The Taking of Jake Livingston – Ryan Douglass

New YA horror book that needs to be on your TBR

Thanks to Penguin Teen for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review

THE TAKING OF JAKE LIVINGSTON – Ryan Douglass (Released July 13th, 2021)

Book Description:

Get Out meets Danielle Vega in this YA horror where survival is not a guarantee.

Jake Livingston is one of the only Black kids at St. Clair Prep, one of the others being his infinitely more popular older brother. It’s hard enough fitting in but to make matters worse and definitely more complicated, Jake can see the dead. In fact he sees the dead around him all the time. Most are harmless. Stuck in their death loops as they relive their deaths over and over again, they don’t interact often with people. But then Jake meets Sawyer. A troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school last year before taking his own life. Now a powerful, vengeful ghost, he has plans for his afterlife–plans that include Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about ghosts and the rules to life itself go out the window as Sawyer begins haunting him and bodies turn up in his neighborhood. High school soon becomes a survival game–one Jake is not sure he’s going to win.

My Thoughts: 4/5 stars

This book was just what I needed and was a great reminder that I have to pick up more YA horror. THE TAKING OF JAKE LIVINGSTON is one hell of a debut novel and has plenty of gore and horror to pack a punch in this 300ish page book.

Jake Livingston is a student at St. Clair Prep, and he’s one of the only Black students. Oh, and he can see dead people. Most of the time the dead don’t interact with people or cause issues, but then there’s Sawyer. A year prior, at a local high school, Sawyer had shot and killed six students before killing himself. Sawyer is a truly vengeful spirit and has big plans for the afterlife and he has his sights set on Jake.

I loved the alternating parts of Jake as our narrator and the diary entries from Sawyer. His parts were haunting to see what drove him to commit the horrible murders that he did. The author touches on a lot of topics including homophobia, racial microagressions, abuse, bullying, and more. There are also a lot of horror elements in terms of the supernatural aspects in dealing with the spirits. Some creepy and gory moments and I’m anxiously waiting for the next book from Douglass!

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