Review of If I Have to Be Haunted by Miranda Sun


If I Have to Be Haunted by Miranda Sun

To be published on September 26, 2023 by Harper Teen

Plot Summary for If I Have to Be Haunted by Miranda Sun

Cara Tang doesn’t want to be haunted.

The dead might issues, but 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.

Review of If I Have to Be Haunted

I am pretty happy that paranormal romance is coming back in the 2020s!  While ghost love stories aren't exactly my very favorite, I enjoyed the snarky tone of this hate-to-love ghost romance.

Cara sees dead people.  She also really loathes Zach, the most perfect guy in her class at school. One day, she stumbles over his body in the woods and she feels ... complicated feelings.

Can Cara, with the help of Laolao, her spunky and supportive grandmother, help her help Zach?

I think that If I Have to Be Haunted, with its emphasis on high school friendships, family relationships, and teen romance, will be a better fit for actual teen readers than for adults. (YA is back to being about actual young adults, and I'm all for it!)

The snark and spunk, plus the Asian-themed magic in this one reminded me a little bit of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

I think If I Have to Be Haunted will appeal to nostalgic 2010s readers like me who enjoyed paranormal ghost romances like Life After Death by Aprilynne Pike, The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Cade, and The Shade series by Jeri Smith-Redding