Thursday, August 18, 2016

Book Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather


How to Hang a Witch, by Adriana Mather
2016, 368p, YA Contemporary/Paranormal
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Received a copy from the publisher for an honest review



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.


Samantha ("Sam") Mather's father is currently in a coma so she and her stepmother, Vivian, have just moved to Salem. They are living in her grandmother's house, a woman Sam never met. Sam is a descendant of Cotton Mather so she isn't very popular at school, especially when The Descendants (four girls whose ancestors were the original accused witches) run it. Weird things start happening and they need to work together to stop it.

This book grabbed my attention since it was about the Salem Witch Trials and was written by a descendant of Cotton Mather. Sam had a lot to deal with and wasn't sure who she could trust. Some of her recently acquired enemies were nice to her but she wasn't sure if they were genuine or just trying to get information out of her. She met an unfriendly ghost who wasn't thrilled with her at all. She made one friend, her neighbor and classmate, Jaxon, but started to have doubts about him. She discovered a secret her stepmother was keeping from her and wasn't sure what to do about it. Most of all, she was very concerned with her father, who was in a coma the entire time.

There were a lot of moving parts in this story and I loved how the author weaved them all together to make sense in the end. There were some twists and turns which kept it interesting. I liked that, even though it was dark and creepy at times, it would lighten up again. This is a great book to read for Halloween/fall!


Adriana Mather is the 12th generation of Mathers in America, and as such her family has their fingers in many of its historical pies – the Mayflower, the Salem Witch Trials, the Titanic, the Revolutionary War, and the wearing of curly white wigs. Also, Adriana co-owns a production company, Zombot Pictures, in LA that has made three feature films in three years. Her first acting scene in a film ever was with Danny Glover, and she was terrified she would mess it up. In addition, her favorite food is pizza and she has too many cats.

2 comments:

Sherry Fundin said...

Ok...I added it to my reading list. Does sound like a great Halloween read. Her bio is very interesting and makes me want to read it even more. :-)
sherry @ fundinmental

Melanie Valderrama said...

I think you'll like it!

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