It’s time for another Will I Like This Book post! I’ve not gotten through all the YALC samplers yet! But since this one comes out early next year, I think now seems like a good time to get a post up, so we all have plenty of time to preorder what sounds like an amazing book! This one is being published by Bloomsbury, so keep an eye out.
She is A Haunting follows teenager Jade Nguyen who desperately needs money for college. She’s always lied, so summer with her estranged father in Vietnam should be something she can survive. She agrees to help him with the dilapidated French colonial house that he’s been renovating. One morning she wakes up feeling like something clawed down her throat from the inside, and a ghost bride visits her and tells her not to eat. When Jade’s dad and sister don’t believe her, she recruits Florence, who has been helping her with the house, to stage hauntings and scare them out of there. But the house has other plans. It’s hungry, and it won’t be abandoned again.
Does that not sound delightfully creepy?
I didn’t even get all that on the sampler I picked up. That told me this was a sapphic haunted house horror with Vietnamese ghost lore. That was enough for me.
I’ll be honest. I didn’t read this full sampler. Not because I didn’t like it. But because I knew I’d need more right away. I read enough that I know this is a book that I really want to read.
It starts with a section labelled mouth, that’s a creepy little section on the house eating. It’s so very atmospheric, and it immediately pulled me in.
After that, we move into Jade’s perspective. This book is the first person in her parts, a preference of mine, and it contrasts nicely with the third person house parts.
Pretty much immediately you start to get a sense of who Jade is. She’s stubborn, a little cold and detached from parts of her family. But it feels like when she loves, it’s with her whole heart. With her being a Vietnamese-American teen, it’s interesting to see how little connection she has with her Vietnamese roots. She doesn’t really visit, struggles with the language, and clearly, doesn’t feel like she belongs. It’s not something I’m ever going to have experience with, but it’s fascinating to read about.
If you struggle with reading about complicated family relationships, this won’t be the book for you. But I always find them interesting to read about. Sad, for sure, but it makes me wonder how they’re going to change throughout the book. I also have a difficult relationship with my dad, so I feel for Jade. I know what I’d do in this situation. I just don’t know what she’ll do.
Obviously, I’m also curious about the romance. I liked the dynamic between Florence and Jade, and it was interesting reading about Florence’s thoughts on her sexuality. Things aren’t great between them to start with, but there is definitely the hint of future flirtation. I think that’s going to be so much fun.
I didn’t get much of the supernatural in what I read of the sampler. Just some very atmospheric hints that something isn’t right about the house. The interspersing house parts just add to that, and ahhhh.
This book just sounds completely amazing. It’s definitely the one I’m most excited about so far. If I can get a full ARC of this, I’m going to have to.
Especially as it looks like the release date may have been pushed back to March. Damn.
Look out for She Is a Haunting guys, as I’m pretty sure you won’t regret it.