Author: Adriana Mather
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Published Date: July 26th 2016
Genre: Contemporary, YA, Fantasy, Paranormal
Audio Time: 10 hours, 34 minutes
My Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★.5
It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in a debut 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.
“The air's crisp with the smell of autumn, and the first few leaves have started to change color. The streets have that family-friendly feel. Store windows already have pumpkins and witches' hats in them.”
Sam's is now having to move to Salem to her old family home with her step-mother because her father is in the hospital. While The step-mother has been around since Sam was little there is still a lot of tension between them. Sam isn't the best at making friends do to a "curse" that she thinks is on her family, but as time goes on we learn that it just might be real and it doesn't just affect her.
Once Sam is at school there is of course mean kids that are the descendants of the people who were hanged at the witch trials, who absolutely hate Sam because of who her grandfather is and they basically try to blame everything bad that's been happening on her.
With the help of someone from the past and the neighbor though Sam might just be able to put a stop to everything bad that's been happening and save the rest of the descendants before they have the same fate as their ancestors.
“It’s not like they exactly agreed. They’re just kinda silent about the whole thing,” I say. “Group silence can be a death sentence. It was in Salem,”
When I started this book I really didn't know much about the witch trials besides the little bit of required reading I did in middle school, so must of this stuff was new to me and I have even started looking for more YA books that are about Salem (If you have any recommendations please tell me!). The author having her own family history in this book made it all the more interesting to me.
Overall I really loved this book. Not only did it have enough mystery and history that kept my interest. I also genuinely liked most of the characters. Sam while having a temper at times it was understandable why she did and you truly felt for her. Sure there was still some teenage angst involved, but who wouldn't at her age in the types of situations she was in. The only thing I could have done without is the romance between Sam and a certain person that kept helping her. I did find the romance between Sam and her next door neighbor nice and I liked how he kept helping her even when she kept pushing him away to "protect him". As for the descendant group most of them were good, and were just suspicious because of everything they had always been taught. I hope that they all can now not hate each other so much and finally let the past stay in the past.
“Almost everything worth believing in cannot be seen. Love, for instance.”