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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Tickets, Please is a young adult urban fantasy novel written by Carla Trueheart. Seventeen-year-old Wyler Bells can't wait to leave Crystal Field. After losing his mother, his father retreated into his shell, making Wyler feel all alone in this world. However, the arrival of Anlizar's Carnival in town changes everything. Gifted with free tickets, Wyler and his friends set off excitedly to have a good time at the carnival. To their surprise, all the rides turn out to be magical, with each ride providing a unique magical experience for the ticket holders. Wyler becomes enamored with Anzilar's granddaughter, Ezzie, the Conductor of the Fun House. But he soon learns that the carnival's magic comes from the Lost Souls of teenage runaways. He must be wary so as not to become a Lost Soul himself.
There is a whimsical and dreamlike feel to Carla Trueheart's young adult tale that pushes the boundaries of your imagination, filling you with a sense of wonder and awe reminiscent of fantasy works like Alice in Wonderland. Tickets, Please is the story of a teenager struggling to find a place for himself in this world but who feels at home at a magical carnival. Trueheart keeps the plot moving at a brisk pace, with an easily accessible narrative that feels like a breeze to read. The characters are vibrant and full of life. Their likable personalities make them easy to root for. I adored the camaraderie between Wyler, Aubrey, Marco, and Gabrielle. I had a wonderful time reading Tickets, Please and recommend it to young adult fantasy lovers.