I found How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather (yes, the author is a decedent of Cotton Mather as well) at Target. I walked around the store with it in my arms 3 times until I decided that yes, I needed to buy this book. For those of you who aren't up to snuff on your witchy history, the Salem Witch Trials occurred in the 1690's in Salem, MA with the killing of 20 people who were accused of witchcraft. Cotton Mather was a minister who, as according to Wikipedia, tried to prove that demons were alive and real in Salem (Wikipedia, 2017).
Reviews of this book as found on it's Google Books page claim it to be a mixture of the Salem Witch Trials and Mean Girls. I guess I can see how this is kind of true. In this book, Samantha's father goes into a coma, resulting in Samantha and her step-mother returning to her father's hometown of Salem. Once in Salem, Samantha learns about her heritage and how it makes her disliked by the kids in her school who are descendants of the people murdered during the witch trials. The descendants take on the role of the "popular" crowd, targeting Samantha and making her feel uncomfortable and bullied. Hence, Mean Girls.
I enjoyed this book up until the point where the book began to take a dive away from the witchy history of Salem and Samantha, and shift towards a supernatural Casper-like ghost story that was too flamboyant to be believable. This is seen where Samantha makes friends and falls in love with a ghost, as well as by how the person who her step-mother is quickly changes....almost too fast.
For this reason, I am going to give this novel 3 out of 5 coffee beans. I didn't like the ghost friendship or the elements at the end, but I did enjoy the novel overall.
For readers who are looking for a historical novel with a modern twist, this probably isn't the book for you. However, for reader's who enjoy ya paranormal reads, even if elements may not be too believable, then give this book a try!
P.S. According to a little stalking I did on Adriana Mather's GoodReads and Instagram accounts, not only is this novel going to become a movie BUT Mather is also coming out with a second book that takes Samantha and places her on the Titanic. Apparently, Adirana Mather's ancestors were also on the Titanic. How crazy is that?.... And, she's an actress? (Not the actress in the book trailer though!)
Take a look at the book trailer. This might be one of those rare instances where the movie is slightly better than the book...What do you think?