I gave this book half a star and rounded it up to 1 star on Goodreads. I also did not finish this book and quit at the 50 percent mark.
The only cool thing about this book is that a descendant of the Mathers (see Salem Witch trials) wrote a book book Salem and what happens when a descendant of Cotton Mather moves to Salem. There appears to be a curse at work on Sam and the Descendants (the book titles them that way, not me) of the supposed witches that were hanged. Other than that, there is not really anything to see here.
The world building in this book is not great, we have a love triangle (of course) and the development of the main character and others is non-existent. It does not help that crucial details are being left out of things everywhere you turn and you are just supposed to figure out what is going on. I read to the 50 percent mark due to the chapters being so short. But at that point (Chapter 30 to be exact) I pulled the plug and said forget this noise. There are better books out there and I rather be reading them.
The main character of Samantha (prefers Sam) Mather really needs to be worked on. he is not really solid as a character. She is either fighting with her stepmother Vivian, or getting into fights/arguments with teachers or other kids at her school. We keep hearing about terrible things that happened to Sam at schools, but the things described (a hair cutting incident) is assault plain and simple and I have to wonder at Sam's father and stepmother trying to gloss over the whole thing. Of course the book tries to tie in Sam's problems with a "curse" and all, but that didn't really work for me since one incident involved a childhood friend and we don't know what happened there, and the second incident was her having her hair cut and once again I don't know what led up to it.
The secondary characters are written terribly too. Sam's stepmother Vivian has apparently been in her life since she was a child and up until Sam's father had his accident they were really close. But Sam keeps fighting with Vivian and will not tell her what is going on. So there's just a lot of scenes with Sam acting like a jerk (my words) and then saying I should tell Vivian what's going on. Yeah girl, you should.
Other characters such as Jaxon are there to just be a love interest to Sam. I have no idea what this guy really looks like besides the color of his eyes. In fact every guy in this book gets the color of his eyes described. I don't know why Jaxon likes Sam besides the story is making it so. Once again she's not interesting at all, they just live next door to each other.
We also get the Descendants of those accused of witchcraft. Why Mather actually decided to make these Descendants actual witches baffles me. Frankly I wonder why the character of Sam has not said to at least one of them, well so my great great great whatever was right? Still a terrible person to have people be hanged, but you all were witches? That whole thing drove me buggy while reading. Also these Descendants all wear black (yes cause witches wear black...always) and they go off into the woods, they have a circle (but the last time I checked I don't think there are 13 of them, but they all started to blur together so don't quote me on that), and they all wear hooded capes or capes when going out into the woods. I just could not stop laughing. These were stereotypical witches that made me roll my eyes a lot. They were also bullies and acted like asses to Sam. I also don't get why any of these kids would bully someone just because their last name was Mather and no one in the school picked up on it at all. Ugh. I will be here all day if I get into this anymore so moving on.
The other townspeople are a bit much too. Everytime Sam tells someone their name they freak out. There is an incident when she goes to get coffee and the cashier requests her last name (please) and she says Mather and gets the stink eye from the cashier and others. I mean the incidents like this in the book were ridiculous.
The writing was not good. I really don't know what else to say. The sentence structures were all over the place and depending on who was talking it got even more messed up. For example, the character of Elijah should not be speaking in modern speech at all since we know what era he was born in. And having the character speak as if he just learned English was not working for me either. Having the chapter headings started wearing on my nerves while reading too. I don't know why some authors need to set the mood so to speak, but readers are smart, you don't have to have a chapter that says "Under All that Bravado" and then have a character say that later on in the chapter.
The flow of the book was really bad too. The chapters kept ending at weird places and nothing really synced up.
The world building for this book should have been easy. Salem is a real place. I have no understanding at all of how the town looks besides almost all of the houses are black, witches symbols are all over the place, and the school has a witch as their mascot. I also got that same information from Wikipedia. I need to actually be able to envision it. How does the town look, is it a straight route from Sam's house to downtown. How do the trees look? Do the houses have gables? Widows walk? Salem is a huge tourist attraction, this book takes place during September/October, are you telling me there are no tourists anywhere? I have a friend that lives in Boston and she always goes to Salem for Halloween and based on the pictures there are a ton of things to do there. The Salem Sam inhabits seems kind of desolate.
I can't speak to the ending because I stopped reading this at 50 percent. I would definitely recommend skipping this.