If I Have To Be Haunted Readalong: Day 5!

Stunning photo by @_knihomol_ka

Hello everyone!

Who is excited but nervous for today’s chapters after everything that happened in yesterday’s reading? 

Happy Friday and welcome to day 5 of our readalong of f I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda SunI’m so excited to see how this story ends, I hope you loved this book as much as I did!

Today we’re reading from chapter 26 to the end of of the book. Let’s do this!

When you’ve finished today’s section, catch up with me in the comments down below so we can discuss the beginning of the book. Happy reading!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun from Chapter 26 to the end of the book. Please only read on if you have finished this section!


We kick off the first chapter of today’s reading with the threshold taking them back to what looks like Autumn Falls, specifically the town graveyard. Nothing but empty white space loomed around them in all directions. According to the map, this is the last threshold before the snake. It definitely can’t be a coincidence, there has to be something very significant about Autumn Falls. What do you think?

They walk through the open gates of the graveyard which shut immediately behind them. Brittany’s ghost detector then begins to beep. In the distance, they see a group of mourners and Zach heads over to them but gives a hiss of pain and shows Cara a slice the length of her index finger below his ribs. Suddenly Zach shouts Mom and rushes towards the mourners. It’s a funeral for him but Cara is trying to tell him it’s not real but he doesn’t believe her. Eventually, the mourners leave and they come to a gravestone with his name on it. Zach then reveals they almost had a funeral for him when he was five as he had frozen to death in a blizzard; he had gotten lost in a freak snowstorm, his parents not noticing he was gone for hours. His heart stopped four times and he was in a coma; his parents didn’t think he was going to make it and he overheard them planning his funeral at the hospital. Reliving those memories again Zach begins to break down and Cara comforts him by putting her hand on his cheek. “He was an engine going cold on a winter road. He was glass shattered into a thousand beautiful shards. He was a tragic accident she couldn’t look away from, no matter how hard she tried.”  I adore this quote! I feel so bad for Zach that he has nearly died twice and both times his family barely noticed or seemed to care that much.

Suddenly Zach is gone. And so is Brittany. In a panic Cara begins shouting for them, running amongst the rows of tombstones until eventually she sinks to her knees, thinking she had failed and he was gone forever. Then suddenly she hears her name being spoken by a familiar ghost and turns to find Zach perfectly okay. Brittany begins shouting that there is a problem and the ghosts have found her.

Moments later there are too many ghosts pouring in through the graveyard gates for them to handle. And with it being Halloween these ghosts are capable of inflicting real damage. Cara comes up with the idea to build a ghost-repelling barrier whilst Zach searches for the threshold. She was almost done with the barrier when a hand erupted from the ground and grabbed her ankle. Eventually, she has to give up on the barrier completely as they have become overrun with ghosts. She and Brittany take ghost after ghost down until one grabs Cara’s shoulder and says “Help us”. Help them from what? Is someone controlling them and if so who?

Zach returns telling them there is no threshold leaving only one option. Cara must find a way to make the ghosts move on. Zach holds her hand telling her she can do this. Using the strength that Zach has given her with his belief in her she can make the spirits cross over. Suddenly the ground begins to move and they see that the graveyard is remaking itself. Cara realises this has never really been Autumn Falls but an old town whose name she did not know and the ghosts had been its inhabitants. Why did it appear as Autumn Falls? Was this some kind of test?

The last threshold brought them to a veil of vines, a rainforest of sorts. They head down to the river with the waterfall and Cara holds Zach’s hand which renders him speechless. Cuteeee! As they stand there something catches Cara’s eye, scales the colour of midnight. Gradually a serpent’s diamond-shaped head emerged from the water and then its endless body slithered onto the shore. The snake then says “Back again so soon.” to which Cara explains this is her first time here and the snake replies “I must have mistaken you for another human, then. My apologies- you have the same eyes.” Could the snake be referring to Laolao or someone else?

