Book Review: Conversion
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Hardcover | Kindle Edition
Written by Katherine Howe
G.P. Putnam’s Sons/ Penguin Young Readers Group
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Cover Price: $18.99

Colleen Rowley is in her senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, an all girls prep school. She is fighting for the title of valedictorian. She is fighting for spots at top colleges. Will she soon have to fight for her health and sanity?

The girls at the school are falling ill in the strangest ways: tics and twitches, going bald in a matter of seconds, losing the ability to walk, and coughing up pins. Colleen and her friends cannot figure out what the hell is going on, and neither can the afflicted girls, the school, doctors, or the health department. The media is swarming the school, to the delight of the students and to the horror of the faculty.

Meanwhile, Colleen is assigned an extra credit research paper on the history surrounding The Crucible. She discovers Ann, not mentioned in the play, but a real person who took part in that deception. Ann also tells her story in 1706 as a confession to a Reverend years later. Does Ann’s story hold the key? Colleen is close to finding out. Anything can happen in Danvers, Massachusetts, formerly known as Salem.

Katherine Rowe spins a fresh YA take on the Crucible tale with Conversion. She magically weaves three stories: Colleen’s mystery, Ann’s story of what really happened in Salem 16 years before, and Ann’s 1706 confession and interaction with the Reverend. The suspense is strong and keeps you guessing. You will solve this mystery mere moments before Colleen does, and still you won’t be sure.

This book has it all–modern and historical fiction in one, a dark puzzle to be solved, a bit of romance, and all the highs and lows of high school friendships. You will not be able to put this one down.

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