How to Hang a Witch
by Adriana Mather
Samantha Mather is forced to move to Salem, Mass. after her father is suddenly in a coma and the bills start stacking up. She and her stepmother move into the home of Samantha's grandmother who also died recently. It's par for the course for Samantha, though. Everyone she knows seems to get hurt somehow. It's like she's cursed.
Upon moving into her dad's childhood home, Samantha immediately begins to discover strange things like a hidden stash of letters in her armoire's secret hiding spot and an entire stairway and room located behind a fireplace. That room is filled with her grandmother's journals, tons of books, and a few other secrets that still can't explain why people have started dying all over Salem.
Samantha must also contend with the house ghost and his secrets as well as the mean girls of her new high school who, like her, are descendants of people involved in the Salem Witch Trials. But they won't accept her into their group because they are the descendants of accused witches and Samantha is the descendant of one of the men who started the whole thing.
It's up to Samantha to end the curse that has plagued her family since 1692, save her dad, free the ghost, and stop the cycle of vengeance. No pressure.
Final thoughts: Cotton candy read. I love reading about the Salem Witch Trials and I think the history of it is fascinating. The fact that the author really is a descendant of Cotton Mather is pretty cool. The story itself is a little messy at times and the antagonist was pretty obvious very early on, but I still enjoyed the read. What I think is more powerful is the overall message that bad things only happen when good people stand by and let them happen. That's a true today as it was in 1692 and might even be more true now than when the book was published in 2016.