Conversion

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Conversion

by Katherine Howe

Penguin Young Readers Group | July 1, 2014 | Hardcover

Conversion is rated 3 out of 5 by 1.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets 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?

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9.25 × 6.5 × 1.25 in

Published: July 1, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0399167773

ISBN - 13: 9780399167775

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overall, I would recommend reading this piece. Set in Danvers, Massachusetts, Conversion follows the story of a mystery illness that breaks out at a highly ranked private high school. Told from the viewpoint of the main character, Colleen Rowley, the story weaves a tale tainted by high school pressure, teen angst and witchcraft. I really enjoyed this book. It is inspired by real life events, which gives it an authentic feel. The author cuts from modern day Massachusetts to the Salem witch trials in the 17th century in a way that keeps the reader engaged. While I found the mystery of what was happening to the girls at St. Joan’s Academy (loved the fact that the school's patron saint was Joan of Arc), I have to admit that at times I found the book a bit slow. The mystery was intriguing enough that I kept coming back for more but at times the pacing of the book was just not fast enough for me. Character development was good in this read. I really liked Colleen and was eager to see what happened to her. She is a smart and strong character who is also, for the most part, likeable. Having said that some of the secondary characters were a bit underdeveloped and there were a lot of them. From the the girls who fell sick (most of whom were really interchangeable) to the other side characters, it was hard to keep track of everyone and to also stay engaged with them. Colleen seemed to have a wide circle of "friends" but so many that it was at times difficult to follow. But that is also part of what made her character so believable. She is a popular girl but with very few close friends. The flashbacks to the 17th century were convincing but here, again, there were far too many characters to keep track of and at times I found the flashbacks pulled me out of Colleen's story and slowed the book down. Overall, I would recommend reading this piece. It's not The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Elizabeth George Speare) but it is definitely an interesting tale about the pressures teenage girls face today and the mystery of witchcraft.
Date published: 2015-01-06

– More About This Product –

Conversion

by Katherine Howe

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 448 pages, 9.25 × 6.5 × 1.25 in

Published: July 1, 2014

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0399167773

ISBN - 13: 9780399167775

Read from the Book

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof*** Copyright © 2014 Katherine Howe  P R E L U D E SALEM VILLAGE, MASSACHUSETTS MAY 30, 1706 How long must I wait? His tongue creeps out the corner of his mouth while he writes, the tip of it black with ink, the blacking in his gums staining his teeth. He looks like he’s got a mouthful of tar. I’ve been waiting for some time, but Reverend Green’s still writing. His quill runs across the paper, scratching like mouse paws. Scratch scratch, dip, scratch, lick, scratch. My feet ache, and shifting my weight just makes the one hurt worse than the other. I’m leaning in the door frame, and in my mind my mother prods me in my back to make me straight. It’s so sharp, the prodding, I could almost swear she was really there. “Ann?” he says. I’d gotten so used to the waiting that I don’t hear him at first. “Ann!” He’s tossed his quill down. “Yes,” I whisper. He turns a chill eye on me, an arm over the back of his chair. His elbow’s worn the turkey-work well away, ’til it’s so threadbare, it shines. Reverend Green’s the kind of man who’s always being interrupted. A harassed look about him, as if he can never get time to concentrate on one thing altogether. Spends his whole life turning around in his chair. I take a step back, thinking better of my errand. He gives me a long look. He’s none too eager to hear wha
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From the Publisher

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets 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?

About the Author

Katherine Howe is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and The House of Velvet and Glass. She is a lecturer in American Studies at Cornell University. She is also a direct descendant of three of the women accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch trials, one who was hanged and two who survived. Her books have been published around the world in 23 languages to date. Visit her at www.katherinehowe.com and follow her on twitter @KatherineBHowe.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Katherine Howe’s Conversion :   #4 on the Top Ten Summer 2014 Kids'' Indie Next List!    “Howe is a formidable researcher and writer, and this creepy, gripping novel is intimately layered, shedding light on the challenges teenage girls have faced throughout history.”— The New York Times Book Review   “A chilling guessing game of a novel that will leave readers thinking about the power (and powerlessness) of young women in the past and present alike.”— Publishers Weekly , starred review                 “A simmering blend of relatable high-school drama with a persistent pinprick of unearthliness in the background.” — Booklist     “Howe’s writing is suspenseful and effortlessly draws the reader in.”— VOYA , starred review     “The author has a gift for capturing the teenage mind-set that nears the level of John Green ( The Fault in Our Stars ), with the bonus of a strong sense of history with the Salem-set melodrama.” — USA Today     “How is it possible for a novel to be funny, suspenseful, tender, wickedly satiric, and terrifying all at once? When it’s written by the bewitchingly talented Katherine Howe.”— Julia Glass , National Book Award–winning author of And the Dark Sacred Night  and  Three Junes    
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