Hot Best Seller

These Witches Don't Burn

Availability: Ready to download

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 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.


Compare

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 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.

30 review for These Witches Don't Burn

  1. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    Uhhhh what? Gay witches?? *queer heavy breathing intensifies*

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)

    excuse me I need this book immediately since it appears to have sapphic witches oh my god??

  3. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Me upon reading the synopsis for this book: My copy has arrived and it is resplendent! I cannot wait to get to this one yet kind of feel like holding out until October. Who else plans their Spooktober TBR all year long?

  4. 4 out of 5

    may ➹

    3.5 stars Is it really Pride month if you don’t read a gay witch book? These Witches Don’t Burn follows an Elemental witch named Hannah, who lives in Salem, Massachusetts. At first it seems like the hardest thing she’ll have to do that summer is avoid her ex-girlfriend, but her problems become much worse when signs of dark magic pops up around town. This book is filled with intrigue and mystery, as Hannah and her coven faces more and more danger and are forced to figure 3.5 stars Is it really Pride month if you don’t read a gay witch book? These Witches Don’t Burn follows an Elemental witch named Hannah, who lives in Salem, Massachusetts. At first it seems like the hardest thing she’ll have to do that summer is avoid her ex-girlfriend, but her problems become much worse when signs of dark magic pops up around town. This book is filled with intrigue and mystery, as Hannah and her coven faces more and more danger and are forced to figure out the identity of the person behind it all and stop them. Hannah also juggles with a crush on the new girl in town, and overall, the book is quite entertaining and enjoyable to read. We stay like that for a long time. Until, finally, something inside starts to stitch itself back together. I had a lot of fun reading this book. Hannah is a really interesting character to read about: she’s dedicated to helping people—which is especially hard when she has to conceal her witch identity—and she’s also somehow both sweet and fierce. I also really enjoyed the side characters! I wish some of them had been more developed (I feel like certain characters were important in the beginning and then just kind of disappeared), but I absolutely loved the friendship between Hannah and Gemma. There’s also Hannah’s new crush, and I absolutely loved the sweet romance that was blooming between the two of them. (The most relatable part of this book was when Hannah was having a gay panic at whether or not Morgan was flirting with her.) This book was filled with a lot of action, but also quieter moments in between that I enjoyed. I have to say, I wasn’t particularly immersed in the book in the beginning, but as I read more, my interested piqued! There’s definitely a lot of high stakes, and it made for an exciting, thrilling read. Is she actually… Flirting. With me? Oh god. What do I do? Another aspect of this book that I really liked was, of course, the witchy magic! I loved how those magical elements were blended with a contemporary time and setting. I’m someone who finds contemporaries a lot easier to read than fantasies, but really loves fantasy elements, so this was perfect for me. Plus, the book was very atmospheric and it was somehow the perfect combination of summer and autumn vibes! However, I think I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn’t accidentally completely spoiled it for myself. The whole book was spent trying to figure out who the “bad guy” was, and I knew who it was from the beginning because I accidentally saw the name. That really affected my reading experience, because I was bored at times and the mystery and intrigue was useless for me. I was still shocked by some reveals in the book, though! I didn’t see quite a few of them coming, and I definitely don’t think I would have been able to guess who the “bad guy” was without having spoiled it for myself. (Speaking of shock, though, there was one event that happened in this book that surprised me and actually was a little triggering, even though it wasn’t personal to me, so please be careful when reading this! It does get quite violent at times.) There’s a war brewing. And I intend to win. I think the biggest issue I have with this book is, first of all, not a terrible issue. But I just don’t feel very passionately about the book, and I think it comes down to a lack of any particular themes. This book was fun for me to read, and I enjoyed it, but I personally love to see themes and messages in the book, subtle or not, and I can’t name any that this book had. It’s not a bad thing though! I still liked the book, and in some ways, it was actually easier for me to read because I thought it to be just an entertaining book. I definitely recommend this for those who are looking to have a fun book to read, full of atmospheric witchy magic and mystery! :: rep :: lesbian MC, bi female LI, sapphic ex, queer trans male side character, minor old queer couples :: content warnings :: parental death, animal death, blood, fetishization of wlw (challenged), violence, car crash, burning at stake Thank you to Penguin for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a spot on this blog campaign! This did not affect my opinions in any way.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)

