I am incredibly excited to be part of the Summer Lovin’ Blogger Campaign, brought to you by Penguin Teen! On this last day of the tour, I’m bringing you a review + some mood boards for These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling.
Thank you to Penguin for having me as part of this blog tour and providing me with books to review. Thoughts and opinions expressed in my reviews, as always, are 100% my own and are not influenced in any way.
These Witches Don’t Burn
Author: Isabel Sterling
Release Date: May 28, 2019
Synopsis: 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.
With perfect balance of humor and tragedy, modern age and old world magic, These Witches Don’t Burn is the perfect summer read for fantasy and contemporary YA readers alike.
I’m not gonna lie, I was a little wary going into These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling. It gave off a very contemporary feel from the cover and synopsis, and YA contemporaries don’t usually work out to well for me (I blame my bitter old soul). But all my misgivings were for naught because I LOVED this book!
These Witches Don’t Burn follows Hannah Walsh, an Elemental witch living in Salem, Massachusetts, as she navigates her summer fresh off a painful break up with Veronica Matthews, a fellow Elemental witch. The book jumps straight into the mystery and drama and doesn’t ever stop. I loved the build up of backstory and drama between Hannah and Veronica. Everything culminates into a series of shocking twists and you can bet that this reader wants MORE!
Sterling layers so much feeling and depth into all of her characters, even the smaller ones. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at Hannah’s witty comebacks, smile at Gemma’s friendly meddling into Hannah’s love life, and cry along with characters who suffer heartbreak. The friendships and romances are deeply relateble and have no shortage of complexity. Everyone in this book feels like they could have been a friend, lover, or peer from a reader’s life.
The atmosphere is another phenomenal aspect in this one. Even with the ominous threats hanging over our characters lives, the heady summer days of Salem, Massachusetts have a life of their own on the pages. Everything feels immediate and intoxicating. The history of Salem also plays into the story, which gives the story a nice witchy layer even though summer is not a typically witchy season.
These Witches Don’t Burn is a phenomenal summer read, filled with queer characters, new and broken relationships, deep friendships, bitter betrayals, and wondrous magic. I enjoyed every single moment of reading this one and I highly recommend it. I cannot wait to see where Hannah’s story goes after this.
These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling is available now from Razorbill/Penguin and you can purchase a copy at the publisher’s website.