The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

The Tragedy Paper
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This is another one of those books that I just cannot imagine reading from an actual book because it worked so well as an audiobook.  Although the plot is not remotely the same, this audiobook reminded me of Thirteen Reasons Why because it had one narrator for the main character and another narrator for a person who left behind a recording.  I’m not sure what this says about me, but I really enjoy “listening in” on these recordings and the reactions they invoke from the main character! 😉

At the prestigious Irving [boarding] School, there was a tradition wherein each of the graduating seniors left a gift for the incoming senior who would take over his/her dorm room.  When Duncan moved in to his room, he found a set of CDs that chronicled the previous semester as experienced by former senior Tim Macbeth.  From the onset of the story, it was pretty evident that something bad had happened to Tim during the previous school year and that Duncan was, somehow, involved.  These CDs were Tim’s way of sharing his story so that Duncan would finally know everything that led up to that event and why it was that he didn’t think Duncan should feel responsible.  I thought it was pretty genius the way the story unfolded around Mr. Simon’s “tragedy paper” assignment… And talk about suspense!  Although Tim made allusions to complications he was having due to his albinism, I was shocked when I finally discovered the whole truth of what had happened.

The Hypnotist’s Love Story by Liane Moriarty

The Hypnotist's Love Story
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I really enjoy this author, and this book did not disappoint.  It had just enough funny and crazy to keep me turning the page, and the situations she wrote about in this book rang very true.  I  loved, loved that the main character was a hypnotherapist.  It was so interesting to see her work with her clients in the story.  The other fun thing about this author is that she writes about Australia — it’s so interesting to  learn about the locations where her characters live.

Flunked by Jen Calonita

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I have always loved fairy tales, though I have often wondered how it was that all the “big bads” got away with so much.  Why was it that no one ever stepped up and did anything about the people who abused their power?  Sure, Cinderella got away from her terrible stepmother — but why wasn’t her stepmother held accountable for the things she had done?  This story goes outside the box and brings a little bit of justice into the mix with the Fairy Tale Reform School.  The teachers at FTRS — such as Cinderella’s stepmother, the sea witch from the Little Mermaid, and the wolf from Little Red Riding Hood — are actually working to atone for their bad deeds.  Such a clever premise!

Readers are introduced to the intricacies of the FTRS via Gilly, a petty thief who has been sentenced to three months at FTRS.  As the child of a poor cobbler whose business has hit a rough patch, thanks to fairy godmothers producing glass slippers for the royal princesses, Gilly tries to justify her thefts as necessary for the survival of her hungry siblings.  As soon as she gets to FTRS, she tries to think of a plan to run away so that she can get back to taking care of her siblings, but her plan is thwarted.  Luckily, her attempted escape helps her to befriend another student, Jax, who is also friends with her roommate, Kayla.  The three students soon discover that the “formerly” villainous teachers might not be as reformed as everyone else believes and set out to discover what they’re up to before it’s too late.  I recommend this story to fans of Adam Gidwitz’ Grimm series.