Title: These Witches Don’t Burn
Author: Isabel Sterling
Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal
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 must admit, this book didn’t intrigue me that much. Still, I am glad that I gave it a chance. Once I was a few chapters in, I couldn’t put it down. This book follows Hannah, who is an elemental witch in Salem. It is such a cliche, but I love it when witch stories take place in Salem. Hannah’s family is part of a coven of elemental witches, which her ex-girlfriend, Veronica, happens to be in as well.
I thought that the breakup drama was well written. You could tell that they both still had feelings for one another, but Hannah wasn’t going to just forgive and forget. If you are curious about what Veronica did (like I was), apparently she left Hannah in a deadly situation with a blood witch. However, I wish that we got more context to the breakup, and perhaps even a flashback or two.
Throughout the book we see Hannah trying to sort out her complex feelings for her ex, while starting a relationship with the new girl in town, Morgan. Morgan was a sweet character, and didn’t blame Hannah for running off to, unbeknownst to her, deal with this supernatural crisis. Also, it’s hard when your crush still has a close relationship with her ex, but Morgan was very understanding throughout the story.
“And it’s not like Disney ever showed us how to fall for another girl.”
Hannah’s parents and best friend, Jemma were likeable enough supporting characters. Towards the end, Jemma became one of my favorite characters. She added a much-needed comic relief to the story. Also, she was quick to defend Hannah to other people in her life. Hannah’s parents might not have understood their daughter at times, but you could see that they truly loved her.
The main plot is finding out who is responsible for the dark magic being used in Salem. Yet, there were times when we focused on the romance and family side of the story. I wouldn’t classify this as a contemporary. The magic and mystery plot was the backbone of the book. But I did like the times we stepped-away from the main plot to focus on ‘normal’ teenager things, like dating, heartbreak and parental drama.
For the most part, the book kept me interested, and there were some confessions that threw me for a loop. However, the storyline and ending were easy to predict. I am not suggesting that’s a bad thing, because sometimes it is nice to know what to expect. But I would have liked a few more surprising elements. I didn’t foretell some of the sadder moments, and although they hurt my heart, I do think they were needed to push the story forward.
Seeing as this is a duology, I will most likely be picking up the second book. But it may not be until next fall, since I think witchy books make good October reads. Do let me know in the comments if you have read this one, and what your opinions are on it. And before you leave, why don’t you give the blog a follow? It is completely free, and you get to support me and get updates at the same time
Until The Next Chapter,