Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe

Title: Conversion
Author: Katherine Howe
Format: Paperback
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publish Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "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 . . ."

My Two Cents:

"Conversion" is the story of several teenage girls at St. Joan's Academy, a small private school in Danvers, Massachusetts. The book follows several of these girls as they fall ill with tics and other symptoms that seem to be totally unexplained. The town becomes an immediate media circus as many people try to figure out what is happening to these girls and why they are falling ill. Is there a connection to what happened in Salem Village back in the 1700s?

I was drawn to this book because it seemed interesting to me to tie the present back to something that happened to the same place three centuries prior. The Salem witch trials are still endlessly fascinating to so many people, myself included. I think many people are so interesting because it seems like something that couldn't happen today. This book shows that sometimes hysteria can occur no matter what time period you're talking about.

The premise of the book was interesting but the story was a little slow in some spots. Some of this story got bogged down in telling the stories of so many different people. I found it a little bit hard to keep track of who we were talking about. I had to keep going back in the story to figure it all out. It feels like it took a really long time to get to the overall conflict of the story. The storyline is intriguing but I wanted to be pulled into the mystery little bit more and that did not really happen with this book. Overall, the story has an interesting premise but moved a bit slowly for my liking.


1 comment:

  1. I've had this one my list for awhile now. I don't know when I will get around to reading it. Sounds like there is now reason to hurry.


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