Review :: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

bookinfoTitle: How to Hang a Witch
Author: Adriana Mather
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Edition Read: Kindle
Pages: 368
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (July 26, 2016)
Date Read: 11/18/2016

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27405351Salem, 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.

Rating: dnf



43 thoughts on “Review :: How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather

  1. I had wondered about this book. It’s a shame you couldn’t finish the story, I hate it when you come across books like that. I would have expected this story to be creepy, especially with there being a ghost of sorts, so it would have been really disappointing to find out that it wasn’t. I hope your next book is better 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d say those are some pretty fair thoughts. I read through a book (which I will review) recently where I spent most of it going, “Nothing’s happening… nothing’s happening… oh, is something happen-nope, already done.” One really needs to keep the audience entertained, ya know?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sorry you the book didn’t work out for you. I just started this one myself off the recommendation of a friend & finding a signed copy at a book festival in my city bout a month ago, & I’m hoping it hits the right notes for me. Good to know that it’s not a creepy type book from the beginning so I can keep that in mind. Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been looking at this book a few time, the synopsis sounds so good but I hate the cover. And after reading your review I think I might leave it be. There are too many awesome books out there to spend time on a not so awesome one

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review and explanations as to why you DNF’ed it. If you do want to read more about the Salem Witch Trials, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible might be for you, I think it’s a more historically accurate account.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I remember (I believe on Bookstagram) that you mentioned this was not working out. Of course right after I snagged a copy. I am sure I will still eventually give it a try, but I am reading your review here and think I will not connect with this either now. I had expectations I do not see being met. Beautiful, honest review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This one was on my TBR list, but I might have to rethink that based on this review… Thank you for the review! I’m the world’s most stubborn reader when it comes to finishing books, so I like to have fair warning if they’ll be a real struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! This was my very first DNF Review, but I’m glad I decided to start doing them! It seems like people enjoy hearing why you couldn’t make it through a book. 😊 I would say “maybe you’d like it more than me”, but if you hate slow pacing, I’d definitely say pass on this one.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I haven’t heard the greatest stuff about this one so I’m not surprised! I think you at least tried, and what’s fun about reading the rest of a book you’re not into?
    Good job attempting and don’t let people give you any guff or I’ll take care of them!!?

    Liked by 1 person

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