It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in this New York Times bestselling 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. Read more...
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It's the Salem Witch Trials meets Mean Girls in this New York Times bestselling 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.
"It's like Mean Girls meets history class in the best possible way." --Seventeen Magazine
"Mather shines a light on the lessons the Salem Witch Trials can teach us about modern-day bullying--and what we can do about it." --Bustle.com
"Strikes a careful balance of creepy, fun, and thoughtful." --NPR
I am utterly addicted to Mather's electric debut. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, twisting and turning with ghosts, witches, an ancient curse, and--sigh--romance. It's beautiful. Haunting. The characters are vivid and real. I. Could. Not. Put. It. Down." --Jennifer Niven, bestselling author of All the Bright Places
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-04
- Reviewer: Staff
When her father's illness forces 15-year-old Samantha "Sam" Mather and her stepmother to move to Salem, Mass., her family's connection to the witch trials makes Sam a target of the Descendants, girls whose ancestors were among the accused witches. After Sam befriends a charming young ghost named Elijah, she begins to piece together just how much of Salem's past continues to haunt its present; forming a tentative truce with the Descendants may be the only way to break a 300-year-old curse. Inspired by her own lineage to Cotton Mather, debut author Mather infuses the story with a rich history of real places and events to anchor its more fantastical elements, including a supernatural love triangle involving Elijah, secret rooms, and hidden compartments containing ancient writings. Witty repartee can seem too irreverent in passages where the teenage characters are facing (and sometimes succumbing to) death, but Mather crafts an entertaining story that draws intriguing parallels between the 17th-century trials and modern-day bullying, as well as the fears and mob mentalities behind both. Ages 12–up. Agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (July)