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Full Tilt

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  6,791 ratings  ·  731 reviews
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
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Simon Pulse (first published January 11th 2003)
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Hunter Absolutely! It really picks up and hardly gives you a moment of peace between dilemmas! It's exciting, but yes, very suspenseful.
Crosby Our 6th grade LA classes all read this and do an amazing writing unit based on their readings -- it fits perfectly for the age group and even for all…moreOur 6th grade LA classes all read this and do an amazing writing unit based on their readings -- it fits perfectly for the age group and even for all reading levels. (less)

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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,791 ratings  ·  731 reviews

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Will M.
Jul 26, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Buzzfeed Books
What happens when you are suddenly pulled away from the real world, and plunged into a carnival where your soul can be claimed? Blake needs to decide between his own safety, or his brother's. Every decision counts, as the carnival awaits for his defeat.

Most YA horror are formulaic, and this novel proved no different. A guy has to save someone in a world full of his fears. I honestly didn't care about his fears and the not-so-scary carnival rides, but the characters, or at least some of them, wer
Neil (or bleed)
"To be completely helpless in the face of life-- powerless to do a single thing-- that's what I'd always feared more than anything."


Neal Shusterman is my favorite author and I promised myself I will read all his books (even his earlier novels) as long as I can find a copy. Fult Tilt is one of his earlier novels and my 12th book of him.

The time I started the book and it was in an amusement park and this is a suspense-thriller of sort, I thought this will be something like Final Destination,
Danielle (The Blonde Likes Books)
This clearly just wasn’t for me. I felt like there was a lot of potential, with the setting being a creepy/haunted carnival, but unfortunately everything just fell flat. Nothing was scary, or even remotely creepy, and with the book being so short, all of the characters felt underdeveloped.
Final rating: 4/5 stars


I love Neal Shusterman.

Especially after reading Bruiser, Unwind and UnWholly (i really need to find time to read his other books-especially skinjacker :D). I love that his works are always deep and quite psychological. Full Tilt didn't disappoint.


This is a story about trauma, despair, guilt and much more. It's a ride through the fears of all people who get stuck in that carnival.

Like i said, it is quite psychological, bec
Brigid ✩
Apr 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy


Except when they're trying to steal your soul.

Neal, Neal, Neal. How I love you. Yes, in the creepiest way possible. As in, I want to stalk you to get your autograph.

Seriously, though. This is the ... 9th book by Shusterman that I've read, I believe. None of his books have disappointed me. They're all amazing. If you haven't read any of his books, I suggest you read Unwind, Bruiser, and the Skinjacker Trilogy (Everlost, Everwild, and Everfound) above all. But even thou
May 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
WOW! This was my first time reading Neal Shusterman, and I was not disappointed!

The main plot revolves around a kid named Blake, who is going off to college at an Ivy League school. When he goes out with his friends, he meets an irresistable girl named Cassandra, who promises great thrills at her theme park. Strangely enough, one of Blake's friends says that the park appears to never be in the same location twice. He finds when he enters the park that he must ride seven rides that represent his
Apr 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.5 Stars] I really liked the messages as I always do with Neal Shusterman books. I think he addresses some of them better in some of his other books though like self image and confronting your past, and I think it was too short to fully pull me into the story and make me feel for the characters. I liked Blake, but he'd forget about his friends and brother a lot which I found weird since his brother is the whole reason he's there in the first place. Overall I'm still happy I read it and I think ...more
Nov 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Ylenia by: Booktube
Shelves: 2015-reads
I finally finished this. After one month I menaged to finish 200 pages of pure nothing. I didn't have any expectations but it was a pointless read.

First of all: this book should have at least 400 pages. Not 200.
It doesn't make any sense since the plot is all condensed and the pace was weird and there was no time for character development or anything like that.

Second thing: this wasn't scary. The rides weren't scary. Nothing was scary or creepy or whatever.
I just felt awkard through the entire
Bonnie Shores
Full Tilt was a strange book that centered on a brilliant teen's night of self-analyzation and self-discovery. I love this author, but this story—with its interesting synopsis—was just "meh".

Cassandra {semi-hiatus}
"They say you never know who's the real hero and who's the real coward until you're looking death in the face. I've always been afraid of plenty of things, but fear isn't what makes you a coward. It's how depraved your heart becomes when fear gets pumped through it."

As usual, Neal Shusterman novels don’t just entertain you with their creative worlds or realistic characters. They also make you question some aspect of your life or your world. This one handles fear and the ways it can change peop
Jan 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Full Tilt is about a boy named Blake who is headed in the right direction. Seems like everyone in his life is off-track including his 'living-for-the-thrill' brother and his boyfriend hopping mother. But not him, Blake's going to college, has his life mapped out and is basically someone you can depend on. He seems perfect really. The only problem is he's hiding a dark secret...nothing evil or haunting, but its a secret he keeps from everyone. He holds the guilt of being the lone survivor of a ho ...more
murphy ✌ (daydreamofalife)
4 / 5

a bit shorter than my usual read, but it managed to find a really great fast pace and stay really entertaining. bumped up a star bc i'm always a slut for creepy carnivals :)

full review for this and all the other books i've got waiting for reviews to come next month (hopefully irl stuff will be less hectic then)
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great coming of age YA horror novel. Shusterman does a nice job of capturing the adolescent angst and fear of growing up and leaving people behind for bigger and better things. The idea of an amusement park that embodies each person's particular fears and weaknesses was creative and executed well. The protagonist, Blake, was admirable and I enjoyed seeing his character grow as the novel progressed. The antagonist, Cassandra, was interesting although nothing too special. The scenes at the differe ...more
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Mind = blown.

