Some of Their Parts

Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Closed Access

Degree Name

MFA in Writing

First Advisor

Rattawut Lapcharoensap


SOME OF THEIR PARTS is a YA coming-of-age / supernatural investigation novel about competitive academics and the stress of the American college application system. The full text will be about 60,000 words.

For as long as she can remember, Vivi has been preparing for college. She studies. She volunteers. She finds tasteful extracurriculars. She knows what’s expected of her, but she’s never really felt it—until, in her junior year, her mother’s new professorship means Vivi gets sent off to a boarding school in southern Vermont. A school that mixes its human students with amalgams.

Amalgams are people, same as Vivi—only instead of being born, they’ve been sewn together from carefully-chosen corpses and copper thread: children hand-crafted by their parents. When Vivi stumbles across a group of them practicing for an academic competition called scholars’ bowl, she finds herself tumbling into a world of deep rivalries, unsettling teenage swagger, and (perhaps, begrudgingly) the best friends she’s ever had.

But Southridge Academy’s sco-bo team has seen better days. Their star player has vanished, and his disappearance has scattered the team’s veterans to the wind. One of the few who’s left seems to be haunting Vivi’s footsteps—delivering cryptic warnings before her practices and skulking about the campus at night. And someone in her dormitory seems to want Vivi gone, too, if the overtuned heater and constant rearrangements of her fridge magnets are any indication.

If Vivi wants to get to the bottom of this, she needs time—and support. But the pressure is on for her to perform, she’s growing increasingly concerned that the one teammate she’s actually friends with is nursing an unwanted crush, and—most worryingly—every hour she’s thinking about ghosts and missing persons is an hour she isn’t preparing her college applications.

SOME OF THEIR PARTS is a story about friendship, competition, and the stifled anguish of being a seventeen-year-old who wants to change the world. It may appeal to readers who enjoyed the investigative team dynamics of Trenton Lee Stewart’s The Mysterious Benedict Society or the quiet desperation of aspirational otherness in Charles Yu’s Interior Chinatown.

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