In preparation for the spooky season, I decided to read The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass.
Synopsis: 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.
I overall enjoyed this book. It was a lot of fun to explore the spooky world that was Jake’s life and see what he had to deal with day to day having to see the ghost world at the same time as the real one.
My one big thing is that I wish this ghost world was expanded on some more. We see how Jake deals with it but don’t really get to learn more about it or why he can see it and others can’t. It goes a little bit in but barely dips the toes into what could have given us readers so much more information and then it would have us feeling a lot more for Jake and what he is going through.
The book definitely deals with some dark themes and goes into some heavy topics so be prepared for that if you pick this one up.
The book’s pace was very fast and I found myself being carried along with it. I enjoyed the side characters a lot, mainly his friends, and would love to see a sequel to this with more exploration into the history of his family to show more of his gifts.
I think that anyone who likes ghosts and creepy thriller dramas would enjoy this one.
Book Rating: 3/5
Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by Penguin Teen in ebook format in exchange for an honest review.
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I have accumulated quite a lot of books in fall so far and I figured I would share with the class what I hauled! Here are a bunch of books from publishers and some that I bought! Let me know what sounds the best to you in the comments below!
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