Author: Katherine Howe
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Fantasy
Blurb: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prepmeets The Crucible.
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?
Me: I want you to scroll up and look at the genres this book fits into. It's pretty crazy. I think that that was the thing that made it so fascinating. It blended together a lot of diverse aspects, but melded them really smoothly.
The Ups: This book was addicting. I mean, ADDICTING. I read it for 5 hours straight last night. The thing is, I can't really place my finger on what it is. I think it's a mix of the suspense and the way the book was written. Howe's writing was very realistic but also extremely sharp and to the point, which made it even more confusing to see how the book would unravel. She would also just set the mood perfectly, with a witty cliffhanger at the end of a chapter or a perfect depiction of the illness and the symptoms.
The entire scenario that was happening was so original. The thought of relating it back to the Salem Witch Trials was haunting and frightening and I literally got goosebumps every time it went back to 1706. I felt like St. Joan's was my school and these things were happening to people around me and it was so intense. I felt like I was completely soaked into the story.
The characters were also a huge part. I felt like I knew each and every one of them, but not in a good way. I feel like as a reader I was on guard to see who the culprit was, and although I had my suspicions, I was prepared for a total twist.
All in all, this book just kept me hooked and my brain spinning to the point where I just could not put it down.
The Downs: I predicted who it was from page 30. The strange thing is, I feel like that should have ruined the book for me. But instead I feel like it kept me going even more because I wanted to see if I was right or not, and even when it was, I got a sense of like "Yes, I knew it! ACCOMPLISHMENNTTT!" and not, "Seriously bro that was so obvious." Even though it turned out much better than I would've thought, I would've loved it if there was a huge twist that absolutely blew my mind.
Overall: A riveting novel that kept me hooked until the very end...really haunting and chilling.