Book Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

January 1, 2018 Book Reviews, Fall, Horror 2

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana MatherHow to Hang a Witch (How to Hang a Witch, #1) by Adriana Mather, Liz Lawler
Published by Bonnier Zaffre on July 26th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Source: NetGalley
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It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut novel from one of the descendants of Cotton Mather, where the trials of high school start to feel like a modern day witch hunt for a teen with all the wrong connections to Salem’s past.

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.



You ever have the problem of not getting to a book review and then having to scour through your notes to remind yourself what the book was about? Well, it’s been about two months since I read How to Hang a Witch and I do not have that problem. Although with many books I would have to go back over my notes, I remember this, and book two, very well! They stuck with me!

That is one testament to how much I enjoyed this story. The characters get under your skin. The plot was crazy but interesting and I found that not only did I not want to put this down, but the second I was finished, I found book two.

It did remind me of the 90’s movie, The Craft, which I loved. Samantha has just moved to Salem and is trying to get to know people, and of course there are four girls that are just straight up mean. They wear black, seem rude, but also mysterious, so she’s curious. And I have to say, The Craft seems like the original Mean Girls but with witchcraft.

Samantha is trying, but they keep giving her a mean girl vibe. And then people start dropping dead. Everyone blames her.

What I didn’t like was the love triangle. The paranormal aspects were great, as I am one that loves paranormal, but the fact that Sam starts falling for a ghost, albeit one that seems quite alive, is a bit off putting. As are love triangles anyway. They are the absolute worst. Sadly, her parents aren’t available often, which is also a YA trope that I hate, but I was able to read and just put that and the love triangle aside.

The story is written in first person, which I don’t see often anymore, so I did love that! Sam is 15, so don’t expect anything big out of her, she’s just an average girl trying to make her way in the world. Which, honestly, I love.

So, all in all, the plot was fun. Sam had to learn about Salem and about herself to solve the mystery. The end was a little, I don’t want to say far-fetched, but it all happened too fast. I wanted this stretched out a bit!

All in all though, I am quite happy with the story. I think fans of paranormal romance will enjoy it. Just ignore the love triangle and absent parent tropes!



Rating Report
4 / 5
Character Development
3.5 / 5
Writing Style
4 / 5
Personal enjoyment
5 / 5
5 / 5
Overall: 4.3 / 5



Adriana Mather is the 12th generation of Mathers in America, and as such her family has their fingers in many of its historical pies – the Mayflower, the Salem Witch Trials, the Titanic, the Revolutionary War, and the wearing of curly white wigs. Also, Adriana co-owns a production company, Zombot Pictures, in LA that has made three feature films in three years. Her first acting scene in a film ever was with Danny Glover, and she was terrified she would mess it up. In addition, her favorite food is pizza and she has too many cats.

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2 Responses to “Book Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather”

  1. Heather

    I love a good witch story! I’ll have to keep this one on my list when Halloween comes around this year!

    • Christina

      If you’ve ever seen The Craft, and if you enjoyed that, you’ll love this! It’s similar but also different in fabulous ways.