The Taking of Jake Livingston – Ryan Douglass

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.


I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 4 Stars

I am not generally a fan of thrillers because I am, quite honestly, a HUGE chicken. I get freaked out really easily and it usually keeps me from reaching for the genre. After I read (and loved) Ace of Spades earlier this year though, I was just in the mood for more of the same and this book sounded perfect!

This was such a quick book for me! The pacing and the length of it made this practically a one sitting read. I liked Jake almost immediately and it was easy to root for his character as the plot progressed. What I really loved was that this book was more than a thriller, and discussed some other really important and relevant topics. Though he was forced into a lot of his character growth and development, it was still fun to witness.

The villain really stood out to me because he was SO dark and twisted, but getting to know him via journal entries also had me feeling a bit of sympathy for him. Sawyer had a rough life, and my heart definitely broke for him more than once.

Overall, this was the dark queer book that I needed, and I definitely recommend it for fans of the genre! Be sure to check trigger warnings before reading.

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