    Ehhhhhhhhh. Not terrible but not great.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elise (TheBookishActress)

    is this another gay witch book

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lola

    3.5 stars. I’ve been reading so many standalones lately that I almost forgot what it felt like to stumble upon a CLIFFHANGER oh so very unexpectedly after being shot in the heart with multiple revelations one after the other until I had to take my eyes off the book, look around me and whisper to absolutely no one, ‘‘How can the author be so cruel…’’ Well, well. This was much more dramatic than I expected from what I thought looked like a fun and quirky witchy romance. It’s entertainin 3.5 stars. I’ve been reading so many standalones lately that I almost forgot what it felt like to stumble upon a CLIFFHANGER oh so very unexpectedly after being shot in the heart with multiple revelations one after the other until I had to take my eyes off the book, look around me and whisper to absolutely no one, ‘‘How can the author be so cruel…’’ Well, well. This was much more dramatic than I expected from what I thought looked like a fun and quirky witchy romance. It’s entertaining for sure, because there is quite a satisfying amount of action—so much in fact that I could easily see this story be adapted to the big screen. The relationships in this one are a little quirky, since the characters are connected in surprising ways, especially Hannah (the heroine) and her ex-girlfriend, Veronica. And, finally, there is indeed romance between Hannah and her new crush, but because it happens during a very dark time in this town, with witches being targeted by who-knows-what, the love story lost importance in my eyes. I don’t think the author did anything particularly new here. Witch stories have existed for centuries and witches have been chased for even longer but Isabel Sterling did manage to make everything seem… realistic. Not once did I roll my eyes while thinking to myself, ‘‘AS IF.’’ It gets intense, as mentioned above, and people are actually scared by what happens, Hannah included. She believes something is wrong and is dedicated to finding out the truth. I also enjoyed the dialog. When I said this would make a good movie, I meant it. The dialog feels natural and gives voice to the many characters featured in this witchy tale. Not all are memorable—some are sadly one-dimensional—but they all have a role to play in the story so if the author manages to give them more than one role in the sequel, I think I might just… love it. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sien

    I am finding mentions of this book everywhere and the only thing I see are “gay witches” but that’s also the only thing I needed to know

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Glenn Marsh

    I see a lot of folks here saying they're excited for a gay witch book, and let me tell you...THIS STORY DELIVERS!!! I loved it. I'm already ready for the sequel, but I guess I'll have to wait for 2019 to start bugging the author about the next book ;) Maybe. From unexpected twists to a dynamic and mostly queer cast of characters, there's so much for everyone to love here. Really, well done.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jessi ♥️ H. Vojsk

    Gay witches? Hell yeah! 🏳🌈 🏳🌈 🏳🌈 When I started this book I was so freaking excited. I read about Elementals, Casters and Blood witches and I was like yeeeeeeees I want to be part of a clan, of a coven. And a gay main character who loves girls, has problems with her ex-girlfriend and a terrible secret. And it wasn’t in this utopia world were the lgbt community was absolutely normal. No, but it was still a better world. And I really liked it. We saw that her parents, her coven, her friends and her most Gay witches? Hell yeah! 🏳️‍🌈 🏳️‍🌈 🏳️‍🌈 When I started this book I was so freaking excited. I read about Elementals, Casters and Blood witches and I was like yeeeeeeees I want to be part of a clan, of a coven. And a gay main character who loves girls, has problems with her ex-girlfriend and a terrible secret. And it wasn’t in this utopia world were the lgbt community was absolutely normal. No, but it was still a better world. And I really liked it. We saw that her parents, her coven, her friends and her most of her school mates didn’t have problem with her being queer, but the book showed still problems that many queer people have. Like the parents of the female best friend that seem strange and uncomfortable around her. Of the class mates that recorded her kissing another girl and thinking it was hot and violated her privacy. I loved that the book had some witches and magic in it. The first half of the book i was like hm will it be a two or three star rating? And then at the final 25% there was so much action, so many small plot twists and I was like will it be a three or four star rating? And I settled for three and you know why? I liked the book, don’t get me wrong, but it was only overall okay. Not wow or awesome or can’t-stop-reading. Just okay. I enjoyed it. The whole world. The magic. But I wasn’t fascinated or addicted to it. There were some moments were I was a bit excited about the book but the okay parts were the majority. Sorry for the messy review! Next time will be normal again ☺️

