My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
How To Hang A Witch hooked me first with that catchy title and then secondly after reading a fantastic review of the story by my friend Georgia @Lost in Neverland. Here’s her wonderful review.
The author is a descendant of Cotton Mather and her meticulous research and the true accounts known in her family are woven into this story that explores the Salem Witch Trials.
Samantha Mather is forced to move to Salem after her father’s hospitalization with her stepmom to her grandmother’s house with whom she has never had any contacts. Her arrival is of course fraught with stress as a group of girls in school begin to target her for being a Mather, there’s a ghost in her house whom she can converse with easily, the discovery of her grandmother’s cryptic journal sheds light on a century-old curse in the family, there’s a cute a loving neighbor Jaxson whom she is unable to trust, a stepmom who has suddenly undergone a character transformation, well, you get the picture, right, a lot on the plate!
Sam is 15 years old and Adriana Mather has tried to keep the lingo suited to that age-group with lots of seriously, really and good doses of sarcastic replies in the dialogues but not sure if this is how a teenager talks but one can sense that dramatic flair that most authors use to depict the YA characters. The mystery surrounding the curse was exciting with abundant witchy moments. The cliched three way romance commonly seen in YA novels is running in this story too and honestly, that is one trope that I have no patience for, so much that I did sincerely wish that Sam just make up her mind and decide between Jaxson and Elijah. The historical events mirroring the incidents in the present times were brilliantly developed with a shocking climax but again I was looking forward to a more menacing atmosphere in the novel. There are lots of instances where the creepy elements should have provided thrilling moments like when all the girls fall into a trance, but such scenes never induced any terror for me. The secondary characters fell flat, in fact, there’s no depth to their antics as Mean girls, once again, giving me a feel of stereotypical portrayal.
How To Hang A Witch is an easy-to-read YA paranormal romance with a climax that blindsided me and for that twisty morsel at the end and the striking historical details about the Salem Witch trials, I am going with 3.5 stars.
For fans of Conversion and Mean Girls, comes a debut novel 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.
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