Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com
Philip Corts would like to be an average teenager, but his special abilities set him apart. He's always been able to find things that his family loses. He hears voices in cemeteries. And, with the help of his best friend, Jake Holdridge, he discovers that he can see the past through objects that have been there. But is he only seeing the past, or is he reliving it? Philip isn't sure he wants to know the truth about himself, so he turns his back on his supernatural talents.
While Phil struggles with his own gift, his friend Jake has a burden of his own: a demanding, wealthy father who expects Jake to follow his footsteps into a successful corporate career. Never mind that Jake is an artist with no interest in the business world. So Jake devises a radical plan to free himself from his father's domineering presence, and he needs Philip's unique talents to help pull it off. The very talents that Philip swore he would never use again.
SAVING JAKE is a paranormal adventure that combines the chills of a ghost story with the heart-wrenching drama of teens at a crossroads in their lives. The relationship between Jake and Philip is fascinating in its closeness and complexity. Also, the struggles engaged in by the main character, Philip, would probably seem extraordinary in most other stories, but compared to the daily misery endured by Jake, Philip's life almost seems like a walk in the park. As the book progresses, the reader can practically see Jake fading away. His eventual solution to his problems, although extreme, seems infinitely superior to having him continue life as he has been.
This is an exciting book for readers who enjoy an eerie, mysterious tale, and it should appeal to those who like a great drama, too. Both of those elements worked together very well here. Overall, it was the paranormal elements that drew me to SAVING JAKE in the first place, but it was the well-written, unique story that kept me hooked.