by Adriana Mather
Published: July 26th 2016
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
It's the Salem Witch Hunt meets Mean Girls in this deliciously suspenseful novel by an author who is a descendant of one the real trial's most infamous accusers.
Samantha Mather has just moved to Salem, Massachusetts from New York City in the wake of her father's mysterious illness. But Mathers have lived in Salem for centuries and Sam is the ancestor of Cotton Mather—one of the architects of the Salem Witch Trials. Her name precedes her, and comes with too many stigmas. Before long, Sam finds herself at odds with The Descendants, a powerful group of girls who also have ties to the trials; only their ancestors were on the other end of the noose.
Before long, Sam realizes she is at the center of a centuries old curse that is tying her fate, as well as her father's, to her new enemies. Can she overcome her family's past and break the cycle of unexplained deaths or will she discover just how easy it can be to hang a witch?
I am always game for a paranormal read. It's the book genre that I gravitate towards. So, when I saw the book trailer for HOW TO HANG A WITCH by Adriana Mather (an actual direct decendent was like Score! Booyah! Witches and ghosts and curses, oh my! This looks like the book for me.
As I picked up HOW TO HANG A WITCH I was immediately drawn into Samantha Mather's world and her snarky demeanor. It's this attitude that does not bode well for her as she leaves NYC and moves to Salem and begins to make some unfortunate enemies. She's not sure why but her presence in Salem is not welcomed but she is not letting anyone push her around. It's always fun to find a character that gives into her baser instincts and when Samantha does you cannot help but shake your head while giving her a high five at the same time.
As Samantha begins to navigate her way through high school with a target on her back she also tries to figure out how her family history ties into all of it. Luckily she has her next door neighbor who is more than willing to help her. Hubba, Hubba!! Then as her curiosity leads her to explore her ancestral home she discovers some letters that bring about an unexpected guest. Now this is when the story gets kicked up a notch and Sam discovers a curse that centers on her and the other descendants of Salem and then the real adventure begins.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. It started out well enough with the mysterious tension, and unique love triangle of sorts. But I found the story to move too fast with no wiggle room to let it breathe or for me to process what I just read before something else came along. The descendants were made to be like the mean girls but they didn't seem to be quite mean enough, in fact some of them were a bit unmemorable and almost interchangeable. And while I initially enjoyed Samantha's impetuous nature and her tendency to dive head long into situations it soon became predictable.
HOW TO HANG A WITCH is not a story that will stay with me or something that I would want to read again but I can see the appeal that this story can have for many people. it is fast paced, romantic and filled with tension but just not my kind of Witch.