The snake asks if Cara is ready to receive the anti-venom to which she replies that she is. When they pull out a vial the serpent laughs and tells them that they won’t need that as she is the vial; a ghost speaker will receive the anti-venom and should they live, they will be able to harness the power imbued in the serpent anti-venom to bring something back to life. Zach is immediately furious over the possibility of risking Cara’s life and refuses to let her do it. She tells him she will do it and he says he can give her the password to his account to receive the money she needn’t risk her life. Cara is hurt that he thinks that is the reason she is doing it but goes along with it. They continue to argue about it until he asks why she is so ready to risk her life for him and that is the moment she finally realises and admits to herself that she loves him. FINALLY!!!!

“The realisation came to her like light in a shadowed room, the shape of it revealing itself line by line, starlit and undeniable. Perhaps it had appeared a moment ago. Or perhaps it had been before her for some time, and her eyes had only just adjusted. Somehow, somewhere along the way, the strings between them had sunk into her skin, and she’d gotten attached. He was threaded into the fiber of her being so intricately, so deeply, that to tear him out would be to tear out some vital piece of herself.”

But in typical Cara fashion, she won’t tell him how she really feels. The miscommunication trope continues to win, but won’t it be sweet when it finally looses? She continues with the lie telling him it’s only for the money and nothing else. She then asks why he is so against the idea since he has nothing to lose and he struggles to answer her and confess his own true feelings.

Cara then goes ahead and tells the snake she is ready and it sinks its fangs into her skin and she screams. Her knees buckle from the pain and she falls, Zach catches her and she blacks out. As her mind fades into the darkness she decides that in the grand scheme of things maybe the universe does not care about her and she should stay in its soothing embrace. Then she hears someone saying her name. “In the midst of all the darkness, the voice was a slice of light. A silver thread shining against the tapestry enfolding her, a lifeline she could hold.” She hears Zach begging her to come back to him which gives her the strength to do so.

Twenty minutes later Cara awakens and the snake creates a portal for them to go back home. It also says it will create one for Brittany once it has granted her gift. Cara and Brittany hug one another goodbye, and Brittany gives Cara her contact information so they can stay in touch. She also encourages Cara not to let Zach get away after everything and to admit how she really feels. The last thing Cara sees as she enters the portal is the snake over the bottle Brittany holds, weeping tears of blood.

Cara arrives in the Wildwoods at dusk and Zach is not with her. She begins shouting for him and a few minutes later he appears again telling her that the snake had one last thing to tell him; he needs to step back into his body for the resurrection to start but once he does that he will be locked into oblivion. Cara takes down the barrier surrounding Zach’s body.

“When I found you here, you told me you’d haunt me for the rest of my life. Don’t go back on your word. Even if I fail, don’t go. Stay and haunt me.”

“If I could have stayed. I would have stayed for you”.

Stopppp, is anyone else crying? My nerves can’t take this!

Zach enters back into his body and Cara now has just 39 minutes left to resurrect him. She kneels by his body’s side and puts a finger to the analyx like she is lighting a candle but once it burns to the ground another springs back up in its place. Resurrecting meant anchoring another life force to your own, so clearing her mind she pictures a string connecting her to Zach. She can almost see it flowing red in the darkness trailing from her heart to his. Is this the red string of fate that was mentioned in day one’s reading?!

She tries to pull on the thread to put his soul back into his body but something else tugs back yanking the thread out of her mental grasp. She tries again and again and again to no avail, the Ouroboros mark burning and pain lancing through her. Despite the immense pain she continues to try until blood is dripping from her nose. She realises that she needs him and at that, she feels the bond latch into place, “the knowing feeling of home settling into her bones. Her end of the thread no longer tore into her heart, but was a part of it, a connection held tight and sure. When she reached for it, she could sense it leading from her heart to his, shining in the dark.” But Zach still doesn’t wake. Time has run out and he is gone. Whyyyyy, my heart cannot take this why isn’t he waking? Is anybody else crying?