  11. 5 out of 5

    sofia (sam willows)

    sounds gay. just the way I like it

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy Imogene Reads

    4 stars These Witches Don't Burn? More like these witches don't bore! (Couldn't resist.) Concept: ★★★ Relationship dynamics:★★★★ Pacing: ★★★★ Enjoyment: ★★★★★ I absolutely loved reading These Witches Don't Burn. Fun, filled with memorable characters, extremely relationship relationship drama, and so well paced it's basically ready for its movie adaptation, this book is the perfect LGBT+ contemporary read for this summer. Everyone knows the history of Salem, Massachusetts. People went mad and claimed girls were witches, and t/>/>Relationship/>/>These 4 stars These Witches Don't Burn? More like these witches don't bore! (Couldn't resist.) Concept: ★★★ Relationship dynamics:★★★★ Pacing: ★★★★ Enjoyment: ★★★★★ I absolutely loved reading These Witches Don't Burn. Fun, filled with memorable characters, extremely relationship relationship drama, and so well paced it's basically ready for its movie adaptation, this book is the perfect LGBT+ contemporary read for this summer. Everyone knows the history of Salem, Massachusetts. People went mad and claimed girls were witches, and they killed them. As many other novels have explored—what if the witches were real? These Witches Don't Burn covers the same ground relating to Salem, but it does it with a surprising sense of diversity, humor, and heart. Hannah is an Elemental witch in her junior year of high school. She's training to be a full witch in her coven, she's attempting to balance her home life with school, and she's dealing with her persistent ex. Adding some fire to the flames, Hannah's ex is one of the witches in Hannah's coven, and she's everywhere Hannah is. Awkward. The main drama for These Witches Don't Burn lies in the relationship dynamics between Hannah, her ex Veronica, Hannah's friend Gemma, and the new girl in town, Morgan. There is an action-based pseudo-mystery plot going on in the background as the witches discover that a Witch Hunter is in town—attempting to murder them in the style of the 1600s Salem witch trials—and Hannah finds herself in the middle of the drama, but for me the main narrative lay in the relationships. To be honest, that's why I enjoyed it so much. These Witches Don't Burn is feminist, fun, and filled with the kind of relationship drama that everyone can relate to. I loved it. My only caveat to the story was that it fell into some of the anti-men tropes that these novels often have. The men in this novel were either suspicious, problematic, dead, or part of the mystery in a nefarious way. I can't get into the spoilers, but once you've reached the finale you'll see what I mean. I wish there had been a few positive male characters in the story not because we need positive male roles in every story, but because it seemed like an intentional oversight and felt like an over correction in the name of female empowerment. ***** Original notes: What a fun-filled witchy YA? Unputdownable. Relatable relationship drama spliced with an action-mystery. Has the ability to keep you up until 2 a.m. finishing it. Good stuff. Full review to come!

