DNF ARC Review: How To Hang A Witch

How to Hang a Witch

 

I really do not enjoy DNFing books but when nearly everything about the story is confusing and just poorly written, I have no choice but to stop reading and cut my losses.

This is the story of Samantha Mather and her stepmom moving to Salem to be closer to her dad, who is in a coma. Sam is the decendant of Cotton Mather, someone that is very well known in Salem for having a lot to do with the witch trials so long ago.  Sam learns quickly that a group called The Decendants immediately takes to not liking her because they happen to be decendants of the witches hung so long ago by Sam’s distant relative. That is as far as I got in the book, only 47 pages, so I’m not sure really what the rest of the book was about.

 

From the first page, everything about this story was bad. The writing was full of incomplete sentences and thoughts, characters were never developed (or even talked about), there was zero world building, and on one page in particular, the author contradicts herself by saying the MC knew who another girl was, yet several paragraphs below shows where the MC is unsure of who the same girl is. See below. (In the very first paragraph the MC knows who Susannah is, yet several paragraphs later the MC is unsure of who Susannah is.)

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I’ll be honest, I never knew who Susannah was because the people that make up The Decendants were never described, other than giving the reader the image that they dressed in all black. And why does Sam claim stupid that her 16th birthday is coming up? What teenage girl forgets her birthday?!

A little known fact about me and my reading style: if items are unnecessarily described, it annoys me to no end. Take the above page for example: why did the author feel the need to tell the reader the lip gloss is strawberry flavored? Does that have anything to do with the story? Does this help paint a better picture for the reader? In this case, no. This one page shows that nothing about this story makes sense.

Sam, the MC, is a terrible protagonist. She is moody, angsty, and has a huge chip on her shoulder for no apparent reason. She starts school with the intent of being a jerk and is shocked when people are jerks back. She snaps at everyone that calls her by her full name of ‘Samantha’. She feels everyone is out to get her and chooses to be standoffish. None of these make for a good MC. On top of that, her inner monologue was horrid. It makes her sound more like a whiny brat than a teenager who’s just moved into a new town to be closer to her sick father. I won’t go into the insta-love she has with her neighbor, Jaxon. That was just painful and I will spare you the details

I never found one redeeming thing about this book. I hated every minute from page one until page fourty-seven. I wish I had stopped reading on the page above, page twenty-six. In order for this book to be any good the writing needs tremendous work, characters need to be developed, and an actual story line needs to be established. The author needs to figure out how to bring the reader into the story, not just throw it at them and basically say ‘this is what is happening’. There is no way I could ever recommend this book to anyone.

 

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