Underbrush Book Club (One Time Purchase)

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We’re jumping into spooky season with The Taking of Jake Livingston, a chilling thrill ride about a teenage medium and a blood-thirsty poltergeist.

Jake Livingston has been able to see the spirit world for as long as he can remember. As one of the only Black kids at his private high school, Jake is an outcast of sorts; it doesn’t help that he has to tune out death loops and ghouls all day. When his teenage neighbor is found dead inside his home, Jake digs deeper into his town’s history and runs head-first into the ghost of Sawyer Doon, a school shooter who committed suicide the year prior. Sawyer is back, and he’s going to finish what he started, unless Jake can stop him before it’s too late.

Alternating between Jake and Sawyer’s perspectives, The Taking of Jake Livingston cleaves into the heart of the gun violence, racial tension, and homophobia that runs rampant in American schools. Ryan Douglass does not shy away from addressing the darker parts of reality in this speculative horror novel. Action, thriller, and horror lovers will be hooked on this bloody and fun coming-of-age story. Douglass throws one curve after another, leaving readers to hold on for their lives. 

Reading The Taking of Jake Livingston feels like you’re rooting for your friend to save the day. Many readers will find a piece of themselves in Jake’s story. Fast-paces, eerie, and extremely important, Jake Livingston is not to be missed.

Get Out meets Holly Jackson 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 up with the arrival of another Black student—the handsome Allister—and for the first time, romance is on the horizon for Jake.

Unfortunately, life as a medium is getting worse. Though most ghosts are harmless and Jake is always happy to help them move on to the next place, Sawyer Doon wants much more from Jake. In life, Sawyer was a troubled teen who shot and killed six kids at a local high school before taking his own life. Now he’s a powerful, vengeful ghost and he has plans for Jake. Suddenly, everything Jake knows about dead world goes out the window as Sawyer begins to haunt him. High school soon becomes a different kind of survival game—one Jake is not sure he can win.

  • October book pick
  • Book club questions
  • Access to our monthly Zoom meeting
  • Underbrush tote-bag
  • A spooky surprise

Boxes will begin shipping on 10/1. The meeting will take place remotely on Tuesday, November 9th at 7:30 CST.

You can choose to make your Underbrush membership a recurring subscription here and receive free shipping on each box here. Subscriptions will be renewed on the 1st of each month. You will have the option to skip a month without being charged.