  13. 5 out of 5

    ellie

    wow this stole my heart. i love my gay witches 🥺

  14. 5 out of 5

    ⚔ Silvia ⚓

    Why do I have to wait until 2019 for gay witches

  15. 5 out of 5

    caitlin ✶

    Edit: I’m disappointing everyone by saying this, but looking back, this was just a bland 3 stars. Nothing wrong with it, & there were stuff to appreciate, but I have zero desire to pick up the sequel, & I think that’s really telling. If they had any clue what real witches were like, what we’re capable of . . . They probably wouldn’t sleep very well at night. When I heard that These Witches Don't Burn was a new release featuring gay witches, I was inevitably excited to pick it up. Thankfu Edit: I’m disappointing everyone by saying this, but looking back, this was just a bland 3 stars. Nothing wrong with it, & there were stuff to appreciate, but I have zero desire to pick up the sequel, & I think that’s really telling. If they had any clue what real witches were like, what we’re capable of . . . They probably wouldn’t sleep very well at night. When I heard that These Witches Don't Burn was a new release featuring gay witches, I was inevitably excited to pick it up. Thankfully, I got exactly what I wanted from it--a teen drama with a witchy spin. I have to commend this book for being one of the few queer books I've read with explicit mentions of characters' sexuality. It seems like most of the time, authors go out of their way to avoid using labels, and that makes it hard to search for books with specific rep. Not in this book though. Respectively, Hannah and Morgan are on-page lesbian and bi. The ex-girlfriend aspect of this book was really well-done. We start the book out with Hannah still smarting from her break-up with Veronica, though she knows that she did the right thing. Veronica gives her all to get Hannah to take her back, and Hannah is understandably lured by her advances, but I admired how Hannah had the strength to say no each time. By the end of the book, I was extremely happy with how their relationship was resolved. Hannah's relationship with Morgan, the new girl in town, was delightful to read about. Though I'm someone who absolutely despises insta-love, and some may consider their relationship a case of insta-love, I didn't really think it was. Rather, it was an accurate portrayal of how teenagers meet, have a crush on each other, start texting, and then start dating. Hannah and Morgan were a welcome break from all the Blood Witch and Witch Hunter things going on in the background of the novel, and it was empowering to read about how healthy their relationship was after seeing the toxicity of Hannah and Veronica's. The concept of Wicca is addressed within the book, and it isn't looked down upon. Wicca is acknowledged as real magic, but not nearly as strong as the Elemental, Caster, and Blood Witches' magic. And the magic system is explained in an extremely easy to understand manner. I liked the concept of magic that almost has a mind of its own--it reacts to outside elements and struggles to escape if bound. I don't know if it's just me, but I did not expect that twist at the end. I felt like such a fool because the signs were all there, but the author did such a good job of making sure that I never noticed them. I also love how Isabel Sterling incorporated the title "These Witches Don't Burn" into her novel. Before I end this review, here's a random tangent of more things I loved about this book. Besides the lesbian and bi rep, there is a trans male side character who dates men, and an older f/f couple who are expecting a baby. And if you're looking for more books that have the trope of asking for consent before kissing, look no further! What's even better is the trans-inclusive language. If someone's gender is unknown, they are always referred to with they/them pronouns. There's even a scene where someone refers to a culprit as "he," and Hannah thinks that it could also be a girl, or, and I quote, "someone who isn’t either of those genders." Despite the fact that the writing style was trying too hard to be edgy and "teenager" in the beginning, it quickly dials down, so I see no reason why you shouldn't pick this book up, especially because June is Pride Month. Celebrate with this amazing book featuring teen witches who happen to like girls! Content Warnings: fetishising of sapphics (challenged), animal death, death of a parent, toxic relationships BLOG & TWITTER

  16. 4 out of 5

    anna (readingpeaches)

    proving the point that magic is inherently gay, thanks!!! Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Bloglovin | Reads Rainbow

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lea (drumsofautumn)