Cara begins to beg him to wake up telling him she needs him and to wake up. As she tugged on the bond there was no response. In desperate rage and sadness, she begins ripping all the analyxs up out of the ground whilst new ones continue to pop up in their place. She uses her fire to try and burn the roots and notices a few are burning down and not coming back and one by one they wilted away to dust and ash. Then a groan escapes Zach’s lips and he smiles and looks up at her. She grabs him and hugs him tightly before he can say more than her name and they stay there holding each other.

After a while they both try standing Zach loses his balance and Cara catches him. She puts her fingers on his throat to feel his pulse and remind herself that he is alive again; he pulls her hand noticing the two pinpricks on her wrist and comments how they have matching snakebites. Is this a weird thing to find cute or are we all in agreement that it is super duper cute?! But things get cuter when he then brushes his lips over her wrist. Swooooon. He then tells her that he lied about what he saw in the fog and that it was only her and it’s always been her. Eeeeekkkk are we finally getting a confession? He then lists off all the little things about her and tells her that she makes him real.

“Go ahead and break my heart. I don’t mind. You’re a flame I would happily let burn me alive”. It’s official. I would die for Zach he is such a golden retriever.

She says his name, pulls him down toward her and kisses him. YAY, finally! We have all patiently been waiting for this moment. Cara tells him she thought he didn’t care about her and it was all about saving his life and now she realises that wasn’t the case. (Take that miscommunication trope!) She tells him it wasn’t about the money and she didn’t want to lose him. Zach then mentions he can feel a string connecting them and she tells him about the red string of fate and he smiles.

A moment later her mother Laolao appeared together, a usual sight for Cara I’m sure. They explain they came together to find her as the seven days were up and they thought she might be in danger. Zach uses the glasses they confiscated from Mr. Mortmanager to be able to see Laolao. Cara begins diving into what happened with her grandmother when she tells her to say hello to her mother. Laolao and Zach walk off together leaving Cara and her mom to talk. Cara instantly says sorry but her mother hugs her, apologises and finally calls her xiaogui. They finally resolve their issue and her mom tells her about how Laolao demanded they talk and became more insistent by the day until she couldn’t ignore her anymore. They began communicating through writing on pieces of paper and then this morning when she woke up she could see Laolao again. Their love for Cara brought them back together again.

Our last chapter gives us an insight into the aftermath of everything. Cara has finally accepted her ghost-speaking abilities and decided to embrace them. Upon returning to school she finds Mr. Toole the ghost janitor and helps him to pass over. It is now one week later Cara is at the Fall Festival with her friends on a Saturday night. She and Zach hadn’t seen each other but had been texting all week; discovering that with the string they could tell where the other person was, whether they were far or close. Sensing he is close, she meets his eyes across the clearing and he breaks into a wide grin. He walks over to shouting he has a problem with her and her friend remarks she knew this peace was too good to last. She plays along with it and then he leans in and kisses her in front of everyone at the party. She tells her friends to meet her at the treehouse tomorrow and she will explain everything. She also texts Brittany a photo of her and Zach, him kissing her cheek which Brittany is all too happy about.

Cara and Zach disappear into the forest so he can show her something. He slowly stretches out his arm, palm faceup and then tiny snowflakes appear above Zach’s hand. The string between them quivering. He tells her that he doesn’t get cold anymore and can make snow, ice and freezing wind.

And then finally, we have the epilogue! The first line had me so nervous, a dead man coming back to life and we’re not talking about Zach. “His heart beat for the first time in 50 years”. Who is it and why is he suddenly alive again?!

“This man is alive once more in the starkest, darkest sense of the word, but hs pulse is a death knell. And although there are hardly anything in this world that spirits fear, this man is every single on of them.”

It is then revealed the mans grave reads ‘Ambrose’. Oh no, this is not good. This is the same supervillain Ambrose that Cara’s grandmother had to battle all those years ago and it can’t be a coincidence that he has come back now after all these years. When his fingers make contact with anything it blackens and disappears; his touch is death. The story ends by him saying “Finally” but I have so many questions!

