Jessica and Elizabeth are off to 1884 Kansas for the summer. I know it's actually supposed to be 1987, but everyone acts like it's the 19th century. Alice apparently spent her summers there with her Aunt Shirley and Uncle Herman, who is the mayor of his small town. She wants the twins to go and have as much fun as she once did, but she does seem a little antsy, especially when she sees all the jumpsuits and ballgowns that Jess packs. Liz also warns her that there's really nothing to do there but she won't listen.
Turns out that there really is nothing to do in Walkersville, Kansas. There's no movie theater, no malls, nada. Aunt Shirley gives the girls a lecture on spending time with the right people and how they should avoid the wrong people. Once they get there, Jessica wants to run off and check out the town, but Aunt Shirley won't let the twins go alone.
Jess immediately sets her sights on this cute guy named Dennis, but his girlfriend then comes over and gets all uppity. Turns out that she's Annie Sue and the granddaughter of the twins' aunt's best friend. Aunt Shirley then makes the twins walk back home while she gushes about how Annie Sue is just the best girl in the whole wide world and how she told her all about the twins and how great they are.
When the twins finally go into town the next day by themselves, everyone ignores them. It turns out that Annie Sue told them that the twins think they're all hicks and think they're so much better than everyone else in Kansas. All the teens in town pretty much ignore them. The twins offered to work the soda fountain in town for the day. Dennis tries to talk to Jess, sees Annie Sue, and runs off with his tail between his legs.
Uncle Herman then announces that the carnival is coming to town. He warns the twins that it's pretty small and probably not what they're used to. They get super excited until they see how lame it is and Aunt Shirley gives them a big lecture about carnie people.
Jessica instantly meets this cute guy named Alex. His dad owns the carnival, and Alex is in charge of the horses. He shows her this horse, Midnight, that he's been working with because the horse is wild and untamed. They make plans to meet up later. When Jessica tells Aunt Shirley about him, the older woman clutches her pearls and almost passes out. Jessica then pretends that she's tired and goes to bed before sneaking out and leaving Liz to cover for her.
It turns out that Alex has an identical twin brother who is exactly like Liz. His brother Brad works at night and Alex works during the day, so they can't all go out together. Brad and Liz go out during the day, and Jess goes out with Alex at night. Since Aunt Shirley doesn't like carnie people, Jess keeps making up excuses to go to bed super early. Their aunt eventually decides that Jessica must be sick because she's always sleeping.
Aunt Shirley also works out a plan for the twins to go to her best friend's house and spend the day with Annie Sue and her friends. Annie Sue's little sister takes them on a wild chase around the farm before ditching them in the middle of the woods. Needless to say, Annie Sue never shows up. Her little sister lets it slip that it was all a trick, but her grandmother thinks she would never do that. Aunt Shirley also thinks it was some misunderstanding and that Annie Sue just had the date wrong.
On a date with Brad, Liz sees him accidentally cut his hand. He looks really uncomfortable about it and changes the subject. Later that same night, Jess goes to see Alex and finds out that Annie Sue's dad bought the crazy horse for her. Annie Sues show up and demands that she should ride him. Alex isn't around, Jess tries to calm her down, and Annie Sue takes off anyway. The horse goes cray-cray and almost throws her, but Jessica shows up at the last possible second and saves the day.
Since this is a huge deal in town, Annie Sue's parents throw a spur of the moment party. The twins finally tell their aunt and uncle about their new guys, and they finally agree to let them go to some big square dance with them if they can meet them first. Liz sees that Alex has an injury on his hand just like Brad and realizes that they're the same person and that it was always just Alex. He admits that he lied because he liked them both but now he just likes Jess. Liz doesn't really care and promises to keep his secret.
Annie Sue and Jess become besties and exchange clothes for the square dance. Liz and Annie Sue decide to drive Alex crazy and make him think that both twins like him. Liz keeps hanging on him and going after him for a few hours before admitting that she doesn't actually like him and that she just wanted to pay him back. Aunt Shirley and Uncle Herman later apologize for being super overprotective and admit that they don't have a lot of experience with teenage girls.
*There is literally a scene where Shirley grabs her pearls and gasps, "my pills" when she hears that Jessica went out with someone. It really made me want to toss the book across the room.
*Liz is all worried about going out with Brad because Jeffrey is waiting for her at home. How is that different from all the other times that she cheated on one of her boyfriends?
*Annie Sue is a total bitch, and she acts really pompous when around the twins' family. Aunt Shirley is still always like, "oh that Annie Sue is just the sweetest girl in town."
*Jess thinks that Alex might be the one and talks about coming back to visit him and writing him. Plus, she and Annie Sue become best friends in the end. Naturally, none of these people ever get mentioned again.
*Shirley and Herman are Alice's great aunt and uncle. Funny how neither of them makes an appearance in the heritage books.
*Liz really does wear something like the cover image to the square dance, but Jess borrows an outfit straight out of the musical Oklahoma to wear, which is nothing like the cover.
*The twins share a bedroom on the bottom floor with its own entrance while their aunt and uncle sleep upstairs. Yet, Shirley just expects the twins to go to sleep at 10 and trusts that they won't sneak out. She's right, she knows nothing about teens.