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Publisher's Summary

Sixteen-year-old Blake has always been the responsible one in his dysfunctional family - the one who drives safely, gets good grades, and looks after his wild younger brother, Quinn. Quinn is his brother's opposite - a thrill-seeker who's always chasing the next scary rush, no matter what the cost. But Quinn and Blake are in for the surprise of their lives when they're thrust into the world of a bizarre phantom carnival - and their souls are the price of admission.   

In order to save his brother, and himself, Blake must survive seven different carnival rides before dawn. Seven rides; it sounds easy. But each ride is full of unexpected dangers, because each ride is a reflection of one of Blake's deepest fears. And the last ride is the worst one of all. That's the one that confronts Blake with a terrifying secret from his past - a secret he's been running from for years.    

Full of roller-coaster twists and turns, Neal Shusterman's latest novel is an Orpheus-like adventure into one boy's psyche.

©2003 Neal Shusterman (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Full Tilt

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Trials and Rides

Shusterman has a way of adding little touches to his novels that makes me constantly enjoy them. In this shorter novel, he takes the fears and life choices of teens and ties them into an amusement park where the rides are like trials deciding the ultimate fate/worthiness of the riders. Super entertaining and will now be seeing about all of his works and how I might pick them up.

35 people found this helpful

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AMAZING

The story is just so suprising and interesting and it becomes even better with the narroter's delivery of the book's characters, the character's actions, and the settings/situations.

25 people found this helpful

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GREAT book, frustrating reader

Full Tilt is a wonderful book. I've taught it for a few years with both special education and general education secondary students. Even kids who generally hate reading have absolutely loved this book, with a handful trying to check out the book and read ahead of me. It's a thought-provoking story that explores all of the rough corners of childhood and what it means to deal with trauma and fear. For secondary students, this is a great and emotional read while being highly entertaining the whole way through. The historical references and multiple layers of meaning woven throughout make it a great novel study for both literary and informational text. I highly recommend it!! The reader for this book, however, was nearly terrible. His voicing for some characters is rather off, particularly for Cassandra. He reads Cassandra like an old woman (instead of seductive and mysterious as she's written), incorrectly reads key words, and mispronounces a variety of common words in the book. This leads to great confusion, particularly if you're only listening to the audiobook. With students, this is extremely frustrating. As there are so many of these issues, it seems like something that should have been caught in production and easily corrected. For an audiobook recording, I expect much better. As it's the only audio version I could find, there are no other options unless I record it myself. In short, I highly recommend the book, but Audible should consider creating a better recording of it. If you look for audiobooks as strong performances of great reads, this is not it. You might enjoy your own read aloud much more.

5 people found this helpful

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Roller Coaster Ride

Great concept for a YA novel for boys -- teen has to take seven deadly carnival rides before dawn to save his brother. The rides start out as standard ones -- bumper cars, tilt-a-whirl, carousel -- but then grow increasingly fantastical and horrific as they go along. And they ultimately tie in to a traumatic real life bus ride the teen survived as a boy.

Neal Shusterman has a lot of fun with the metaphorical gold mine of a carnival and its rides, relating them to various forms of teen angst. Adults will find many of them facile and obvious, but never mind, they are perfect for the actual target audience, teenage boys. A short adrenaline rush of a book by a master YA craftsman who should be better known for his body of work.

The only problem is with one aspect of the otherwise excellent narration -- the supposedly frightening and alluring Cassandra gets a voice that is inappropriately childish and whiny.

3 people found this helpful

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decent YA novel

its one of those novels about a character who needs to grow emotionally and does throughout the story. totally decent YA novel that ditches a lot of the normal tropes. this is probably written for like a 9th grade/14 year old

1 person found this helpful

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Did you ever have a kid tell you about the weird dreams he had that one time?

That’s what listening to this book was like. One weird dream after another. There was no humor, and the protagonist did not inspire attachment in me. The book had a good premise (PTSD from mysterious past for the hero, alienated and pesky little brother, both in danger). Unfortunately, the longer the story went on, the more I just wanted it to be over. I didn’t really care what happened. I just wanted it over.

1 person found this helpful

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A good short.

This is entertaining, even for an adult. The narrator wasn't terrible but I think the audio version could have been better with a different narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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Thank goodness that's over with!

Kept waiting for the hook, but 5 hours later...

The lesson learned in the book could have been taught in way less chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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Adventure... but also some life lessons

A fun adventure. Reminded me of a 1950's style thriller. Scary but wholesome. Also, the most amazing , gentle , primer on how to survive what life throws at us.

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performance great. story was good not great

The narrator did an excellent job with the book. the story was okay but not as good as many of the other stories Shusterman had written. This felt more like a short story than his usual fare.