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The main character of this book is Blake. He's always the one that has to save his younger brother Quinn from getting into trouble.
In the beginning of the book, Blake is with his younger brother Quinn and his two friends Russ and Maggie at a carnival. He meets a mysterious girl named Cassandra, who gives him a pass to get into a different carnival at night.
Conflict- Blake has to save his younger brother Quinn and save himself by getting out of this phantom carnival and defeating all seven rides without dying.
The theme of this book is to conquer fear. Blake has to conquer fear when he jumps off of his school bus while it's tipping off of a cliff. He also has to deal with fear in the carnival that he goes to to save his brother.
"I kept my eyes locked on her, pounding on the glass as she ran in a panic in every direction, passing through mirror after mirror , becoming more and more distorted, her screams changing until they were'nt even human"
by Neal Shusterman
The setting of this book takes place mostly in a weird ghost carnival. The carnival is made up of souls of the children who came there before, and never got out. This makes the book scary and suspenceful all at the same time.
The book takes place in current times.
Blake tends to be more of the shy, nerdy type who gets good grades, so he can one day get a good job to support his mom and brother. He's always busy either studying or at swim practice.
One thing that he hates, is fear and roller coasters. He is the opposite from his brother Quinn, who loves fear and roller coasters. "Suddenly I had no reasonable argument not to ride. My panic built as people ran to the empty line like passengers leaping from the Titanic"(page 11)
Blake must conquer all of his fears in order to not die and defeat the antagonist, Cassandra.
Resolution- Blake keeps an open mind and always remembers that there is a way out of every ride.
The tone of this book is serious and suspenseful.
Quote- "The loss of Quinn's hat was the first trauma of the evening, but not the first trauma of Quinn's life. Whole galaxies of traumas revolved around my brother"
This quote illustrates how terrifying the setting is. By this quote, you can tell that this carnival is not normal.
Specifically, this quote takes place in the house of mirrors.
Cassandra tries to kill Blake numerous times by making him face fear.
My personal response of this book is that this book opened my eyes about the lengths family members go to save each other. Just like Blake went through all seven of the terrifying rides just to save his brother.
Just like Blake, I don't like roller coaster, but I am sometimes forced to go on them. That"s how I connect with Blake.
This book was definitely worth reading because i took a larger message from it, and I enjoyed the suspense.
Blake and Quinn decide not to go, so they go home and sleep. When Blake wakes up, he finds that his brother Quinn isn't at the house anymore, and his pass for the night carnival is missing. He picks up his friends Maggie and Russ to go look for him at the carnival.
When he and his friends arrive there. they see that it is a mysterious ghost carnival and that Quinn is probably inside. The man taking tickets says that they must complete at least seven of their rides by dawn.
He lives with his mom and his brother Quinn. He doesn't have a father, but his mom gets married to new people all the time to help support the family.
Each ride represents one of Blake's fears and Cassandra, the owner of the carnival, trys to kill Blake every time he tries to escape. This is because everyone who goes to the carnival is supposed to stay forever and not escape.
When Blake finally finds Quinn, he tries to bring him back home, but Quinn refuses because for once in his life, he actually fits in and is having fun.
After Quinn realizes that his life is in danger, he tries to find Blake and go home, but it isn't that easy. Cassandra tries to make sure that they can't leave and captures their friends Maggie and Russ.
There is no humor, or anything funny in the book at all. A series of unfortunate events take place in this book to Blake, Quinn and their friends.
Another example of facing fear, is going to extreme lengths to save his little brother Quinn. Even though Blake and Quinn fight a lot and don't like each other all the time, they would do anything to save each other.
We see this when the author says things like "I felt those familiar butterflies in my stomach. But they're no longer a source of discomfort. In fact, I think I kinda like the feeling" which is the last sentence in the book. It shows that Blake finally accepted fear.
This quote shows how all the events of the book are terrible and traumatic.
Quinn locates Blake and they find a way to finally escape. However, Cassandra says the only way for them to go is to leave their friends behind. If they want to bring their friends home they must go on one more ride. This ride is the scariest of all. If they don't go on this ride their friends will remain at the carnival forever.
Blake and Quinn go on the ride and it transports them back to the time when Blake was on a bus with his class and the bus is about to tip over a cliff, but Blake jumps out while everyone else dies. He remembers all the feelings of fear from the memory. Blake escaped the flashback with his brother and beat Cassandra. Blake, Quinn, and their friends wake up in their car, it was as if it was a dream but everyone remembered the same events.
The larger message i took from this book was to face fear, and to never give up.
Also, the suspense of finding out whether or not they make it out of this ghost carnival kept me reading.