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Hardcover The Taking of Jake Livingston Book

ISBN: 198481253X

ISBN13: 9781984812537

The Taking of Jake Livingston

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good*

*Best Available: (ex-library)

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List Price $17.99

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Book Overview

Get Out meets Danielle Vega 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...

Customer Reviews

2 ratings

More than a ghost story

The Taking of of Jake Livingston is an impressive, fast-paced YA horror debut with hidden depths. Jake Livingston is unique because he is a Black, gay student at a mostly white prep school and he can see ghosts and ghouls. Both of these aspects of his life make Jake feel constantly haunted. He can never get away from seeing scenes of death (even in PE class) and he is bullied and subjected to racism by some of the teachers and students at school. The racism is institutionalized and almost no one stands up to the racism or comes to Jake's defense. Things get really dangerous for Jake when he is targeted by the vengeful ghost of Sawyer Doon, a school shooter who intends to finish the job and murder the students he missed the first time. The chapters from Sawyer's point of view were scary but showed what led to him being so troubled. Even though Sawyer did monstrous things, the reader develops empathy for him, as the abuse he suffered from was tragic. No one advocated for Sawyer. We also get a Sawyer's eye view on how he intends to infiltrate Jake's mind. The supernatural horror is done chillingly well. Jake must contend with ghosts, ghouls and sinister ecto-mist, the seeping matter that eats ghosts. These visions create a constant feeling of creeping unease. The story is dark and violent, and perhaps not one for those who easily have nightmares. However, shadows can be conquered. Jake finds some sympathetic friends; there is a sweet love story and Jake's family learns to communicate and support each other better. The Taking of Jake Livingston makes the reader think about how the worst monsters in the book are not necessarily the ghosts and ghouls, but the human horrors of racism, homophobia and abuse. There was depth and social commentary in this book that I was not expecting. Some aspects of the dead world and plot-line were a little confusing and could have been better developed. I would have liked this book to be longer. I really enjoyed Jake Livingston and am hoping for a sequel. #BookishFirst

A Solid Debut

The Taking of Jake Livingston was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. The second I saw its glorious cover, I knew I had to read it as soon as I possibly could. Thankfully, I got the opportunity to read it early! While I definitely enjoyed the overall story, especially the representation for black, queer teen boys, I couldn't help but feel a tad disappointed. While Jake is at the center of this story, it felt like he wasn't necessarily developed at all. In fact, more characterization and development was given to the story's villain, an actual school shooter and all around psychopath, which felt like an odd choice. Additionally, certain plot choices felt very out of left field and distracted from the main story rather than help add to it. While I believe that trauma was represented well and is definitely a great attribute to the overall message of the book, it was especially effected by such choices. Overall, while I may have had some issues with it, The Taking of Jake Livingston is a solid debut novel. I look forward to reading more from Ryan Douglass!
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