Saturday, July 2, 2016

Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

How to Hang a WitchTitle: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 26, 2016

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 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 is about to repeat itself.

The last experience I have with reading about the Salem Witch Trials was when I read The Crucible in high school.  So it's nice to read about a topic I don't know a ton about.

We start off knowing that Samantha's dad is sick, in a coma.  But we have no idea why.  She and her step-mom have to move to her family's old home in Salem to escape the high bills of NYC living.  But not many people are overly welcoming to Samantha Mather.  It's as though they blame her for the witch trials all those years ago.

So, let's talk about one thing real quick.  I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style. I mean, the writing itself was fine.  It just wasn't my personal preference.  But I enjoyed the story enough and didn't dislike the writing enough to not continue.  With that said, the book was fast-paced and so hard to put down.  I finished it in two sessions.

 The plot was interesting and twisty and some of the characters constantly made me laugh.  I was a particular fan of the resident ghost, Elijah.  He was snarky and sarcastic in such an unexpected way.  And I couldn't help but love him.  He and Sam worked really well together, and I kind of wish I had a ghost friend like him.

I really enjoyed this.  I got exposed to a different writing style that I wouldn't normally read, and I got to learn a lot about the Salem Witch Trials in the process.  This book was fun and entertaining.  I'd definitely recommend checking it out.


  1. I think this may be one I pick up from the library. It sounds good, but not like something I'd fall in love with.

    BTW, I nominated you for the Real Neat Blog Award

    1. Thanks! I think the library is probably a good bet. While talking with some people, we decided the writing was very MG, and that was likely why I wasn't fond of the style. It is, however, a YA book. I also just realized I forgot to put the cover picture in. Oops!