Published July 1, 2014
It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.
First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.
Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .
Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, what’s really happening to the girls at St. Joan’s?
Summary and Image from Goodreads.com
Do you ever read a book where you just kind of want to talk about it in ALL CAPS? For some reason, that is this one for me! I just find this novel so dang interesting and as a result I have been pretty much talking about it to everyone and anyone who will listen. Which is why I am now back to blogging. BECAUSE THIS BOOK IS INTERESTING.
-I like that it is based on a true story while taking large fictional leaps. In the last few pages Katherine Howe explains how she was inspired to write Conversion and as a result she mashed together these two separate stories that might seem different, but have more in common than we think.
-The mystery element is what kept me reading. I NEEDED to know what was going on with these girls, and yes– you do find out so you aren’t left hanging!!
-It’s all about girls and society– their role in society and how they are treated by society. This would make a great discussion book for that topic alone. I loved that Howe explored that and I loved how she did it in an artful way.
-A lot of the book centers around Colleen, and something about her– her obsession with getting into school, the comfort she finds with her friends, her voice in general– made me really enjoy reading about her. I think part of it is because she felt like a complete person with flaws that drove the story and endearing qualities that made me want to root for her.
So if you are looking for a book to really sink into (this one is longer clocking in at 432 pages) that will grab your attention, make sure to add Conversion to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.com!