23 Following


The Tragedy Paper - Elizabeth LaBan Somewhat similar to "Thirteen Reasons Why." In this case, it is a single person who is given a series of CDs explaining the chronology behind a major incident that occured the previous year at this school. There is a lot of foreshadowing but it isn't until the last few chapters that you discover what actually happened.

Tim MacBeth is an albino and has spent his whole life being gawked at. His mom and stepdad are heading out of the country for months and have sold their house to fund their travel business. Stepdad Sid is a graduate of the Irving School, a small boarding school in rural New York. He pulls strings so Tim can be admitted for his final semester of high school.

Mom and Sid are already in Italy when Tim locks the house for the last time and catches a cab to the airport. On the plane he is attracted to a girl about his own age flying in 1st class by herself. There is a medical emergency and his plane has to return to the terminal before it ever takes off. The entire airport is shut down due to inclement weather and Tim and the rest of the world are stranded. He calls mom and she uses her connections to get him the last hotel room at the airport.

He offers to share the room with the girl from 1st class and she accepts. They play in the snow and eat room service and develop a rapport. Then, after Vanessa mentions her boyfriend, he discovers that she is also an Irving School student (amazing coincidence...). In spite of the room having double beds, for some reason he sleeps in the tub. At the time he doesn't tell her that they're classmates, although he does text her after they wind up on separate flights the next day.

Jumping forward to the next school year, one of the Irving traditions is that when they move out every senior leaves a present in their room for the next person to live there. They can range from elaborate to negligible. A boy named Duncan inherits Tim's room. His "gift" is a series of CD recordings of Tim explaining his responsibility behind the incident that happened the previous year. Duncan gets sucked into Tim's records to the detriment of his academics and relationship with his girlfriend.

Vanessa's boyfriend Patrick is a Cro-Magnon controlling jock. He's even told her that they are going to the same college together. Vanessa doesn't agree but she won't speak up because Patrick's mom recently died (i.e. I can't break up with him because his mom just died and he'd be devastated!). She tosses occasional bits of friendship towards Tim but ignores him most of the time because of Patrick. However, it's enough for Tim to envision a possible future with her. One night he openly defies Patrick, setting into effect the event hinted at in his tapes. Duncan was present when it happened, but now he's the only one who knows the full story of what lead up to it.