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3.5 

The Taking of Jake Livingston

By Ryan Douglass
The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

An Instant New York Times Bestseller!

Get Out meets Holly Jackson in this YA social thriller where survival is not a guarantee.

Sixteen-year-old Jake Livingston sees dead people everywhere. But he can't decide what's worse: being a medium forced to watch the dead play out their last moments on a loop or being at the mercy of racist teachers as one of the few Black students at St. Clair Prep. Both are a living nightmare he wishes he could wake up from. But things at St. Clair start looking up with the arrival of another Black student—the handsome Allister—and for the first time, romance is on the horizon for Jake.
 
Unfortunately, life as a medium is getting worse. Though most ghosts are harmless and Jake is always happy to help them move on to the next place, Sawyer Doon wants much more from Jake. In life, Sawyer was a troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school before taking his own life. Now he's a powerful, vengeful ghost and he has plans for Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about dead world goes out the window as Sawyer begins to haunt him. High school soon becomes a different kind of survival game—one Jake is not sure he can win.

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444 Reviews

3.5
Anxious Face with sweat“Besides the sometimes hard to follow supernatural scenes in the realm of souls, demons and astral projections, this was a very dark, intense and interesting YA horror tale. In truth, this could have been told as a normal YA coming out and coming of age contemporary story, with a bit more trauma maybe, but the author chose well to explore the themes of abuse, neglect, bullying, school shootings (gun violence), racism, mental health and coming out as gay with a horror story. The book shifts between two POVs, that of Sawyer, the white, blond, gay boy, abused by all, with a severe psychosis bordering on sociopathy and the main character’s POV, Jake, one of the only Black students at a white Christian school where his brother is the known bad boy all girls fall for and he’s the loser spaced out most of the time because he’s a medium, thus is haunted at all times by ghosts and more, which is how he meets Sawyer. Give it a go, it’s definitely worth it if the themes interest you and you like funky visual, supernatural horror.”
Reviewed in:SPEC-FIC Book Club
Characters change and growDiverse charactersLikable charactersMulti-layered charactersDescriptive writing
Expressionless Face
SuspensefulTwistyAbuseBigotryHomophobiaViolence
“I appreciated this story a lot because it showed the challenges of a young black gay boy has to face. At the same time it shed light on a young white boy’s struggles too. The sci-fi aspect made the story a bit unique. However, for me I got a little lost in some of the action scenes. Great story.”
Diverse charactersLikable charactersEasy to readDark settingComing of ageDark

About Ryan Douglass

Ryan Douglass is a queer horror author and freelance writer from Atlanta, Georgia. His work on media representation has appeared in HuffPost, Atlanta Black Star, LGBTQ Nation, and the National Council of Teachers of English, among others. He received his BA in theater studies from Hofstra University and is currently a nomad floating across the United States. The Taking of Jake Livingston is his first novel.
 
 

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