Reviews

How to Hang a Witch, by Adriana Mather

ellie_m's review against another edition

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5.0

This book was absolutely incredible. It had such a rich plot and unique characters that really made the whole story. The history integration made the mystery even more intense. Adriana Mather really knows how to put the reader at the edge of their seat. I will definitely read the next book!

kristenlovesbooks's review

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4.0

This is a great book. It's longer than YA tends to be, but it in no way gets bogged down. A few bits here and there were pretty predictable, but they fit the story well. The characters were three-dimensional and kept the plot moving. I'd definitely recommend this for anyone who loves mystery/suspense novels, YA, fantasy, or wants to try those genres.

loreofthebooks's review against another edition

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1.0

Samantha Mather is a descendent of Cotton Mather. When her father falls ill her stepmother moves them to Salem. There, Sam is an outcast. The Descendents all hate her -- after all, her ancestor is the one who condemned theirs to death. Yet, strange things begin happening and Sam is determined to solve the mystery.

I was intrigued by Salem + descendents + witches and that is...sort of what I got. Honestly, I should have DNF'd this book, but it had such a high star rating I wanted to know if it got better. For me, it did not. I will say this, Meg Cabot did it better. I know, I shouldn't compare authors, but Cabot did a similar theme to this in her Mediator series, and I liked that one much better than this.

Let's start with Sam. She is a snarky fifteen year old.

"It's okay. Don't worry about it. I love wearing my coffee." 


Actually, I'm sorry, she's a sarcastic fifteen year old. The whole time. It got to be annoying at some point and I started really disliking her. Add onto that the whole Jaxon romance...which was awkward in all sorts of ways.

"I don't usually attack people with my lip gloss."


Strange "love at first sight" banter. Eh. Not so great. I REALLY by the end of the book was ready to tear my hair out due to the romance alone. I did not like it!! Everytime Sam plus Jaxon meet it is cringeworthy for me. I can't deal with it!

Plus, Sam's relationship with her stepmom is all over the place, and honest to god, Vivian didn't play a huge part overall, yet Sam was always talking about her. Or Jaxon.

Plot points -- this quote sums up the WHOLLLEEEE thing for me.

"I think it only apropos they are given the oppurtunity to play them."


I saw that one coming from a mile away. A reenactment? WHAT COULD GO WRONG? (Everything.)

So in my notes this is what I wrote: "Elijah = ghost = super annoying  lots of weird after thoughts in regards to asking ghosts questions???" And this is where I should have DNF'd the book. Because from here on out, I got snarky in my notes. At this point I was about 70% in.

Anyways, I could go on all day about my dislikes with this book, but I'm not going to. I guess I went in with too many expectations, and on top of that the writing style/romance subplot was not for me.

madsanne's review against another edition

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1.0

dnf at 58% what the fuck was this?

bookishcameron's review against another edition

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3.0

As a direct descendant of Cotton Mather, the minister who investigated and persecuted witches in Salem, the author weaves together her personal family history with the history of the town of Salem, all while telling the story of a girl struggling to make sense of her past and the mysteries that have always surrounded her. Samantha Mather, the heroine of the novel, has been called "cursed" for nearly her whole life. A series of accidents has driven away every friend she's ever had. Her mother died when she was a baby, and her father recently fell into an unexplained coma. When she and her stepmother Vivian are forced to move into the Mather family home in Salem, Sam thinks she might have a shot at starting over. But in a town like Salem, history is everything, and as Sam unravels more of her family's complicated background, she becomes convinced that the only way to save her father and break her curse is to find the true witch of Salem, who might never have left after all.

I love witches and morbid imagery, so between the creepy title and the Salem connection, I was super excited for this book. And honestly, it was fine. The witch aesthetic was great, and the research was impressive. It just wasn't what I expected. There were lots of tropes I've seen before
Spoilerlove triangle between MC, the hot neighbor, and a dead guy? ummm
and the romance was kind of... awkward?
Spoilerlike? he was dead? and she was torn between him and her neighbor who was... alive? like. how is this a contest, girl?
Again, not a bad story, just not the type of story that grabs me. If you're looking for history on the town of Salem and a supernatural romance, this is it. But if you're a weirdo like me and you want something chilling and gripping and full of the occult, I'd recommend something else. Maybe [b:The May Queen Murders|25897757|The May Queen Murders|Sarah Jude|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1437678027s/25897757.jpg|45780715]? Just trying to help out.

jaborch's review

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2.0

DNF @ 70%

I just can't finish this. I'm nearly all the way through and I just don't care about any of these characters or where the story's going. It's such a Twilight clone that I'm surprised Stephenie Meyer isn't getting half of Mather's royalty checks.

tammiexo's review against another edition

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mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

roisin_l's review

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5.0

I loved this book, if you’re looking for a whitchy type of book, this is the one for you!

eed8's review against another edition

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4.0

I read this book a year ago and still can't get over how much fun it was. Full disclosure: my expectations weren't too high for this book. Between the obvious, inevitable love triangle and the Disneyish clique of kids called the Descendants (so, what you're telling me is that every single living descendant of the original Salem witches has a sixteen-year-old child, that these sixteen-year-olds all get along wonderfully and are joined at the hip, and that every single living descendant still lives in Salem? Come now.) I genuinely did not think this was going to be anything special, save for the kickass title.

Oh, was I wrong.

Yes, the Descendants are a bit silly. Yes, the love triangle is obvious and in theory no more compelling than any other YA love triangle. But this book was so much fun - like Halloween candy in book form! Sam is a riot of a narrator and, for once, I actually understood why she felt torn between the cute boy next door and the hunky ghost in her house. Her relationship with the Descendants was refreshingly well-paced, and their strange animosity/alliance/friendship dynamic was arguably one of the most interesting facets of the book. Mather took what could have been a cringeworthy trope ("Families still hate each other for events that involved their ancestors literal centuries ago Because Reasons") and transformed it into a believable enemies-to-best-friends scenario - I was genuinely rooting for the girls to buddy up by the end of the story, and even though Sam still reads as the oddball in the group, it still feels that she *belongs.* Especially in the current political climate, it's a delight to see female characters reject the norm of antagonizing each other and instead become each others' biggest supporters. And despite the terrible Millennial spelling of his name (and I say this as a Millennial myself), Jaxon was a terrific character as both a friend and a love interest to Sam. His genuine kindness and friendly overtures to Sam were a breath of fresh air, especially considering how often characters like him turn out to be the Jerk Who The Girl Inexplicably Likes/Gets Friendzoned And Angry in YA books. It was especially nice to see this when he's up against a cute ghost with old-timey speech patterns and an oh-so-tragic backstory: for once the competing figures in the love triangle actually felt like, well, a competition, and this was a lot of fun for me as a reader.

And even though I've tagged this as a spoiler, I'm not going to say anything about the Bad Guy of the story, because oh man, that was something. Mather planted a delightful red herring within the first ten pages of the book that got me hook, line, and sinker, and boy did it pay off.

Is this my most articulate review? Not by a long shot. Is this world-class literature for the ages? Nope. But this is the most fun I've had reading a book in a long, long time - silly and suspenseful and genuinely moving at parts, and perfect for settling into the Halloween season.

wickedlavender's review against another edition

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5.0

Obsessed. I've always found the Salem witch trials fascinating. Add some teen drama and a bit of romance in and you've got a hell of a good read. This book had me completely entranced from the first chapter. I do find a couple of things predictable but that never took away from the story. Elijah definitely stole my heart from the first meeting and I'm still a bit sad he's a ghost. Only real negative imo.