Andersen Press has acquired Ryan Douglass' New York Times bestseller The Taking of Jake Livingston, a YA ghostly thriller with a Black, LGBT+ lead.
Charlie Sheppard, publishing director, bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Penguin Random House US. Andersen published an e-book edition today (12th October), with a paperback to follow in March 2022. It was published in the US by G P Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers in July.
The synopsis reads: "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, 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. High school has become a different kind of survival game—one Jake is not sure he can win."
Sheppard said: "I am very excited to be publishing Jake Livingston in the UK. It’s taken the US by storm and it’s easy to see why. Just one look at the jacket and the opening pages and it’s easy to see why this book is such a hit with teens—diversity, queer romance and lots of very scary ghosts!"
Douglass commented: "I’m beyond excited that The Taking of Jake Livingston is going to the UK and that Jake’s story has the opportunity to reach so many new readers. I hope that teens overseas recognise themselves in Jake’s story and that it satisfies any cravings for spooky social horror this Halloween season."