These witches don’t burn by Isabel Sterling
Format: ARC provided by Penguin Teen Canada
Publisher: Penguin Teen
Top 3 Genres: LGBTQ, Contemporary, Magic
My rating: Set it on fire/If you have nothing else to read/you need to read it/Run and buy it.
Pre-order: CA• US• FR• Bookdepository
Add to: Goodreads
Hey guys! Ready for another LGBTQ contemporary AND magical read? These witches don’t burn is there for you! Kind of perfect for #PrideMonth if you ask me 😉
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.
Welcome to Salem 2.0
Remember Salem and all the torturing and burning witches craziness? Well, the witches are still there, in Salem, and they live in the greatest secret! Hannah is part of the Elementalist coven, and no Reg (aka regular human) can know about her powers, not even her best friend! Luckily, her girlfriend is also a witch… well except she is now her ex-girlfriend and a real pain in the ass! If that was not enough stress for Hannah already, a Blood witch might be on the loose in Salem… killing animals for now but she might also be ready to strike any member of the community!
Hannah must then accept the help of her crazy ex to try to convince the coven of the danger they are in. But not everything is as it seems… and something more dangerous than a Blood Witch could be wandering in Salem! We follow Hannah and her friends (the ones who get dragged into danger without even knowing what the hell is happening) trying to understand what is going on in their city: a Blood Witch? a Reg playing with a magic they don’t understand? Or an enemy even worse?
I was really hooked into the mysteries in this book and following Hannah playing detective (or more often, putting her life in danger!)! Once we start to discover what is going on, I had to read the book in one shot!
This book is also a romance
Let’s not forget that, teen feels are a big part of the book! Our main character, Hannah, is gay, one of her co-workers is trans, the new girl in town is bi… all in all, the queer representation in this book was pretty awesome! We are thrown into the aftermath of a terrible break-up for Hannah, and it’s not easy for her with her ex still clinging to the hope of getting back together.
Fortunately, Hannah meets someone else that will make her heart flutters ❤ It was super sweet to read her falling in love again, and making peace with the past!
I also liked that this book was not about Hannah accepting her sexuality or discovering it like we often read about. She knows who she is and she is sure about it! She already came out, and that allowed the book to go deeper into her relationships than if she was still searching for herself. It felt good to have a character who did not question who she loves and just does it as anyone else (and that’s how it should be!)
In a few words
This book was way more dramatic than I thought and I almost read it in one shot: magic, LGBTQ romance (and drama) and a psychopath on the loose… all you need for a great summer read!
See you for a cup,