Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Tragedy Paper

This YA novel by Elizabeth LaBan is a wonderful read, it's about the difficulties of being accepted, of young love and tragedy as well. 

Duncan is returning to Irving School for his senior year there, he is anxious to see what room he is going to be getting and what "treasure" has been left for him. He is also concerned about a paper he has to write called the Tragedy Paper, which is basically like a thesis for the school year. He is having issues over something that happened last school year, but we don't really find out what that is until close to the end of the book. He finds out he has the corner room that is smaller than the other rooms and also the room nobody wanted. He also finds his treasure is left by Tim, the previous inhabitant of the room. There is a note and a series of cd's that Duncan listens too starting his first night there. The cd's give us an inside look at Tim's life heading to Irving for his senior year and the incidents that took place. 

We learn through the series of cd's that Tim is in love with a girl named Vanessa who has a boyfriend that is possessive and a drunk at times, there are times Vanessa seems like she is falling for Tim as well, but she never pushes away Patrick, her boyfriend, Tim always comes last. It seems to me like Vanessa is aware of Tim being in love with her and is stringing him along knowing full well she would never be with him over Patrick. 

When not listening to the cds we learn about Duncan's involvement with Daisy and read about his struggle to involve her more in his life without pushing her away by hiding what he feels is a secret. Finally we learn there was a terrible accident involving Tim and Vanessa and she almost died. We learn Duncan feels responsible for the accident and the blindness that Tim has now after the accident. Tim's point in leaving the cd's was to let Duncan know him better and in the end he tells him that he doesn't blame him at all, everything leading up to the accident as well as what happened to him and Vanessa was his fault. 

I really liked this book and would rate it a 5 out of 5 stars. It may be a YA novel but the way it's written draws in adults too. It's something I would recommend to just about anyone.

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