Romance Book Review Blog

Review of How to Hang a Witch

How to Hang a Witch

How to Hang a Witch is a Young Adult Romance romance novel by Adriana Mather. It’s a book based on the real life Salem witch trials.

It’s the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in this New York Times bestselling 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.

Some people question the need for a book trailer. I’ve always said if done right, a book trailer alone could drastically increase sales for a book. But that being said, most authors don’t really have a lot of money to do it right. This book, How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather proves this very theory. The book trailer alone makes this THE book to read for those who love young adult romance stories.

The interesting part of How to Hang a Witch, is that its based on the real-life Salem Witch Trials. In fact, the author herself is a direct descendant of Cotton Mather – a real historical figure that played a big part in the Salem Witch Trials.

Her family history is what this story is based on. Basically what she did was imagine, what it would be like if all the descendants of those who were involved in the Salem Witch Trials were brought together, living in modern day Salem.

Do keep it’s all fantasy based, but still an interesting thought to base a book on, right?

“The more things change in Salem, the more things stay the same.”

Such a great tagline. Now mix it in with a to die for book trailer and you have everything you need for a best selling book.

And that’s what we get. But just because a book makes a lot of sales, doesn’t guarantee it’s a good book. I think we all learned that lesson with 50 Shades of Grey. 🙂

The publishing company spent a lot of money on marketing this book. They even got the author an interview in the August 2016 issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine. That alone guarantees thousands of copies of the book will be sold.

But you know what they didn’t do? They didn’t spend a lot of time or money on the overall editorial process. Ten years ago, a big money project like this would have never made it to the store shelves in this condition. There were a lot of little mistakes that a big budget book like this should have had corrected.

You could possibly overlook and excuse these things from a self-published book, but not from a big publishing house. For example, there are more than a few references to modern day things from the ghost who died in the late 1600s.

The trailer also leads you to believe the story has some sort of romantic aspect with the girl and the ghost. That part really falls short. There is so much more they could have done with it to make the book so much better. As it is, the whole romance part of the book is a big disappointment. Sure there is a relationship but it’s just the worst part of this book. It just really fell so short of what it could have been.

Someone else from Goodreads said exactly how I feel about this book – the book feels like it’s written by someone with has a story to tell with no wonderous writing skill. They’re adequate… I guess, but the writing is definitely the lowest point of this book.

This is where the publishing company should have stepped up and invested in old-school editing, and re-writes. Sadly modern-day publishing houses can’t seem to see the value in investing in these things anymore. I guess that you don’t make the money on a book that you used to, but in the end, a book like this they had no problem investing big money in marketing, so they knew they were going to make great sales so why not go the extra mile?

Is it a bad book? No, not really. It’s just not that great either which is really too bad because it had so much potential.

Still, have to admit it is without a doubt one of the best book trailers ever. Then again, considering that’s actually the author’s day job, it makes sense.

 

Stacei Fox

http://www.stacei.com

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