*Book Review* The Taking of Jake Livingston- Ryan Douglass

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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.

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My Review

“I was born of their memory, and my vengeance for them.”

The Conjuring meets Get Out with a sprinkle of Danielle Vega. This is a ghost story that will make you afraid of the dark.

Okay, this may sound weird but Ghosts are a big part of my life. Let me explain. A fortune-teller told me that I’m more susceptible to seeing and communicating with ghosts because not only is my third eye wide-open but so is the window to my soul. I’ve been seeing ghosts all my life, well for as long as I can remember. A few years back, a friend and I were visiting one of the most haunted cemeteries in IL and a ghost followed me home. You may think that I’m crazy but this is what really happened.

Everything about this jumped out at me. The story kind of hits me a little too close and that cover is amazing. This had a lot going for it. I’ve been waiting for a ghost story to scare me and parts of this really got to me. It reminded me of some experiences I’ve had when I first moved to IL. It gave me goosebumps.

With any story, there will be good and bad. This follows that perfectly. I kind of lost interest closer to the end but I did read this book entirely.

None of the characters were all that special and I hated Sawyer with a passion. I’m sorry but you did something horrible and I will not feel sympathy for you. Don’t turn a monster into someone who we should feel sorry for. It just won’t happen. Another thing I didn’t like was how it ended. Nope, it ended way too easily for a ghost story. I did like who came and helped Jake towards the end with Sawyer. That part will always stick with me.

The Taking of Jake Livingston was a good read with some very creepy parts. It’ll definitely have you looking in the closet and checking underneath the bed before you drift off to dreamworld. Don’t expect some Stephen King scary and over-the-top shit because that’s not what this is. It dealt with some heavy topics and I appreciated that it was more than just a ghost story.

stacy

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There is nothing better than a great cup of coffee and an even better book.

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