This novel tells the story of a sixteen-year-old named Blake. One day, when Blake went to Six Flags with his two friends, Maggie (with whom Blake is in love with) and her boyfriend, Russ, and his brother, Quinn, Blake received an invitation to a carnival from a strange, gorgeous girl, Cassandra. Blake thought that the idea of going to the carnival is stupid, until he realized his brother stole the invitation. Blake convinced his two friends to tag along with him, so they could go find Quinn. As the characters entered the carnival, they learned that they have to survive seven deadly rides by dawn.
The first ride that the characters experienced was a carousel. Normally, if you rode on a carousel, you would ride on plastic or wooden animals. On this carousel, you rode on real animals! They seemed normal at first, although, as you kept riding, they came to life. The animals had extremely loud, exotic colors. It became an animal stampede, and Blake recognized the girl that was riding on the dinosaur/hog creature. The girl was Cassandra, the girl that gave him the invitation in the first place. Cassandra tried to distract Blake from the ride, however Blake, Russ and Maggie found a way to ride past all the other animals and escape from the ride.
The second ride of the story was a bumper car ride. Maggie and Russ got into one car, as Blake rode himself in another car. As the ride went on, it became a demolition derby in 1931 Chicago. As Blake was driving, he saw many Billboards with people that had the same facial expressions- everyone had a fixed look. Just then, Blake remembered something that happened in the past. As a child, Blake had survived a deadly school-bus crash. He could never talk about it, it just made him so angry and sad inside. He finally figured out, Blake was reliving many painful experiences through these rides.
After the bumper car ride, Blake, by himself, made his way to the next ride. As he kept exploring the area, he found a swinging boat- obviously the next ride. It seemed like a regular swinging boat ride at first, however, then, turns into a real-life ship, out at sea, with a blue whale trying to destroy it. After trying to survive on the ride for a while, Blake realized that his mother?s boyfriend, Carl, was actually the captain of the ship, which did not seem to be true. Blake finally found Quinn- clinging from a rope up atop the boat- and they linked arms and jumped off the edge of the boat, into the deep blue sea.
Four rides done, three to go, Blake kept telling himself. The next ride was a mirror maze, the kind you would find at a local carnival. As Blake stepped into the mirror maze, his slim, teenaged figure slowly transformed into different creatures. Blake saw this clown, this extremely ugly clown, following him. As Blake took a close look at it, he realized? it was Maggie! Maggie told Blake about how Russ and Maggie crashed their bumper car, so they split up. Maggie and...