    Not gonna lie, I'm having a hard time writing down some thoughts on this book because I am so overwhelmed with the ending as it featured one of my biggest triggers. Overall this was really enjoyable read but I expected this to be really fun and it just really wasn't. That is not to say that the book was bad. Not at all. I actually that it is subjectively a pretty great book. It was really action-packed, I loved the magic system and the different kinds of witches. But here's the thing.. Not gonna lie, I'm having a hard time writing down some thoughts on this book because I am so overwhelmed with the ending as it featured one of my biggest triggers. Overall this was really enjoyable read but I expected this to be really fun and it just really wasn't. That is not to say that the book was bad. Not at all. I actually that it is subjectively a pretty great book. It was really action-packed, I loved the magic system and the different kinds of witches. But here's the thing.. this hit a little bit too close to home with a big event that happened at the end and I got caught off guard completely! On top of that, I didn't like how little this book actually dealt with the emotional consequences of this event. I could imagine this comes up more in the sequel but as someone who experienced something so similar (but with less severe consequences), I just couldn't believe how little time the author actually took to have the main character process what happened. (view spoiler)[There is a fire towards the end of the book and the main character's dad ends up being in a coma and eventually dies. A couple of years back my dad had a bad accident that left him in a coma for several weeks and he had very similar head injuries to the main character's dad. Thankfully my dad survived and is doing GREAT but this was basically like someone showed me an alternate reality and it was really hard for me to handle, especially as I just didn't see it coming at all. On top of that, I feel like because the main conflict of the book had not yet been resolved, the main character barely had time to grieve or process what happened. And I just hated that. Again, I feel like (and really hope) that this is probably gonna be a bigger topic in the sequel but I can't help but feel super lackluster about this book after that ending. (hide spoiler)] In my opinion the whole ending of this book should've been the main character dealing with her trauma and nothing else. So I am giving it a very basic 3 stars cause I feel like it wouldn't be fair of me to give it any less! This is just my super personal opinion based on experience and I wanted to share that this is where I'm coming from. I might check out the sequel, just to see the repercussions of the events in this first book. Trigger and content warnings for death of a parent, violence, car crashing into a lake, a house burning down. ♦ Booktube Channel ♦ Twitter ♦ Instagram ♦

  18. 5 out of 5

    Iris

    Ooooh this was very fun, and then it took a really dark turn, and fkjhhjgjk I literally binged it in a single sitting and didn't even stop to come upstairs and make it as currently reading which SAYS SOMTHING. Anyways this was awesome. RTC.

  19. 4 out of 5

    nova ryder ☼

    gonna stop this for now & save it for the reading rush readathon 😂👍🏼

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I have been devouring adult paranormal romances, but I haven't really been reading any YA paranormal books. When I saw the cover of this one and saw it was about teen witches, I knew I had to pick it up! Hannah is still hurt over how things ended between her and her ex, but when strange things start happening and signs of a blood witch are popping up, Hannah knows they have more serious problems. As an elemental witch, Hannah has to make sure to hide her own powers while trying to figure out if I have been devouring adult paranormal romances, but I haven't really been reading any YA paranormal books. When I saw the cover of this one and saw it was about teen witches, I knew I had to pick it up! Hannah is still hurt over how things ended between her and her ex, but when strange things start happening and signs of a blood witch are popping up, Hannah knows they have more serious problems. As an elemental witch, Hannah has to make sure to hide her own powers while trying to figure out if a blood witch is really in town and how to protect those she loves. I love a good paranormal book, so it's no surprise that I absolutely loved the magic system in this book. I really loved how there were three types of witches and, even among witches, there was stigma against what kind of witch you were. I also loved how much Hannah actually used her powers and seeing the scope of her abilities. Of course, living with humans (or "regs" in this book), the whole aspect of having to keep her powers secret added a whole other dimension of conflict to the story. And talk about diversity! There were so many different kinds of relationships and identities in this book and I was soooo in love with Hannah's own romantic journey in this book. Her ex was definitely very toxic, but I enjoyed watching Hannah meet a new girl and starting to date her while still getting over her heartbreak. Hannah's best friend was also a huge bright spot in this book and I loved all of the friendships in this book. While reviews aren't the best for this book, I absolutely loved it! It was so witch-ey and I was all in for Hannah's romance. While I thought I had everything figured out by the end, there were some serious surprised thrown in and I immediately went to Goodreads to see what book two was releasing. I can't wait to read even more from Isabel Sterling!

