Hey all, Dani here.
I bought this book shortly after it was released last year because it sounded interesting and perfect as a fall/October/Halloween read. Then I just never picked it up. This happens a lot to me, because there are just so many books coming out that I can’t honestly keep up with all of the releases I want to read in a timely manner. So fast forward to this year, and I start seeing book trailers for the sequel…and I knew I just had to find a way to read the first book, just so I would be able to read the second one if I liked it.
I’m glad I finally was able to fit How to Hang a Witch into my reading schedule.
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.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Okay, so the Salem Witch Trials is a period of history that rather fascinated me back when I was in high school, and I admit to still being interested in what happened there. So to have a book written by an actual descendant of Cotton Mather with a focus on Salem, though with a nice paranormal filter on top, definitely piqued my interest.
I found the writing to be very easy to read and I was quickly absorbed into the story. Sam is an interesting character, even when dealing with the standard YA trope of the protagonist being the new kid/loner type. Oh, and then throw in a curse and some spirits and also witches. This book has the right atmosphere for a Halloween read.
Following as Sam begins to explore more of her new home and the history of the town as well as her family was really interesting. I also liked the flashback scenes of Sam’s childhood as she remembers times with her dad, who before the start of the book fell into a coma. When Sam learns about the curse, she worries that it will hurt her dad, and that really motivates her to hunt for the truth. I loved that you could tell just how close she was to her dad, so her motivation was wholly believable.
This book just has an interesting premise and I’m glad that I finally got around to it because I really enjoyed reading it. I’m also excited that the sequel should arrive in the mail tomorrow, because I’m pretty sure I’m just going to read it as quickly as I can.