River Heights Book Review

The books you'll want to read.

HOW TO HANG A WITCH by Adriana Mather

how to hang
Knopf Books
July 2016

There’s something sort of mysterious and romantic about Salem Massachusetts, isn’t there? Even though it was the site of brutal witch hangings, there is still a spooky appeal.
Samantha Mather, the protagonist of How to Hang a Witch, would disagree. When her father has a heart attack and ends up in a coma, Samantha and her stepmother sell everything in NYC and move to Salem where Samantha’s family still owns a home that Samantha knew nothing about. In fact, Samantha has never once visited Salem or her recently deceased grandmother.
Jaxson, the handsome boy next door, immediately takes a shine to Samantha, and quickly becomes her only friend, because no one else in the school will speak to her. In fact, the group of black-wearing goths calling themselves The Descendants rule the school, and hate Samantha on sight—and the rest of the population falls right into line. Samantha has a history of problems with other people, but this is out of control, even for her. She soon realizes that the Descendants are just that—teens that are directly descended from the original witches hung in the 1600’s, and Samantha herself is a descendant of Cotton Mather, one of the instigators of the hangings. Her last name alone isn’t winning her any popularity contests in Salem. The situation is further complicated by a very handsome ghost living in Samantha’s house, and even he wants her to leave.
When a series of deaths are linked back to Samantha’s arrival in town, Samantha starts to search for information about her family’s past—and uncovers a curse that hangs over all of the families descended from the original players in the witch trials. Samantha will have to work with the enemy to find answers if any of them are going to survive.
Samantha is my favorite type of protagonist—smart and sassy, she’s also stubborn and brave. She takes a lot of crap, but she also dishes plenty right back. And when things look their most grim, she’s willing to do what it takes to save people—even people she hates. The ghost story added a lovely romantic element to an already historically rich story, and the ending really did drop my jaw. How to Hang a Witch was a perfect mix of high school drama and romance, with exactly the amount of supernatural bent you want from something set in Salem, MA. I can only hope this is the first in an exciting series.


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This entry was posted on August 31, 2016 by in Reviews, Uncategorized, YA and tagged , , .
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