Wow, what an action packed, romantic and slighly nerve-racking story! And that ending?! I need book 2 immediately!

What did you think of If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun?
Any theories for book two?

As always, thank you so much for taking part in another FairyLoot readalong! We hope you had the best time and enjoyed the book – we’ll see you again soon for another!


24 thoughts on “If I Have To Be Haunted Readalong: Day 5!

  1. 1. What did you think of If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun? Any theories for book two?
    I need book two asap! I actually thought it was a standalone, especially with the prolongued ending after Zach was saved hahaha. I also really liked the prolongued ending where we see the characters get back to “normal”. I do have to say Laolao was quite sus to me in how she reacted to the story Cara told about the snakes and the dark ghost speaker. As a theory for book 2, that has to be connected and I actually wouldn’t be suprised if her Laolao was that ghost speaker. I also feel like there is more to the signet snake of creation. The snake said “oh, back so soon” or something similar. I don’t think that the snake has no idea of time so what was meant with that? Also completely forgot about Ambrose until the very end hahaha so very curious who he actually was/is and why he’s important somehow

  2. I really enjoyed this! It was perfect for Halloween, spooky without being horror.

    I was really surprised we didn’t learn more about Laolao’s past. I bet that will come up in book 2. And hopefully Brittany comes back too!

    1. Very happy to hear you enjoyed it! I agree, I definitely want to know more about Laolao’s past!✨

  3. While I found the plot of it a bit predictable, I loved the way it was written and the characters so much! Can’t wait for book two!

    1. Yay! So happy you enjoyed it and are excited for book 2! 🥰

  4. I started the book yesterday and oh my God I just couldn’t put it down. The insane amount of details well written? The characters and their relationship’s development? I loved it until the last word. All the trials they had to face made me think a little bit of Hercule ngl. And I loooove how Cara learned to accept herself for who she is and trust herself more and more. Brittany was amazing! I love her and would’ve liked to get more info about her. Same for Laolao which I hope it will be revealed in the second book🥰
    Overall, it was the perfect book for October!

    1. So happy to hear that, there is nothing better than getting so immersed in a book you can’t put it down! 🥰

  5. That was touch and go for a bit there. I feel like the author must derive great joy from knowing our hearts stopped on multiple occasions when Zach would disappear or didn’t immediately wake up.
    I was so proud of her for accepting her power and helping all of those ghosts move on. She really started coming into herself and believing in herself and making decisions that she actually enjoyed.
    Meeting the other snake was awesome as well and my original theory of who it might be was not correct. I feel like a lot of the plot that I was trying to work into the ending will carry over to the next book. So I’m super excited for that.
    I thought for sure they would confess their feelings for one another before she tried to resurrect him and was getting nervous when he wasn’t coming back. And then her mom questioning him 😅 like when would that have happened, he was dead five minutes ago! But also that is totally something my mother would have done.
    I loved how they announced their relationship to everyone. And that they are keeping in contact with Brittany. I’m hoping she will be a big character in book 2.
    Overall I thought this was such a fun read and I thoroughly enjoyed it 🍂🦋

  6. I really loved the beginning, the background building with LaoLao and the whole thing of keeping the ghost talking hidden. I loved seeing how Cara and Zach’s relationship developed throughout the whole book and that it was so obvious that they were in love to everyone but each other!!
    I will admit, I was a little worried in the middle when we came across the human eating old guy and the other realm section was a little chaotic in places. Although saying that, I was definitely motivated to read on to find out what was happening next!
    I adored the ending! Loved that her mum and LaoLao came back to one another (and how!) and also how Zach and Cara “came out” to their friends.

    I did not know that this would have a sequel at all! But I’m pretty excited to hear that there is one now I’ve finished! I’d love to read more on Zach snowy powers, the ice and fire combined and how their tether to one another affects their relationship. I’d love to see more of Brittany too!

