Monday, May 23, 2016

ARC Review: How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1)

About The Book:

  Title: How to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch #1) 
  Author: Adriana Mather 
  Pub. Date: July 26th, 2016 
  Publisher: Knopf/Random House 
  Pages: 368
  Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal 
  Rate: 3.5/5 stars 

Synopsis :

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.


For a really, really long time I've been looking for a book to read around halloween time and this book is the perfect embodiment of what I've been looking for! For me, How to Hang a Witch ended up being a pretty good YA paranormal read with some romance thrown in.

“How are you so calm?"
"I am already dead."

There were a lot of things I liked about How to Hang a Witch. I love that it sort of centered around the salem witch trials but with a new spin on it and with a more modern feel. And while I didn't feel like I could relate to any of the characters, I definitely liked them a lot and I can see that a lot of people will be able to relate to them. I liked the romance too. It started out looking like a love triangle, and I love a good love t
riangle. But this one just rubbed me the wrong way. Jaxon reminded me of Adam Kent from the Shatter Me Trilogy, who annoyed me to no end. But luckily, it wasn't really a love triangle! Anyway, I liked Elijah from the very start! You will definitely swoon over him as well. Basically there was a plot line involving Elijah's dark past of the original witch trials and a plot line involving the Descendants and what is currently happening to them. Ms. Mather blended both plot lines together seamlessly and made them flow together in a shocking twist! Also, I was very satisfied by the ending! It had me wanting more. I thought it fulfilled the plot nicely to this book but it also left things off for readers to look forward to in the next book of the series!

And while there were things I clearly really liked about this book, there were also things I wasn't too fond of as well. For one, it took me a little bit to get into this book. It's not that I ever felt like I was going to DNF it, it's just that it didn't really have me hooked from the first page like some of my favorite books. I also felt like some things were so unremarkable. Like Sam being this special snowflake that the girls at the school singled out and made fun of but the 'popular guy' somehow still liked her. I just felt like I've seen that so many times before and we just could have done without Jaxon in the story.

“This cannot be, Samantha. You are living."

So you can pick this book up when it's published OR you can wait until October and sip some hot chocolate or a steamy pumpkin spice latte while you are reading it, because you know that's what you are thinking about during the fall! Witches are a newer genre to me and while I've only really read about them in urban fantasy, I think I will really enjoy reading more about them and learning about the culture. I can see How to Hang a Witch being a book that I will continually recommend come Halloween season, so if you perhaps aren't in the mood for a paranormal read right now - definitely stay tuned for then! If you've ever read a book about witches, I'd love to know your recommendations, because this is a whole new genre for me!

- Jocelyn

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