  21. 4 out of 5

    maddi

    is this for the gays??

  22. 4 out of 5

    lu ☾

    did i hear sapphic witches

  23. 4 out of 5

    Reading Tam Ishly

    The first page itself made me DNF this book. Yes, I tried reading the second and third page too. It made my DNF page resolve stronger! The characters are so 'Mean Girls' wannabe and the dialogues are so superficial that I had to stop reading this one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    thi

    2.75/5 - I’ve got perhaps a weird complaint - The cover does not match the story at all - listen this tangent is worthwhile - Books are expensive it’s up to marketing and the synopsis among other factors but to me perhaps the most important is the cover to be eye catching to the right demographic and best represent what kind of story is being sold here - I’ve never felt so strongly about a misleading cover that screams sort of cute romance unlikely rag tag team when really it’s a 2.75/5 - I’ve got perhaps a weird complaint - The cover does not match the story at all - listen this tangent is worthwhile - Books are expensive it’s up to marketing and the synopsis among other factors but to me perhaps the most important is the cover to be eye catching to the right demographic and best represent what kind of story is being sold here - I’ve never felt so strongly about a misleading cover that screams sort of cute romance unlikely rag tag team when really it’s a supernatural mystery DRAMA - Ok done with that - The story itself is fine .. I had some trouble with pacing; the excitement and tension would wind up so high at some parts and immediately drop and the mc’s priorities meander quite a bit - Also the central mystery; their coven dismissed so many glaring red flags I was soooooo frustrated - I guessed who the hunter was pretty early so .. the lead up to the big reveal and very fast wrap up was .. ehh - I feel like there were some allegories to a bigger picture but they felt cheesy to me

  25. 4 out of 5

    ♡AbbyBooks♡

    Yes to this book. Yes to everything. Most of all yes to witches!!♡♡♡

  26. 5 out of 5

    andrea caro

    gay witches. this is my brand. -- was thinking that i'd love this, but - overall i was really missing the atmosphere that made other books set in salem (prosper redding & how to hang a witch) such a fun reading experience for me. 3.5? full rtc.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard

    I LOVED this. The cast and plot and setting and mystery was just what I wanted. Nothing was too much but I also didn't feel like I was missing context or information. That's pretty mind blowing to me since this is a debut and by no means a long book. Right off the bat, let's acknowledge the queer rep. We have an out lesbian main character, her ex-girlfriend (who I don't remember how she identified but is only in F/F romances in this book), a key side character is bisexual (own voices) who enters I LOVED this. The cast and plot and setting and mystery was just what I wanted. Nothing was too much but I also didn't feel like I was missing context or information. That's pretty mind blowing to me since this is a debut and by no means a long book. Right off the bat, let's acknowledge the queer rep. We have an out lesbian main character, her ex-girlfriend (who I don't remember how she identified but is only in F/F romances in this book), a key side character is bisexual (own voices) who enters a F/F romance. Another key side character is FTM transgender with a boyfriend. I freaking loved the F/F romance that the mc character is in. It's sweet and cute but also was used AMAZINGLY with this "who is the witch hunter" fear. The cast as a whole was just well established. There's actually quite a few characters and while I absolutely know some of them better than the others, they all seemed to have distinct voices which made sure that I was still able to remember side characters. There was no specific emphasis put on developing one or two specific characters for no reason (which always makes me think they are the villain) so this REALLY helped keep me guessing as to who was the evil witch hunter. What I found missing sadly was the magic structure. Now this is quite hard to do since the main characters aren't supposed to be doing magic in the open (fair enough, it's set in Salem) and at a point their powers are actually physically restricted from use. It's also not really something that would play much of role. There's a witch hunter and they have to find out who it is first and foremost. I am expecting this to develop in the sequel just with how this book sets up the future. Finally, no spoiler but I appreciate what the author did at the end. There was no cop out or easy happily ever after for every character. Now maybe the author will do this in the sequel (I hope not) but I can already see the purpose and how the ending is going to affect and motivate the main character and her coven. Rep: lesbian main character, bisexual side character, FTM transgender side character, multiple F/F romances

