How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

27405351How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: July 26th, 2016
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Paranormal, Witches

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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.


There’s something so fascinating about witches. About their powers. Their history and destinies. No wonder they are still so present in literature.

If this book had been about vampires or werewolves, I would not have had the same experience with it. In fact, if I weren’t curious from the very beginning about Salem and the Witch Trials, this is a book I would have put aside early on.

Because it feels as if it was written by someone who has a story to tell, but no wondrous writing skills. They’re adequate… I guess, but the writing is definitely the lowest point of this book.

If you’re expecting to read a historical fiction novel, this is not for you. This also isn’t for you if you want realism to dominate, since one of the main characters is a ghost and there are numerous paranormal events.

However, this is the book for you if, like me, witches are creatures you admire and constantly want to learn more about. If the author did something well is to make Salem seem cursed and eerie. There also very much is a plot here, therefore, the characters are not wandering around – they each have a role to play.

The heroine is judgemental, impatient, reckless and, sometimes, plain stupid. But one must acknowledge her courage and determination. She is not one to give up easily. This book would have been better without her ubiquitous and repetitive inner-thoughts, but at least she felt like a real teenager, although not an easy-going one.

Did I hear that there will be a second book? Unexpected, but interesting.


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2 thoughts on “How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

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