Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Tragedy Paper Review

The Tragedy Paper

Author: Elizabeth LaBan
Average Rating: 3.76/5.0
Personal Rating: 3.0/5.0
Page Count: 312 
Finished Reading: June
Published: January 8th, 2013

According to Goodreads:

Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love and the lengths people will go to keep their love.

My opinion:

I wasn't too impressed with this book. I dived into the book with extremely high expectations that ended up not being met. I still remember the first time that I read the summary on Goodreads before the book had been published. It sounded amazing, no, it sounded spectacular. Looking back though, I think I fell in love with it because it wasn't about vampires, werewolves, and faeries. I always tend to drift towards books that aren't the current trend. I had my vampire and werewolf fix with Twilight, so at the time I was looking for books that did not even mention those two words. 

In the book the current senior class has to write a long thesis paper or they refer to it as The Tragedy Paper. Throughout the year, their teacher Mr. Simon would drop hints about what to include if they wanted extra credit on it. The students truly had free reign with this paper, because the guidelines Mr. Simon did give were quite frank but specific. Reading about the stress and anxiety given by this paper brought back memories of a research paper that I had to complete my eighth grade year. Although, we just had to stress about it for a semester, not a whole school year. I found the two assignments quite similar. I could choose what ever topic I wanted, as long as I followed the few specific guidelines that were given. 

My favorite character out of the whole novel is Mr. Simon. He, himself, attended Irving School, and now is the teacher for Senior English. He's one of those teachers who you want to dislike, because he is the giver of a difficult and lengthy assignment. However, he teaches the material in a way that makes you want to pay attention, and do well. He is charismatic, highly intelligent, gentle, and a bachelor who can bake amazing food. Do I need to say more? 

I was really hoping that The Tragedy Paper would be a winner for me, but it just didn't capture me enough to lose myself into the world of the characters. The writing was boring, and if it wasn't for my curiosity about what happened the year before I probably would have started reading something else. This is a fine example about how I hate reading books that I and others have created hype around. (That's why I haven't read The Fault in Our Stars yet - too much hype especially now that the movie is out.) 


  1. I completely agree. I was interested at first, but it quickly lost that interest and then I just kind of put it down and never picked it back up again.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I wanted it to be so good, but I couldn't give it enough chances for it to be good. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I really like the premise behind this one too so I am sad to see that it didn't work for you on so many levels. Mr. Simon does sound great though. Great review!

    1. I was pretty disappointed, but Mr. Simon made up for some of it hahaha! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Huh this sounds intriguing. Too bad it didn't quite live up to your expectations though. Boring is never good - I'm not the most patient when it comes to full writing. Great review!

    1. The summary definitely caught my attention, but the book as a whole just fell short in places. Thank you!