I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: These Witches Don't Burn #1
Published by Razorbill on May 28, 2019
Source: the publisher
"Infused with page-turning suspense, bittersweet romance, shocking twists, and tragic turns, Sterling has written a standout debut." --Dana Mele, author of People Like Us
Hannah's a witch, but not the kind you're thinking of. She's the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she's ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly By Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.
But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah's concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah's sure it's the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.
While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she's going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem's witches become deadlier by the day.
Isabel Sterling's delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven--and any chance she has with the new girl--is destroyed.
I finished this book over a month ago, and I’m still struggling with reviewing it. It was just SO incredible, I don’t feel any review I write can do it justice. But I NEED to get my feels out there already, so I’ll do the best I can. But this may be a lot of Word Vomit. You’ve been warned!
I’ve been excited for These Witches Don’t Burn ever since it was first announced, and it did NOT disappoint. The writing was incredible and the plot was intense. I loved the magical rules and the different witch clans (Elementals, Blood Witches and Casters).
The characters were incredible, and super relatable – even in small, simple ways. Like Cal attending Salem State, where I almost went. And the fact that Veronica got into Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications and was, therefore, a Parkie (an affectionate nickname for Park students), like I was – studying journalism, of all things, same as I did (at first). And Hannah’s taste in music is a lot like mine – all over the place. I adored Hannah in general. Again, she was a super relatable character and I loved taking this journey with her. I loved her complicated relationships with Veronica and Morgan.
As much as I loved the characters, I also didn’t trust a single one of them except Hannah and Gemma. Everyone else gave me “suspect” vibes. At the same time, some of my “suspects” seemed too obvious, and I questioned whether they were red herrings. When the ACTUAL baddie was revealed, it made such perfect sense, I was mad at myself for not figuring it out sooner.
I don’t know if it was just because it was about witches or what, but I kept picturing most of these characters as the characters from The Secret Circle. Like, Hannah is Cassie (but maybe brunette instead of blonde) and Veronica is Faye, although I kind of also sometimes pictured her as Diana). And I kept picturing Evan as Adam and Savannah as Melissa. And then – not related to The Secret Circle, but just saying in general – I kept picturing Morgan as Danielle Panabaker with red hair.
This book also had INCREDIBLE LGBTQ+ rep. I can’t speak for it personally, but I’ve heard from other bloggers that the rep was well done, and this book meant a lot to a lot of people, and it’s an important book because of that.
So.. Overall, I absolutely 100% LOVED LOVED LOVED this book! I don’t feel like my review is doing it justice, though. It’s definitely in my Top Five for the year and I want to yell at everyone to read it, but I just don’t have much else to say. So rather than ramble on, I’m gonna stop here and just say PLEASE BUY AND READ THIS BOOK BECAUSE WITCHES AND SALEM AND EPIC CHARACTERS AND LGBTQ+ REP AND OMG IT’S JUST SOOOO GOOOOOODDDDDD PLEASE READ IT!!!!!!!