My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Title: These Witches Don’t Burn
Author: Isable Sterling
Format: Hardcover (borrowed)
Categories: Witchcraft, Young Adult, Romance, LGBTQIA+ , Mystery, Contemporary Fantasy
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.
What better way to get into the fall spirit than by bingeing on witchy themed books! These Witches Don’t Burn, is fun but also filled with mystery and suspense, I mean it can’t be witchy without some darkness to it right?
Hannah is a witch in Salem’s only coven and she’s been good at keeping it a secret among the Regs (non-witches) around her like her best friend, Gemma. Her ex-girlfriend Veronica and fellow coven member is trying to get her back but Hannah is trying her best to resist her.
Enter new girl Morgan, who makes Hannah believe she can like someone again, someone who isn’t Veronica. The two of them getting together is cute but Hannah takes some time in the story to really sort out her feelings about her ex and the new crush. So romance and feelings are present in the story but it is not the focus, nope, there is a Blood Witch – or so Hannah and Veronica thinks – in Salem. Apparently Blood Witches are scary, but Morgan isn’t the only newbie in town. A Detective Archer is also in Salem as well…suspiciously around the time events start happening to Hannah and Veronica. The coven must find who is the Blood Witch before someone gets really hurt. Speaking of covens and witches, I love that this is a contemporary fantasy book with witches because I feel like most of the books I read with witches are historical fantasy, but I really love the modern day witches too! It felt fresh, and fun even with the danger and suspense. I like that the teenagers in this story were being teenagers.
I thought this was going to be a light fluffy read, but no, there is suspense, mystery and so much danger. I’d say about halfway into the book, I suspected who the villain was and sure enough I was right! But that didn’t take away any enjoyment I had reading the book. The ending was sad though and I didn’t expect that. ☹️
Overall this is such a good debut novel and yay to all the queer characters represented in the book! 😍 If you want to get into a witchy mood, this is the book for you.