Book Review: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather


Young Adult, medical  Contemporary, Paranormal


368 pages

Part of a Series?:

It is in a way. She’s going to write similar novels with other historical moments like the Salem Witch Trials.

Release Date: 

July 26th, 2016

You Can Find the Book At:



Barnes and Noble

Book Depository


Author Website

GoodReads Summary: 

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.

My Review:

I love history novels. I love historical fiction. Probably because I’m a huge nerd and have an obsession with history, especially American history. Before I left school to focus on my writing, my major in college was history, with an emphasis on the American Revolution and Reconstruction. I love history. History is INSANE, and the Salem Witch Trials is just a tiny bit of what is incredible about US history. I did a panel with Adriana Mather (and the lovely Julie Buxbaum and Charlotte Huang) about a month or so ago, and I immediately fell in love with her as a person. She’s GREAT, and I love her background with this book.

Adriana is the descendent of Cotton Mather, the Puritan minister who had a pretty heavy hand in the Salem Witch Trials, and I love that she took that and ran with it in her novel. You can feel the familiarity of the world she builds in what she has experienced herself. The descriptions of the houses, the town, everything, felt like I was right there with her. I think its a mark of a good writer and a reader to be able to picture everything so easily without having to actually see it and I was with Adriana throughout the entire story. She paints the story with ease (though, as a writer, I know that this is SO not the case).

Samantha Mather, the main character, jumps off the pages and everything about it feels incredibly real. The history mixed with the paranormal…its just incredible. This book scared the crap out of me and kept me clutching the pages until the end. I loved every small discovery and the mix of witches and ghosts and magic and history felt like it was made exactly for me.

I think that’s what makes this book so damn good. It’s history. It’s magic. It’s scary. It’s full of action. It’s full of mystery. It takes so many different genres and mixes them together and you get this incredible story. Every character leaps off the page and I was eager to find out what happened at the end, and I was itching to learn more and more about the Salem Witch Trials that I perhaps didn’t know about before. It’s been quite a long time since I read a book that blended contemporary and paranormal so well and I loved this one. I loved Jaxon and Elijah and I loved the Descendents and I loved the intrigue of the whole novel.

When I did the panel with Adriana, she mentioned that she was going to be writing a story along the same lines about the Titanic and I’m OBSESSED with the history and story of the Titanic. I consumed books and articles and stalked websites and watched documentaries and I know more about the Titanic than I really should…so I’m dying to get my hands on this book. I was already excited about it but now I’m even more so after reading this book. Adriana is great at balancing fantastic characters with a compelling and addicting story and that’s a hard thing to do. I can’t wait for more.



4.5 out of 5 Stars

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