File Size: 5088 KB
Print Length: 370 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (July 26, 2016)
Publication Date: July 26, 2016
The story starts with Samantha Mather—a direct descendant (such the author) of Natural cotton Mather, a minister who supported the witch trials—moving from New York to Salem ready stepmother while her father is in the hospital in a coma. She moves in to the old house where her father expanded up, a place where strange, ghostly things start happening. In school the next day, her previous name alone attracts negative attention among other students, particularly a collection of four girls and a boy known as the Descendants. Their family trees include ancestors who were accused, tried, and hanged as witches back in 1692. No wonder they don’t like Samantha.
She becomes bullied, and as a teacher, I was a bit put off by how the school population (students and teachers) is somewhat complicit in the bullying. The school administration and her stepmother chalk it up to Sam’s somewhat troubled past. But this is fiction, and as the plot got more mysterious, spooky, gripping, and scathing, it bothered me personally less because there’s a really powerful and important message buried inside the intricate, twisty plot. When I get to that message, I want to speak about the characters and plot.
Sam is a good narrator. She’s smart, snarky, and stubborn. She lacks some self-confidence because of honestly, that is happened to her, but she’s also got a strong sense of what is right and wrong. As her situation at school gets worse, and she is eventually accused of being responsible for some freaky and dangerous things occurring at the town, all she wants to do is help everyone by solving the problem—a bane on the descendants (including herself) of the people involved in the witch trials.
The supporting cast is also well-developed. I like that the Descendants have unique voices and personalities, and Susannah—the first to achieve out to Sam—was my favorite of that lot. Such as many YA textbooks, there’s a kind of love triangle with Mike and two boys: fairly sweet, noble neighbor Jaxon and proper, mysterious Elijah. We only loosely ponder over it a triangle, and it was never a distraction, but it was quite the contrary, as both associations were different, unique, strong and necessary to the story.
You will find at minimum two big mysteries, and it was fun watching them converge and curve throughout the plot. The stakes are clearly brought up through the book, and though I sniffed out your ultimate villain, that villain’s true motivations surprised me personally. I didn’t want to set the book down when I had to, particularly through the climactic confrontation.
Exactly what elevates this book towards best of 2016 standing is the message. Mike is trying to stop a curse that has been repeating itself in Salem since the witch trials, but the unsubstantiated finger-pointing that occurred then has repeated far too many times in history. Whether or not it was the “Red Scare” of McCarthyism in the year 1950s (the inspiration for Arthur Miller’s The Crucible) and also the profiling of different ethnicities in many eras of history including the present, the hysteria is unnecessary. And it happens in high school also if one “popular” group of students socially banish others for no reason besides they’re different. Even without witchcraft, this happens, and hopefully well-written books like this can help point out why that’s dangerous while doing so with an enjoyable story too.
This publication exceeded my expectations, especially after reading a few books that didn’t. Might be my reading dry mean was a curse, finally broken by How to Hang a Witch and its FIVE STAR rating., Adored, loved, loved this publication. I usually buy books in my native language and have a hard time finding english books that I enjoy, so finding one is always thrilling. I preordered this book after seeing the video trailer and thought it looked interesting. I love the paranormal and also have always recently been enthusiastic about the Salem witch trials. I fell in love with the characters, I was rooting for Sam and Elijah. I tried guessing the finish like I actually do with any other mystery story and I have to say that the publication did a realistic alternative at keeping you guessing. We enjoyed that the author who herself has an ancestral involved in the witch trials used historical accurate information in the story. I received this publication the day it was released and as soon as I go back home started reading, I stayed up until 4 am to complete it. Could not put it down. Recommended for certain!, This is the second book I've read working with Salem and the descendants of the nurses. The first one The Fifth Petal and this one had some commonalities. In that the real hanging location was right behind a modern day Walgreens. And The descendants of The witch trials were key in solving the secret. That is were the similarities end. This one is far and away the superior book.
This specific book (and After all this as a compliment) was almost Twilight like. We enjoyed the human-ghost-human love triangle. I found Samantha to be an interesting and realistic heroine. She wasn't one if those characters who moves to a new place and suddenly everyone loves the woman and wants to help her.
The mystery had me speculating until the very end. I honestly thought We had it all figured out. Was rolling my own eyes at how apparent it was. Only to be enjoyably blindsided by the textbooks conclusion. I stayed up all night reading, I just could not place it down., I actually got this book because it was one of those Goodreads Bargains on amazon therefore i discovered " why not". We am actually really astonished that the book was so enjoyable. The publication it about a lady named Sam Mather who is a descendant of Cotton Mather from the Salem witch trials. She ends up being introduced back to Salem and ends up being treated horribly by the descendants of the victims of the witch trials.
Also though Sam was difficult around the edges you could feel how she felt lost without the woman father. And even with that she was never a victim in the book. She was strong and determined to get to underneath of what was happening in Salem so that she could save her dad. And the twist with the woman Step Mother still was a little of a amaze! There were small hints but when they says part of the tale I was amazed.
Overall the book was quite great and I will absolutely be reading more books by this creator!, Spooky. Paranormal. Angsty. We should have check out this around Halloween but still read in 2 days (probably would have read in one if not Thanksgiving/family time). Samantha Mather moves to Salem from NYC due to her family's financial situation after her father switches into a mysterious coma. Weird, slightly sinister things seem to be to have been occurring in people around Sam for as long as she remembers and just get worse in Salem. The mystery of the Mathers and the Descendants bane kept me turning the pages. There was clearly the perfect mix of witches, ghosts, premonition, and history/folklore. We loved all the historical past and back stories that appeared to tie in at the end. I liked that an actual rejeton of Cotton Mather actually wrote this book and I felt that she captured the feel of Salem perfectly. I seemed the love triangle failed to need to be there and Mike must have not shut people out/kept quiet about all the weird things occurring with her especially at the beginning. Overall, I liked that the moral of the story for the witch trials and modern-day bullying were connected at the finish and made me think about causes of each and how to prevent both.
We gave this 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.
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