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These Witches Don’t Burn

Am I on a witch kick? Always.

Hannah is an Elemental witch that lives in Salem, Mass. Her magic is secret, so if she uses it in from of a Reg (c’mon.), she’ll lose it. Hannah works at a witch shop, hangs out with her best friend, and avoids her ex, Veronica. But when a blood ritual is performed at a bonfire, around Regs, Hannah is worried there’s a Blood Witch in Salem. Now, she has to convince her coven of the danger, so she is forced to team up with Veronica, when Hannah meets Morgan, a new girl in town. As the attacks on Salem’s witches get worse, Hannah has to deal with the crisis, date the girl, and test her power in order to save the people she loves.

Starting with what I didn’t like, the cliches and characterizations were annoying. I’m surprised Hannah didn’t end up with a concussion sooner! At least 5 chapters ended with her passing out in some way from a head injury. And for an Elemental, she has a really hard time breathing or making the ground softer before she hits it. Head trauma aside, it’s lazy writing to have characters fall asleep to end a chapter. With the characterization, I’m focusing more on the dad. He dies, but I feel little to nothing about his death. While there was great writing surrounding Hannah and her grief, we weren’t told a lot about her dad. If you’re going to kill off a character as a major plot point, at least make your readers get to know your character.

I liked the rest of the book. The LGBT really showed up and we love it. There’s gay witches, bi witches, trans characters… If there’s an nb witch in the next book, I’ll be so happy. There was a lack of racial diversity, which is a trend with YA books, because they seem to be either sexually diverse or racially diverse. Is it too much to ask for both? (see: Muted on Webtoon, which has both, and polyamory!)

I liked the magic. There were rules and structure that was followed through on, and I’m interested to see what happens in the sequel. One small complaint: can we have more magic in the witch book? They talked about using magic a lot, more than they use it in the actually stories. I loved the relationships. Veronica is very annoying, and I wanted to punch her in the throat halfway through the book, but I won’t be mad if she gets a redemption arc in the next one. Morgan and Hannah are cute, Savannah’s a bitch, and I guess Lauren and Det. Archer are okay?

I’m probably going to read the sequel, once I tackled more of my TBR.

Trigger warnings: death of parent, fire, fire injury, car accident, death, blood, animal death, homophobia, biphobia


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