"A tragedy is a play or literary work in which the main character - that would be the tragic hero - suffers greatly and is brought to ruin. Usually this suffering and ruin come about because of the main character's own flaw or weakness and his or her inability to deal with the lot he or she has been given."
Duncan is a typical, marginal student: never part of the popular crowd, shy around girls. His problems revolve about correcting embarrassing, tragic mistakes he made last year and hooking up with the girl he likes. I didn't enjoy reading about Duncan very much, I thought he was too dramatic and exaggerating things. His problems looked so trivial, especially compared to Tim.
Tim was to me a real star of The Tragedy Paper. I never read any book before where main (or side) characters is albino and I was shocked to read about all the problems they have blending into normal life. Of course, I was aware about people staring and that they are probably avoided or teased a lot, but I didn't know about health issues albino's have. Like, for example, that they have eyes sensitive to light and have to wear sunglasses or they can go blind.
Chapter alternate between Duncan and Tim and I could not get to the next chapter about Tim fast enough... Although this book is not the genre I usually read, it was a real page-turner to me and I devoured it in a day. Still, I was annoyed a lot because I thought that Tim's and Duncan's actions and choices were stupid most of the time and that they sacrificed too much to get approval from the popular crowd. This is one of the reasons why I don't read ya contemporary books, I usually can't relate to characters or their decisions.
The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan was intense, beautifully written, emotional, tragic story about growing up. Although it was not my cup of tea, I would recommend buying this to young adults (male and female) to show them that being accepted by popular crowd is not the most important thing in the world.
I recommend this book to fans of: young adult contemporary novels with school setting and male main characters. Be warned, the romance/love story although exists, is not main focus of this book.