  28. 4 out of 5

    kayla ☕ (hiatus)

    These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling ✰✰✰ (3.5 out of 4 stars) “Because,” I say, my voice so soft it’s nearly swallowed up by the trees, “I’m standing here, telling you how much you hurt me, and you can’t hear it.” There are three types of witches that exist—Elemental, Casters, and Blood Wiches. Hannah Walsh is an Elemental one, which means she has the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. She's apart of a coven full of other Elementals in Salem, Massachusetts. Despite living in Salem Hannah must keep her powers a secret anstars)“Because,” These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling ✰✰✰½ (3.5 out of 4 stars) “Because,” I say, my voice so soft it’s nearly swallowed up by the trees, “I’m standing here, telling you how much you hurt me, and you can’t hear it.” There are three types of witches that exist—Elemental, Casters, and Blood Wiches. Hannah Walsh is an Elemental one, which means she has the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. She's apart of a coven full of other Elementals in Salem, Massachusetts. Despite living in Salem Hannah must keep her powers a secret and is forbidden from telling a Reg (a muggle) in fear of having them revoked. Hannah's biggest problem at the start of the novel was trying to avoid her fellow coven member and ex-girlfriend, Veronica. However, that proves to be the least of her problems. A terrifying blood ritual has Hannah on high alert—could it be the work of a Reg or something more powerful, like a Blood Witch, which Hannah has had very bad experience with? Or could it be the work of a Witch Hunter? Hannah might have to just team up with her ex to figure that out. But along the way she meets a cute ballerina who makes her want to move on. She also deals with a cast of characters (some good and some very bad). But rying to start a new relationship is hard. Trying to start a new relationship during an on-going war? Yeah. That's damn near impossible. Especially if you can't trust said cute ballerina in fear that they might be responsible for the deadly attacks. Or literally anyone you've ever met. INITIAL THOUGHTS Before I started this book I assumed it was going to be a cute and fairly light-hearted book with gay witches. But...this book was not light-hearted. That's not necessary a bad thing though. I would of still of picked this up if they marketed it as a dark paranormal mystery. I was just surprised, not disappointed. I was debating on whether I should give it a four or three star rating but finally settled on three and a half. I really liked a lot of elements in this book but there was a few that I was just...meh. Didn't hate it. Didn't love it. Thus the three and a half. This review is going to be mainly spoiler free but it's hard to get into some things without giving more context. Anyways, this book was a really good read. If you're into books that gives a different take on witchcraft you should definitely check it out. If you also go into this book looking for a cute queer romance you will get it, but just know it's not the main focus. Other than that it was a solid first book that kept me intrigued and wanting more. LIKES & DISLIKES I'm a huge fan of books that deal with magic (whether it's high fantasy or more grounded in "real life") but after awhile things can get repetitive. This book is really unique on how it deals with witchcraft. It simultaneously weaves the basic idea of what witchcraft is that we see in other books (ex. Harry Potter or Beautiful Creatures) and makes it something completely new. I loved how the author uses mythology and frequently references other forms of witchcraft (like Paganism or Wiccan) because it helps you have a better understanding of the way the magic works without being confusing. That's not to say the author was completely clear on how things worked but I personally liked that everything wasn't revealed. Speaking of things being revealed, I'm not a huge fan of mystery. I don't have that particular skill that can easily pick up/work out who the bad guy is. I'm pretty much Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia in that one episode. You know, the one where he was ranting about a conspiracy theory. That's me with like, every single character in books with a mystery plot. But like halfway through this book I picked up on who the big bad was, I just didn't want to believe it because (like Hannah) I overlooked the signs. I feel like other people will be able to pick up on this pretty fast though. Either way I really liked this aspect of the plot. Now, on to characters. I liked Hannah but I didn't love her. There was no definite reason for that. It was just...meh. She was definitely one of the very late protagonists in YA books who have an ounce of common sense. She made fairly smart decisions throughout the book but I mean come on. She's still pretty young and dealing with not only heartbreak but also with a handful of other things. I liked that even if this was heavy on the paranormal it also focused on real life. Sexuality, first love, friendship, dealing with parents, etc. None of these real life plotlines felt out of place. I have to say that one of my favorite things about this book was the friendships, particularly between Hannah and her best friend Gemma. We rarely get YA books with strong female friendships that are toxic. Plus, Gemma is an absolute riot who I love. Gemma pouts. “This is bullshit. How is it you got a real-life Hogwarts letter, and I’m a stupid Muggle?” Also, can I just say how much I love that Harry Potter exists in this story? I've read so much books that deal with witchcraft and it never exists in their world. It definitely roots this book more into reality and allows the characters to be more relatable. Now...on to one of main reasons I wanted to read this. Queer witches!! The author gave it to us but I didn't really care all that much for it. This has nothing to do with the actual relationship or characters. Hannah's and Morgan's budding relationship was cute!! I liked Morgan as a character too, but obviously she wasn't as fleshed out as she could of be. But it's the first book in (at least) a duology. I just personally cared for the mystery and paranormal plotlines instead, which sucks. Hopefully in the next book we get more time spent on developing Morgan and Hannah's relationship because I want to see it. Especially when (view spoiler)[it was revealed that Morgan was a Blood Witch (hide spoiler)] . As for the relationship between Hannah and Veronica it was...I don't even know. I don't hate Veronica as a character because she's complex but you can definitely tell their relationship was (and still is) toxic. I like that the characters actually address it. It's also good to not see a character falling in love for the first time. It was nice that we saw a different side to the typical YA romances. I wish there was things I could list that made me not absolutely love this book but there isn't. Something's just felt off. I kind of wished the book was a tad bit longer so we could get more focus on different aspects because sometimes the pacing was off. FINAL THOUGHTS This was a really good read that I enjoyed. I'm really pumped for the second book to come out. I just hope that I end up liking it more than this one. “We stay like that for a long time. Until, finally, something inside starts to stitch itself back together.”