Okay, so maybe I'm a little biased because of my obsession with Neal Shusterman, but this book is amazing! I read this book during a reading slump ... in one sitting. So you know it had to have been good. The one thing that I kept thinking about during the whole book was "This book would make a great video game!" And it would. It could be almost like Dante's Inferno, only not with the whole Deadly Sins thing, but with the seven rides.

I found there wasn't much character development,
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had some doubts about this book.

How wrong I was.

This book changed my life. That's all there is to it. I'll never forget it. Ever. The end.
Camden Johnson
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book from the library after my boyfriend expressed his love for this book. It was a fun little book that had an interesting premise. I will be definitely be checking out more from Neal Shusterman.
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Unwind was supposed to be the book I’m reading first from Neal Shusterman, but when I saw this in our bookstore here in my place, I immediately grabbed this undoubtedly since I was told before by a reader that Shusterman is such an amazing author. So who do you think can resist of searching for his books after hearing such a word?

Blake fears something and he fears to admit that it’s the rides he fears to get in. Some are meant to be survivors, some are not. And some are meant to be a single surv
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
This was a fast-paced action packed YA horror novel. I didn't love it as much as I hoped, but it had an interesting premise.
Apr 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adventure type readers
Full tilt, an adventure filled, rollercoaster ride of a book. Packed with twist turns ups and down loops and thrills, kept me reading the book. I rarely read books but from the title catching my eye and its extreme back ground of colors, it’s really an awesome book. The book had me on the edge every time I picked it up, not wanting to put it down. It’s filled with the excitement and themes to keep me wanting to know what’s going to happen next. I happen to like the book so much that I had put my ...more
Aug 25, 2014 marked it as on-hold
Where the heck was I when this book was published? Nonetheless, excited to finally read it. :)
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think a legitimate argument can be made that Full Tilt is the point where Neal Shusterman really began "putting it all together" as an author, melding the fascinating metaphysical nature of some of his earlier material (The Eyes of Kid Midas, for example) with the powerful emotional impact of his first novel, The Shadow Club, to create a ride like nothing else before in the history of young-adult literature. Once Neal Shusterman really found his groove, he became awesome on a whole new level, ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
The plot had the potential to be interesting and spooky. However, the delivery of the “horrifying” parts of the rides fell flat, leaving me unsatisfied, disappointed, tired, and bored. Only finished it for book club.
Avery (ThePagemaster)
3.5 out of 5 Stars

It's been a minute since I read a Neal Shusterman book, back when his Unwind books were still coming out. This book totally had Halloween vibes and I needed to read it. There were arts in this book that literally had me unnerved and dealt with surprisingly deep, very important messages and themes(i.e. anxiety, survivor's guilt). And extremely entertaining. Definitely thought of Zathura through a good portion. I'd probably re-read this book; probably around this time of the year
Apr 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Full Tilt is an interesting book. At first glance it looks like a typical Goosebumps-style young adult novel about teenagers being sucked into a paranormal amusement park. Fortunately (although that could be cool), this book goes beyond that to explore its characters, or at least its protagonist, in more depth.

Blake is a sort of bland, generic overachiever with some secrets in his past when the book opens. Using the plotline of an amusement park run by a mysterious, otherworldly figure, Shusterm
Jun 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club, 2015-books
I finished this book a couple of hours ago and started reading it a couple hours ago... Let's just say I really thought this was really great!! I loved the idea and it reminded me of so many good ideas and it is a lot like Shustermans other books. Fans of ever lost will like this book a lot. I really loved how this was about a shy boy who has to face his fears in crazy unimaginable amusement park rides. This was really different and cool and was a quick good read for anyone looking for something ...more
I read this book in middle school. It was for an AR (Accelerated Reading)thing I thought it was dumb at the time because at the time I hated reading. But I got this book and loved it. Like I said it was in Middle School when I read it so I really can't remember all of it but I do remember it was an awesome book. It was so freaky all the way through, a thrill to and I loved it all the way, it was just amazingly awesome.
Oct 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought Full Tilt was an exciting book, with lots of twists, turns, ups and downs just like the roller coaster of a book it should be. This book hooked me with interesting characters and carried me up with an amazing climax and then dropped me down into small backstories and self discovery that was well deserving of my 5 star rating.
Seema ♥Nerdgirl♥
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked it! It was so creepy and suspenseful, it kept me reading till the end.
Only thing I didn't like about it was that it didn't end the way I wanted it to. I was hoping for a little more resolution between Blake and Quinn.
Oct 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
It was good. It made me want to keep reading! Some parts were kind of boring.
Umm, this was too weird for me. I love Neal Shusterman, usually, but this just went over my head. RTC.
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Award-winning author Neal Shusterman grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he began writing at an early age. After spending his junior and senior years of high school at the American School of Mexico City, Neal went on to UC Irvine, where he made his mark on the UCI swim team, and wrote a successful humor column. Within a year of graduating, he had his first book deal, and was hired to write a movi ...more
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“They were the screams of riders torn apart by the twisted reflections of their own inner selves.” 32 likes
“Who am I? The sum of your dreams, the thrill you refuse to grasp, the unknown you fear.” 20 likes
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