    1. Yes, it was so fun to learn more about the world, the characters and their dynamic as a whole as the story progressed! The human eating old guy was a definite jump scare haha! So happy to hear you are excited for the sequel. 💜

  7. I liked the book but didn’t love it unfortunately. I liked the charcters and the romance but otherwise it was a bit all over the place and I struggled a bit to stay interessed. I liked it enough to probably pick up the next book.

  8. Ok, I steamrolled through this to catch-up!

    I felt like there was so much left unanswered!

    Laolao has alluded to so many things:
    – she knew Ambrose and fought him
    – she owed Zach’s Father (grandfather) a BIG favor, and said she was helping. But did she help really? She just got Cara started on the quest, but didn’t help the actual saving of Zach. what is Laolao’s relationship with the Colesons?
    – I knew Zach was going to have ice Powers. So many allusions to snow and winter! Honestly surprised that his sport wasn’t hockey. But why does he have ice powers? What’s going on in his family tree?
    – The origin’s of Cara’s fire power is also mysterious. What’s going on with Cara’s dad’s family?
    – why are all the ghosts suddenly looking for the ghost speaker?
    – what is Ambrose up to? What caused him to awake?
    – Why did the Signet Snake choose Zach to bite, given the knowledge that the snake bite is what starts all major world catastrophes?


  9. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS WASN’T A STANDALONE?!? I wasn’t as hooked as I wanted to be before, but I am now!

    I thought it before, and Creation confirmed it – Cara’s family has history with these snakes. from Cara’s mother’s hatred of her gifts, my guess is SHE’S the one who went on that journey, but maybe lost her love during the resurection process, making her hate her power enough to essentially snuff it? But that doesn’t account for Ambrose’s 50 years in the ground, so maybe BOTH of them [mother AND grandmother] are tied into this history somehow?

    No matter what, I NEED ANSWERS, but I’d also like more of Brittany, and to hear all the details about Cara’s family’s history and how it ties in!

    1. Oooooo, I love that theory I didn’t think of that! I wonder if we will get more of Cara’s mother in book 2? It will be interesting to learn more about Ambrose and his connection to Cara’s family… 🤔

  10. She managed to help a whole town cross over after never having used her ghost speaker powers for anything before. FINALLY! A cliffhanger epilogue? No!
    Daily Q&A:
    1.) What did you think of If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun?
    2.) Any theories for book two?
    1.) I loved the beautiful, rich descriptions. While I thought this was supposed to be a standalone, I hope there’s a Book 2 because I need to see if my theories are correct.
    2.) I still say Gran knows Laolao, & with Ambrose suddenly rising from the grave, I hope we get the backstory from 50 years ago (which would mean more time with Brittany). I think we’ll learn more about the ring the white Signet Snake (destruction) was so obsessed with during that backstory, too.

  11. I enjoyed this book more than I expected! It kept me wanting more and I am pretty excited for book two.

    If I had to guess, Ambrose may be connected to Laolao. Maybe a previous love interest? Was he bitten by the snake and Laolao couldnt revive him in time?

    1. So happy you enjoyed it! Ooooo this is a very interesting theory! 👀💜

  12. What did you think of If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun?
    I have mixed feelings about the book. Overall I enjoyed it and will read book 2 but I didn’t like the monster aspects of the story. I also found some parts of the liminal world hard to picture. The beginning and the ending I loved but the middle (apart from Brittany) I found a bit meh/ repetitive.

    Any theories for book two?
    I hope we get to find more about Ambrose and something about Cara’s dad and why Cara’s mom and Laolao didn’t speak.

  13. Yeah, there’s gonna be a lot of goss about her grandma I think. I feel like in book two she’ll have to cross over 🙁

    Less enemies to lovers from Cara and Zach might mean more focus on either her relationship with her friends or her mum?

    It’s about a balance and Cara and Zach are a balance fire and ice powers etc.

    I’m looking forward to a book two but hope it’s more in the real world and less in the liminal spaces. I think these are kind of done in this book?
    Overall I enjoyed this, probably a 3.5 or 4 stars. I often find myself thinking more fondly of books after Im finished and can see this happening with this one.

