in the same room as seniors at the prestigious Irving school, just one year apart. Secondly, they both were involved in a horrific accident that involved the beautiful and popular Vanessa. An accident that affected both of them deeply; an accident full of the type of material that could be used in the Tragedy Paper, a major assignment for all seniors at the school.
Duncan arrives at the Irving School his senior year anxious to learn which room he will get and what "treasure" the previous student left him. When he discovers that Tim was the previous owner of his room, he is disappointed. And to make matters worse all Tim left him as a gift was a pile of CDs. But as it turns out the CDs tell the story of the events that led up to the accident last school year. Tim, an albino, entered the Irving School in January of his senior year having met Vanessa, the school's "it-girl", enroute. He has a crush on her and she seems to like him but there is one problem...she has a boyfriend. In the CDs Tim narrates the story of the last year and explains how Duncan came unwittingly into the it.
I listened to the audiobook of The Tragedy Paper. On the last disc Elizabeth LaBan, the author, was asked why she made Tim an albino. She said that she wanted the protagonist to have a disability but not one that made him sick. She attended a private boarding school her senior year and it was a unique but wonderful experience. She, too, had to write a tragedy paper, an assignment that she and her classmates dreaded.
It is very odd that in one summer I would read two books in which the main character is an albino. The Tragedy Paper is a very different story than The Golden Boy, which is set in Africa. But in both books readers do learn a bit about the limitations and troubles albinoes experience because of the lack of any pigment in their skin and eyes. I appreciated learning new information.
The Tragedy Paper has a lot going for it. It is a story told in two voices, Tim's and Duncan's. There is a love triangle, so common in YA lit today. There is a bit of a mystery with some tense
scenes. I liked it and hope to find teen readers for it at my school.
30 books this Summer Reading Challenge
34 / 30 books. 113% done!