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3.5 

If I Have to Be Haunted

By Miranda Sun
If I Have to Be Haunted by Miranda Sun digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Cemetery Boys meets Legendborn in this thrillingly romantic, irresistibly fun YA contemporary fantasy debut following a teenage Chinese American ghost speaker who (reluctantly) makes a deal to raise her nemesis from the dead.

Cara Tang doesn’t want to be haunted.

Look, the dead have issues, and Cara has enough of her own. Her overbearing mother insists she be the “perfect” Chinese American daughter—which means suppressing her ghost-speaking powers—and she keeps getting into fights with Zacharias Coleson, the local golden boy whose smirk makes her want to set things on fire.

Then she stumbles across Zach’s dead body in the woods. He’s even more infuriating as a ghost, but Cara’s the only one who can see him—and save him.

Agreeing to resurrect him puts her at odds with her mother, draws her into a dangerous liminal world of monsters and magic—and worse, leaves her stuck with Zach. Yet as she and Zach grow closer, forced to depend on each other to survive, Cara finds the most terrifying thing is that she might not hate him so much after all.

Maybe this is why her mother warned her about ghosts.

Delightful and compulsively readable, this contemporary fantasy has something for every reader: a snarky voice, a magnetic enemies-to-lovers romance, and a spirited adventure through a magical, unpredictable world hidden within our own.

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157 Reviews

3.5
“Cara Tang can see ghosts but pretends she can't as she is being pulled back and and forth between two worlds by her mother and grandmother. Her grandmother wants her to be a ghostspeaker: to help ghosts cross the mortal plane quicker. Her mother is pushing her towards the land of the living, to actively avoid ghosts and to not use her powers. As she balances the edge of both worlds, her nemesis Zacharias Coleson dies and becomes a ghost. She's the only one who can see him and discovers that she can save him so she goes on a quest through the liminal world. As they travel and work together to survive, they grow closer and Cara is forced to reconsider her life and future. --------------------- 3.5 rounding up to 4. I'm a little mixed on this book? I enjoyed it for the most part but there were just some things I wasn't vibing with. The concept is so cool and I liked the overarching theme, themes, characterization and characters. I just had issues with the pacing, the worldbuilding and plot? I liked how the themes of family and familial expectations and the overall coming-of-age aspect were portrayed. It felt extremely realistic and relatable. Cara is a relatable character, dealing with trying to keep her mother and grandmother happy but at the same time jealous of her peers more functional family. I think I just wish she knew a little bit more about the spirit world because some of her decisions didn't really make sense because she constantly said she didn't know much yet she knew she could trust random spirits and a random ghost hunter? (Though I loved Brittany, it didn't make sense how she joined the group). The side characters were so much fun and I enjoyed how they were characterized. I liked how Sun drew parallels between Cara and Brittany. I adored the dynamic between Cara and Zach and it was adorable seeing them go from Rivals to Lovers. (Some of this reviews saying the romance came out of the blue confused me so much? It was very obviously hinted at since the beginning). My main issue was with the pacing, worldbuilding and the plot? The middle dragged a lot and it kinda felt boring? There wasn't a lot of urgency even though they were on a time limit. I kept putting it down at times because I was getting bored. It's just the worlds within the liminal world weren't really interesting for me? I also don't like traveling in books so it could totally just be a me thing. The plot just didn't feel fully resolved at the end? I think it's because of the opening scene. I think Sun was trying to lay the groundwork for other books set in this world but I think it would've been better to open with that car scene and have that opening scene at a different part in the book. There were quick a few scenes that I assume are meant to thread in plot lines for other books but I was genuinely thought this was supposed to be a standalone so I was so confused when all those threads weren't resolve at the end. I think it would've been better if it was more softly hinted at instead of constantly being hinted at every 50 pages because it reads like a major plotline for this book but it doesn't get touched at all. Some of the worldbuilding was a little wonky because we're in Cara's POV and she said multiple times that she didn't know much about the supernatural so it could be a POV thing but I just didn't get the magic system. It felt the magic system only worked to the benefit of the plot and to fix plot holes in a way. I don't know, maybe it'll make more sense in the next book? I think I'll check out Sun's next work because I like how she writes and I'm curious to see that plotline resolved.”
Thumbs Up
Diverse charactersEasy to readMagical settingComing of ageUnengaging characters

About Miranda Sun

Miranda Sun is a storyteller by nature and wordsmith by trade. A lover of science as well as mythology, she’s fond of exploring museums and aquariums wherever she goes. She makes her home in Chicagoland, where she drinks iced coffee in the dead of winter and keeps an eye out for magic hidden in plain sight. Visit her online at themirandasun.com.

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