Title: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Synopsis from Goodreads:
It’s the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.
Salem, Massachusetts is the site of the infamous witch trials and the new home of Samantha Mather. Recently transplanted from New York City, Sam and her stepmother are not exactly welcomed with open arms. Sam is the descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the men responsible for those trials and almost immediately, she becomes the enemy of a group of girls who call themselves The Descendants. And guess who their ancestors were?
If dealing with that weren’t enough, Sam also comes face to face with a real live (well technically dead) ghost. A handsome, angry ghost who wants Sam to stop touching his stuff. But soon Sam discovers she is at the center of a centuries old curse affecting anyone with ties to the trials. Sam must come to terms with the ghost and find a way to work with The Descendants to stop a deadly cycle that has been going on since the first accused witch was hanged. If any town should have learned its lesson, it’s Salem. But history may be about to repeat itself.
My Initials Thoughts After I Finished:
I seriously wanted to throw the book out the window.
My Jumbled Thoughts Now That It’s Been Hours After Finishing:
I’m just going to outright say that I felt like I read 300+ pages of story/plot building for a rushed and very abrupt ending. I was expecting way more from that ending. I feel like a lot of my questions weren’t answered. And I really thought they would’ve been answered because the story was progressing nicely. But because of this abrupt ending, I also feel like most of the characters didn’t receive an appropriate ending.
I did really enjoy the book, despite the ending. This is the author’s debut novel. The writing was good and easy to get through. The story is told in 1st person and I thought the story was well developed. The plot was super cool and everything looked like it was connecting while the book went on.
The author took advantage of her family history to develop this novel. If you don’t know, the author is a 12th generation Mather and her ancestor, Cotton Mather, played a really big roll in the Salem Witch Trials. Not a good roll, he made sure these witches were hanged. In Mather’s authors note she stated that she went to Salem and still did her research. I feel like this is another reason the setting of this story was amazing. I definitely got the creepy feel off this town and the people in it. It’s as if the towns people live in another world where paranormal exist and that’s okay. This book also takes place in Fall and I was just like “September where art thou?”
We meet Samantha, the main character who I feel like we see in a lot of YA novels. She was annoying at points and sometimes her actions didn’t make any sense to me. I couldn’t really connect with her at all. Regardless that her father was in a coma, I couldn’t sympathize with her. And trust me, I am the first to be like “OMG BUT SHE’S GOING THROUGH SO MUCH IN HER LIFE” yeah no not in this one.
This story definitely had it’s tropes, you know the new girl in a new town and once she starts school the famous clique doesn’t like her. She also befriends the neighbor who so happens to be a boy.
I honestly wish we had gotten more from the clique aka The Descendants. Although, I understand that this is a story being told from the other side of the spectrum. BUT!!!! The characters were incorporated and some had developed/changed throughout the story. We meet a ghost by the name of Elijah, who I really liked and he played a big part in the plot. Having Elijah incorporated to the story definitely gave me Hocus Pocus feels.
Another pet peeve of mine was the sorta love triangle and Insta-LIKEY/love. The book could’ve been way better without any type of romance incorporated.
I was super rooting for this book in the beginning and in the end, I was definitely disappointed.