the taking of jake livingston ARC review

Hello everyone! My name is Jan and welcome back to another blog post  ◝(ᵔᵕᵔ)◜ ♥

Thank you once again to Penguin Teen for sending me this ARC copy of The Taking of Jake Livingston in exchange for an honest review!

Please be on the lookout for further ARC reviews in the future by Penguin Teen as I’m one of Penguin Teen Influencers for this year! Let me know what kind of content you want to see! More booktube content or more blog posts :3

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Title: The Taking of Jake Livingston

Author: Ryan Douglass

Rating: ☆☆☆☆

Release Date: July 13, 2021

pre-order and get ~spooky~ goodies for 10% off!

goodreads | book depository | barnes & noble |

Synopsis

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.

Content Warnings: racism, school shooting, death (graphic), violence (graphic), mentions of suicide attempt, physical and emotional abuse, mental illness, parental and medical negligence, sociopathy, sadism, attempted rape, revenge porn, gore, homophobia, bullying.

note: Ryan Douglass is an amazing human being and I’m so glad that I was able to read this ARC copy :3 ❤

Two words. BLACK. HORROR.

LBGTQ+ rep! Horror! BIPOC characters! What more could you ask? Halloween came early with The Taking of Jake Livingston.

This has been one of my most anticipated reads for this year and I can’t believe I got an ARC! Once again, thank you PenguinTeen for providing me with a copy!

The plot was very interesting and I definitely felt the horror aspect of this book come through! As most of you guys know, I don’t really do well with horror but I was greatly surprised at how I was getting goosebumps as well as getting creeped out as I read this book.

First of all, I want to talk about the pun in Jake’s name. Jake Livingston? The kid that gets possessed by a ghost? The kid that fights an undead ghost and lives to tell the tale?Amazing. Superior. Awesome.

When I first dove into this book blind, I thought I was going to get something different. From the cover I suspected an anxious teen who probably had a lot of bad things happen to him fight a ghost in the middle of this large dark academic school where secrets unfold.

Well, there wasn’t a dark academic school, but I was pleasantly surprised with this book! I loved the aspect of a possessing ghost looking for revenge and a witty queer bipoc teen fight back while going through his first ever crush. It was simply… everything.

When I first got my copy, I was surprised with how short the book was but I felt like the pacing was well done and the only thing I was disappointed in was that it wasn’t longer.

We got our medium Jake, a teenager who can see spirits deal with the ghost of Sawyer Doon, a who used to live in their town commit a terrible act on other students before eventually ending his life himself. The plot was well done and everything came full circle, starting with Jake, diving back into the backstory of Sawyer Doon and why he’s seeking revenge, and ending it back with Jake.

The only other characters I enjoyed reading were Allistar and Benji, I didn’t really care for the others but I wish I got more scenes w them towards the climax of the book!

(There are some really graphic scenes that everyone should be aware of before diving into this book and I’ve put all warnings at the top of this post!!!)

It was truly a thrilling book to read and I can’t wait to see everyone thinks about The Taking of Jake Livingston.

Thank you all for stopping by! I hope you’re all staying safe ❤

Jan

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