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Sixteen-year-old Blake and his younger brother, Quinn, are exact opposites. Blake is the responsible member of the family. He constantly has to keep an eye on the fearless Quinn, whose thrill-seeking sometimes goes too far. But the stakes get higher when Blake has to chase Quinn into a bizarre phantom carnival that traps its customers forever.
In order to escape, Blake must survive seven deadly rides by dawn, each of which represents a deep, personal fear -- from a carousel of stampeding animals to a hall of mirrors that changes people into their deformed reflections. Blake ultimately has to face up to a horrible secret from his own past to save himself and his brother -- that is, if the carnival doesn't claim their souls first!
Read an Excerpt
"I Go Places Sometimes"
It began the night we died on the Kamikaze.
I should have known the night was jinxed when Quinn lost his hat on the Raptor. I wasn't sure where on the roller coaster he lost it because I didn't ride with him; my friends, Russ and Maggie, did. I had volunteered to wait in line for Icewater Rapids.
"What a nice guy," Maggie had said, giving me a peck on the cheek. Well, nice guy or not, I had my own reasons.
The loss of Quinn's hat was the first trauma of the evening, but not the first of Quinn's life. Whole galaxies of traumas revolved around my brother. I...
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Reading Group Guide
by Neal Shusterman
About the Book
Teenaged Blake is scared of roller coasters due to a trauma he experienced when he was seven, but that doesn’t stop a mysterious young woman named Cassandra from giving him a free pass to a one-night-only amusement park. When his daredevil thirteen-year-old brother, Quinn, steals the pass, Blake convinces his best friends Maggie and Russ to go with him to bring him home. It doesn’t take Blake long to realize that this is no ordinary amusement park — each ride opens up into its own deadly world, and he discovers that if he doesn’t survive the night, Cassandra will keep his soul in the park forever.
• Blake, Quinn, Maggie, and Russ all have different reactions to the phantom amusement park. Describe the similarities and differences in their responses. How do you think you would respond?
• Cassandra describes the amusement park as a living thing that feeds on the souls of those who visit, lured by the thrill, and she herself is the park’s soul. What do you think this means?
• Blake goes into the amusement park to rescue his little brother, but Quinn doesn’t want to be saved. Blake wonders how can you help someone who refuses to be helped. What do you think is the answer to that question?
• Cassandra tells Blake that there’s a way out see more