New YA Novel by Student: “The Booths”

readme recently interviewed Psychology major Tiffany Whitepersonname to an interview and to share an excerpt of her new YA dystopian thriller starring a normal looking, but like pretty and white, girl who saves the world. 

The book is based in a near-apocalyptic society where children, at the age of 17, have to decide what to do with the rest of their lives. Their choices are additionally severely limited by a series of harrowing academic tests they must undergo throughout their education as young adults. The more scarred these young people are at time of their choosing, the more choices they will have. 

Our hero, or should we say heroine, is the toughest of these brave individuals and her choices are endless. She chooses her destination. Cutthroat Murders University. Otherwise known as “CMU”. Her name?  Well, her parents named her “Elizabeth”, but those around her, worshipping her, call her


Little to Zabeth’s knowledge, the tests only get worse after the choosing. She goes through the first year of her harrowing trials. Throughout that time she hears increasing rumors. Some celebratory. Some fearful, exhausted. And it’s called Carnival. 

Carnival approaches, and Zabeth swallows bile. She thinks of her first love interest. The dark one from home. and by dark we still mean white but like with black hair and a large browline. And she thinks of her second love interest. The one she’s only met recently, who is less dark but also like still really cool and stuff. 

She knows she has to choose. But first she must survive Booth, where other Cutthroat Murderers construct the most impenetrable fort they can in a week while still juggling the other evaluations they have never become accustomed to. The booths are then judged by merit. If they fail, they suffer massive nervous breakdowns.

“That’s only the first book.” Whitepersonname explained to readme. “The next two in the trilogy are, like, darker and edgier. Zabeth swallows a lot of bile.” She teased her next two books, describing a scene in which Zabeth shows her empathy for a bunch of underprivleged “choiceless” people who happen to be like, brown people. “But it’s totally not a white savior thing. It’s just how Zabeth is.”

When asked why she decided to major in Psychology instead of Creative Writing with such grand ambitions for a trilogy, Whitepersonname replied that “you don’t need a writing degree to understand the human condition”. When readme followed up by asking if she had based any of the events in the story off of events she had observed here during her time at Carngie mellon University, she looked at it quizzically. “Why would you ask that? I don’t see the resemblance.”  

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