From Booklist starred (November 15, 2012 (Vol. 109, No. 6))
It’s an Irving School tradition: each graduating senior chooses the incoming senior who will inherit his dorm room and leaves a treasure for the new occupant. Duncan hardly expects his treasure to be life changing. After all, it’s just a stack of CDs narrated by Tim, the strange albino student who came to Irving for the first time last year. Yet as Duncan becomes more obsessed with each successive CD, he also becomes more determined to make the most of his senior year opportunities with fellow student Daisy and as the organizer of this year’s senior game. Debut novelist LaBan takes us into private-school culture as well as the heads of two charming yet very different teenage boys and their parallel love stories. Eventually, LaBan’s ever-building suspense reaches a harrowing climax. The private school aura heightens the book’s fascination. Nonexistent parents; well-intentioned, likable faculty on the periphery; elaborate dorm rooms with overstuffed closets; and even the romantic, snow-covered campus all contribute to a setting that adds heft and intrigue. Finally, LaBan weaves a single underlying thread through both boys’ narratives—the tragedy paper. A senior-year requirement possessing its own myths and legends and assigned by the very exacting, personable Mr. Simon, the paper must answer for both the Irving graduate and the reader the ultimate question: how do you define tragedy?
Now available in the TVHS Library! Come check it out!