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Extended Audio Sample The Tragedy Paper, by Elizabeth Laban Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,397 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Laban Narrator: Nick Chamian, Jesse Bernstein Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Looking for Alaska, Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author, calls Elizabeth LaBan’s The Tragedy Paper “a beguiling and beautifully written tale of first love and heartbreak.”

It follows the story of 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 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 secrets.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • HelloGiggles.com
    "The Tragedy Paper is about how hard it can be not to belong, and how far we’ll go just to feel like we do. It’s an absolutely fantastic book."
  • School Library Journal, February 2013:
  • Strong plotting and characterization make Tim and Vanessa come to life for readers as much as for Duncan, whose understanding of tragedy becomes almost overwhelmingly acute."
  • Booklist, February 2013:
  • An engaging tale told by a boy rendered an outsider by his appearance, full of passion and almost unrequited love, signifying the heartbreaks and melodramas of high school."
  • The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 2013:
  • Entertainment Weekly, January 4, 2013:
    "LaBan's debut -- reminiscent of Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why -- compassionately illustrates the tragedy of withholding love and friendship, or worse, never having the courage to seek them out.
    Starred Review, Booklist, November 15, 2012:
    “Debut novelist LaBan takes us into the private school culture as well as the heads of two charming yet very different teenage boys and their parallel love stories… Nonexistent parents, well-intentioned, likeable faculty on the periphery, elaborate dorm rooms with overstuffed closets, even the romantic, snow-covered campus all contribute to a setting that adds to the story’s heft and intrigue.”
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 8, 2013:
  • This novel is relatable and unusually gripping, even for an older reader - full of slings and arrows and outrageous fortune...Romantic love, hard work, loyalty, friendship, suffering: Like the great tragedies that inspired the novel, it's all here. LaBan's take on adolescent life is rendered in the sweet, intelligent tradition of John Irving, but without any of the prep-school genre's self-satisfaction."
  • “A beguiling and beautifully written tale of first love and heartbreak.”

    Jennifer Weiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “LaBan’s debut—reminiscent of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why—compassionately illustrates the tragedy of withholding love and friendship, or worse, never having the courage to seek them out.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “This novel is relatable and unusually gripping—LaBan’s take on adolescent life is rendered in the sweet, intelligent tradition of John Irving, but without any of the prep-school genre’s self-satisfaction.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “A playful element infuses the story as tragic themes described in English class play out in the characters’ dramas, adding texture to this strong debut.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Strong plotting and characterization make Tim and Vanessa come to life for readers as much as for Duncan, whose understanding of tragedy becomes almost overwhelmingly acute.”

    School Library Journal

  • “The individual stories…are meaty enough to keep readers pushing through to the very end.”

    VOYA

  • “Nonexistent parents, well-intentioned, likeable faculty on the periphery, elaborate dorm rooms with overstuffed closets, even the romantic, snow-covered campus all contribute to a setting that adds to the story’s heft and intrigue.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An engaging tale told by a boy rendered an outsider by his appearance, full of passion and almost unrequited love, signifying the heartbreaks and melodramas of high school.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Cathy (Ms. Sweeney) | 1/30/2014

    " Interesting YA book, set at a private school. Fast read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Brooke | 1/13/2014

    " This book is amazing! It's been a long time since I read a book that flew by. As the reader you become Duncan in the sense that you need to hear the rest of Tim's story. Not only to find out how everything plays out, but also because he's an amazing storyteller. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Bonny | 1/6/2014

    " While the premise was intriguing and the character of Tim had some potential, overall the characters were underdeveloped and the ending was very anti-climactic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Rachael Telford | 12/13/2013

    " I'd like to give this three and a half stars. I liked the book a lot, but the authorell into some of the YA lit cliches a little. I wish the ending had fleshed out just a little ore. But the story kept me interested and I would reccomendation it to others "

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