How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on July 26, 2016
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Historical, Horror & Ghost Stories, Romance
Source: ARC (borrowed from a friend)
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.
Short and Sweet:
How to Hang a Witch is a haunting and atmospheric read. A perfect story for Halloween and for fans of The Craft and Hocus Pocus who can’t read enough about the Salem Witch Trials. I was thoroughly engrossed from page one and often surprised by the twists and turns the story took!
Stories about witches are among my favorite book tropes, so as soon as I heard about How to Hang a Witch I knew I had to get my hands on it. The story begins with Samantha Mather moving to Salem from New York City to live in her father’s ‘family house.’ Sam isn’t thrilled with the move to begin with, but is even less happy when she realizes that her ancestry immediately puts her at odds with a group of teens who call themselves the ‘Descendants.’ The Descendants are, as their name suggests, descendants of the witches tried and hung during the Salem Witch Trials. Sam, on the other hand, is a descendant of Cotton Mather, who was unfortunately one of the men to blame for the Trials. And in Salem, your ancestry matters. A lot.
Initially, it seems like she has simply encountered a group of mean girls hung up on history, in a town still obsessed with the Trials. However, soon strange things begin happening. And most of them are somehow tied to her. Sam isn’t sure if she’s cursed, or if Salem is, but the urgency to discover why people are getting hurt around her intensifies as descendants of key players in the Trials begin to mysteriously die. With the help of her neighbor Jaxon, and an attractive, old-fashioned ghost named Elijah, Sam begins researching her family history, the Trials, and Salem’s mysterious cycles of oddities and death. Consequently, the more she discovers, the more ominous and dire the situation becomes.
Full of secrets, hidden rooms, seances, ghosts, and a little romance, How to Hang a Witch is a deliciously wicked tale full of history and magic. Adriana Mather crafts a story that will manage to surprise you, even when you think you’ve got it all figured out, with an ending that will leave you emotional, yet satisfied. Highly recommend!
About the Author:
Adriana Mather is the 14th generation of Mathers in America, with family roots stretching back to the first Thanksgiving, the Salem Witch Trials, the Revolutionary War, and the Titanic. Adriana co-owns Zombot Pictures, a production company that makes feature films. In addition to producing, Adriana is also an actress. She lives in Los Angeles where she has a life full of awesome, cats, and coffee.
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