Summary: Duncan is disappointed when his senior dorm assignment is not only the smallest room on the hall but also the former dorm of the albino loner, Tim Macbeth.  Duncan is surprised to discover that Tim left him a collection of CDs narrating the events from last year – Tim’s transfer to The Irving School, his secret romance with Vanessa (the girlfriend of the most popular guy at Irving), and the one night everyone is trying so desperately to forget.

Thoughts:  A boarding school, a senior thesis, secrets and forbidden love … I was sold on the premise alone, and, once I began, couldn’t put it down. The Tragedy Paper is a smart teen novel that tells two parallel stories.  Duncan’s senior year experiences and romance are played out alongside Tim’s retelling of events from the previous year.  The alternating points of view are well-crafted and add intrigue and depth to the story.  The isolated boarding school, the cold winter, and Tim’s honest narration give the novel a captivating, melancholy mood, somehow feeling both contemporary and historical. Readers will stay engaged through the end wanting to know how things ultimately play out and will likely be surprised by the outcome.  The familiar subjects of teen love, heartbreak, and the need for acceptance are freshly explored in this compelling debut novel.

Read The Tragedy Paper if you …

  • enjoy books set in boarding schools
  • like books about inspiring teachers
  • are a fan of John Green
  • enjoyed Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why
  • have ever felt like an outsider
  • prefer your realistic young adult fiction with some depth & intrigue
  • enjoy discover exciting new authors.