Title: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Edition Read: Kindle
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (July 26, 2016)
Date Read: 11/18/2016
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.
Getting up close and personal with the city of Salem and the witches who reside there sounds like an intriguing adventure, doesn’t it? Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t as exciting and interesting as I had hoped…
Giving up on a book and not reading through to the end is not something I’m a fan of, and is not something I do very often. But with How to Hang a Witch, I got to the point where I really felt there were no other options.
Before you come at me with torches and pitchforks, let me explain why…
When you think of the witches of Salem, you think spooky, or maybe even scary. How to Hang a Witch is neither. In the beginning, there was a slight creepy vibe that quickly disintegrated within a couple chapters, leaving me nothing but disappointment. No spooky. No scary. No creepy. The atmosphere of the story was just… blah.
As for the characters… I found majority of them to be lacking in development. The characters called “The Descendants” all read the same to me, none of them possessing truly differentiating personalities. Our main character, Sam, was dull and childish, and it was like being inside the mind of a 10 year old – literally. In every paragraph we were reading her inner thoughts. It became quite frustrating, to be honest.
The pacing of the story was just too slow for me. The slow pace left me disinterested and bored. Although the characters were lacking, I feel that if the story been told at a much faster pace, I would have been more confident in continuing on until the end.
Maybe I went into this book with the wrong expectations. Maybe I wasn’t in the mood for this type of story. Who knows… anything is possible. But whatever the case may be, it didn’t work out well for me. How to Hang a Witch wasn’t a story that caught and held my attention, leaving me to sadly mark this book as a DNF.
This was a buddy read with the lovely Klara @ Ribbon Reviews. Kudos to her for being patient with me in trying to read this book and for her being able to finish this story, unlike myself. Don’t forget to stop by and check out her review HERE.