  29. 4 out of 5

    McKinlay Dennis

    *I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Penguin. This does not affect my review.* So.... this book/series NEEDS to be a tv show. Like yesterday. Queer witches are my new favorite thing. This is a fantastical mystery/thriller and it kept me guessing the whole book. I was literally suspicious of EVERY SINGLE PERSON!!! We get an all girl love triangle too! Like sign me the f*ck up okay??? Since this is a mystery I don't want to go into too much else. My only real c *I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Penguin. This does not affect my review.* So.... this book/series NEEDS to be a tv show. Like yesterday. Queer witches are my new favorite thing. This is a fantastical mystery/thriller and it kept me guessing the whole book. I was literally suspicious of EVERY SINGLE PERSON!!! We get an all girl love triangle too! Like sign me the f*ck up okay??? Since this is a mystery I don't want to go into too much else. My only real complaint is this comes off HELLA WHITE! I went back and looked through the book though, and it seems like skin tones and ethnicities aren't mentioned, much, if at all. But all 4 girls on the cover appear to be white, so, take that how you will. I would recommend this to anyone who loves queer shit, witches, and the first few seasons of paranormal CW shows, before everything goes off the rails.

  30. 4 out of 5

    TL

    Not as good as I thought it would be but still had fun with it. What was there about the magic system and history was neat but wish there had more details about everything. Not interested in continuing with the series *shrugs* but at least I'm enjoying my reading again:) Take that book slump!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.