These witches don't burn

Isabel Sterling

Book - 2019

When evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, Massachusetts, Elemental Witch Hannah and her ex-girlfriend Veronica are forced to team up to stop the deadly attacks.

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Location Call Number   Status
Young Adult Area YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Sterling Isabel Checked In
Paranormal fiction
New York : Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC [2019]
Physical Description
320 pages ; 22 cm
Main Author
Isabel Sterling (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Everyone in Salem has heard about witches, but Hannah knows they're real—like the rest of her family, she is one. An Elemental Witch, she can manipulate the world around her, although she has to keep her powers a secret from any nonwitches, like most of her friends. Her girlfriend, Veronica, was an Elemental, too, so that had been great up until Veronica broke her heart. When Hannah stumbles across a dark magical ritual at a party, she's convinced that there's a Blood Witch in town. Blood Witches have a bad reputation, and normally they're pretty solitary, but she and Veronica recently crossed one, and now Hannah's worried that she's here for revenge. But fending her off without getting in trouble with her coven means working with Veronica, which is the last thing Hannah wants to do, especially since there's a cute new girl in town. Sterling's debut in an enjoyable read that, while frequently charming, isn't afraid to go dark or challenge stereotypes. A contemporary mystery with a magical twist. Grades 8-11. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Hannah, a teen member of a secret coven of witches in modern-day Salem, Mass., is trying to move past her feelings about her ex-girlfriend, fellow Elemental Witch Veronica, when a bloody ritual sacrifice is discovered in their town. Worried that the ritual is a warning from a revenge-fueled Blood Witch, Hannah sets out to find the foe before the danger escalates. Propelled by suspenseful paranormal drama, Sterling's debut also touches on deeper subject matter in its thoughtful depiction of the manipulative, potentially abusive relationship between Hannah and Veronica. Veronica is "the girl who pulled me out of the closet so fast and so completely my head was still spinning weeks later," according to Hannah, who describes their first kiss as "life-changing" and "identity-altering." Hannah's inability to tell her human friends of her heritage and the recent threats for fear of being stripped of her powers intensifies the situation. Sterling doesn't shy away from profanity or details of physical relationships in her authentic portrayal of adolescence as viewed through a contemporary teen witch's experience. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kathleen Rushall, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (May) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, Massachusetts, Elemental Witch Hannah and her ex-girlfriend Veronica are forced to team up to stop the deadly attacks.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Possessing secret elemental magic that allows her to control fire, earth, water and air, a Salem, Massachusetts teen witch is forced to team up with her ex-girlfriend to counter a deadly outbreak of dark magic. A first novel. Simultaneous eBook.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Infused with page-turning suspense, bittersweet romance, shocking twists, and tragic turns, Sterling has written a standout debut." --Dana Mele, author of People Like UsHannah'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. Isabel Sterling's delightful, suspenseful debut is equal parts sweet romance and thrilling mystery. With everything she loves on the line, Hannah must confront this murderous villain before her coven--and any chance she has with the new girl--is destroyed.