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Book Review: These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

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Publication Date: May 28th 2019

Series: These Witches Don’t Burn #1


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. Read More.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This book was everything I needed this past week and more. I was completely hooked from page one. Literally. I barely got five sentences in when I had the feeling of “oo this is going to be good” and it was! I finished this a few hours ago as I was eating fish fingers and I’ve been waiting all night till I got home from work to write this review and share my thoughts.

These Witches Don’t Burn follows elemental witch Hannah the summer before her senior year. Her plans for the summer include working at the local wiccan shop, hanging out with her best friend and avoiding her ex. Things become a little more difficult, however, a blood sacrifice at the summer bonfire leads Hannah to believe her coven is in danger, and when nobody else believes her, the only person she can turn to is her ex-girlfriend and fellow witch Veronica. And as if that wasn’t enough she may also be falling for the new girl in town.

I feel like I only really talk plot when something is laughing however I really enjoyed the events and general direction of this book. Although during the last quarter I found it to get quite repetitive- Hannah gets frantic call, Hannah rushes off, Hannah blacks out– I really enjoyed the uniqunessof certain things.

Most notably would be the fact that this book follows Hannah in the aftermath of her breakup. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book with this topic. I enjoyed the dynamic between them and how there was clearly love there and a whole lot of history but Hannah was clear minded enough to realise their relationship wasn’t healthy.

And then you have the added bonus of getting to see a new romance bloom, awkward and adorable.

Some aspects were predicatbly but … is that necesarilly a bad thing? I had a whole lot of fun finding the clues as I read and getting giddy when I got it right. I’ve read a few things recently where I’ve caught onto things and I’m starting to think it might add to my reading experience.

Also, top notch representation all around. We have a lesbian main character, a lesbian ex, a bisexual love interest, transgender side character and gays living their best life. My only complaint regarding representation is that I wish there’d been more characters of colour.

Overall this book was so much fun and was exactly what I needed this past week, a kind of escape from thinking about life and school. I’m so glad I managed to finish this last night before work because I now have a whole week of studying to endure and I couldn’t bare having to put this on the back burner for philosophy of all things. Highly recommend!

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