    I’ll definitely read book two – matching edition please 🥺

  14. I think that was a solid debut novel. It was a lighthearted novel with a fun, adventurous plot and a cute romance. I very much enjoyed and appreciated the diversity of the characters’ backgrounds and motiviations. Cara’s, especially, really resonated with me as someone with very similar low(er)-income, strict, Chinese-American single mother upbringing.

    I was hoping for more of Laolao’s and Cara’s mom’s backstories to be revealed, but I guess that’s being saved for the sequel(s), as are the answers to many other questions. Like, why was Zach targeted? Why are so many ghosts and others looking for Cara? What happened all those years ago with Brittany’s grandmother and her traveling companions? Who’s Ambrose and what exactly does he want?

    Some theories I have for the next book: Laolao’s past will definitely play a role, come back to haunt them if you will. Brittany had said her grandma had journeyed with two others to meet the snake before. It’s possible Laolao was one of them. Could Ambrose be the other? On that note, is Laolao “R”, the former lover and amplifier of Ambrose? Does that make him Cara’s grandfather? Or step-grandfather? Much to consider. Given the reveal about Zach’s new ice powers, it’s possible he was targeted to awaken those powers. But for what reason? It might be the same reason that so many ghosts are looking for Cara. Perhaps they’re coming to ask her to save them from Ambrose. Or if they’re working for Ambrose, maybe they want her for revenge, to use against Laolao and the previous generation of ghost talkers, etc. that had opposed him in the past.

    A couple of random thoughts I had: is that LaCroix really safe to drink?? I personally wouldn’t trust anything from Mr. Mortmanger’s store even if it was branded and sealed. Also, that first kiss scene was super cute and the best thing ever after all the build-up and tension and miscommunication (AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH), but……. did Zach not smell weird after coming back from the dead? I’d assume he’d have at the very least morning breath from the hours his body was out there in the field prior to Laolao’s preservation spells. It’s probably just magic. I’ll gladly accept that as the explanation because that kiss scene was so sweet.

    Also, their official kiss in front of all their friends and classmates? *chef’s kiss* I’ll happily tune in to the sequel for more of that fluffy goodness. And for the plot as well 😛

  15. What did you think of If I Have To Be Haunted by Miranda Sun?

    I was a bit unsure at first! Sometimes, especially through the first couple of sections, I felt that the writing was a little bit immature, but perhaps it matched the characters as they were only teenagers in high school. But by the end I was crying, laughing and it was just so tense waiting for Zach and Cara to admit their feelings for each other! I’m so glad she succeeded!

    Any theories for book two?

    I want more information on Laolao’s friend who didn’t survive the snake bite! And how she knows Zach’s grandfather! I want to know if my theory about Laolao, Zach’s grandfather and Brittany’s grandmother is correct – the second snake said welcome back!! Is that how Laolao died – by trying to resurrect Zach’s grandfather? I still have questions that need to be answered in book 2! And this new Ambrose character – I think it will centre around him. From what we read in the epilogue he doesn’t seem like a good person – maybe both Zach and Cara will develop their magic to defeat him?

  16. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the book. I think somethings were rushed. I would have like more explanations with the fire abilities fro example. I very much enjoyed and appreciated the diversity of the characters’ backgrounds and motiviations. I did not know that this would have a sequel at all! But I’m pretty excited to hear that there is one now I’ve finished! I’d love to read more on Zach snowy powers. Some theories I have for the next book: Laolao’s past will definitely play a role.
    Overall I enjoyed it and will read book 2

  17. I know I’m a little late to the discussion, but I really enjoyed this book! I liked the way it all came together in the end, but I still have a lot of questions!
    I know I have said this before, but I still think that acorn is going to have some kind of significance in book 2 since it wasn’t really all that important in this one. Why do I feel like it may make the cover like the butterflies?!? I’m excited to read it. I hope there will be a FL special edition 🤍🤍🤍

  18. I started reading it and so far i really like it! Another great book from Fairyloot <3

Leave a Reply