Read + Review — Conversion by Katherine Howe

ConversionConversion takes place in Danver, Massachusetts, in the same town as the Salem Witch Trials 300 years earlier. It’s senior year at the school of Colleen Rowley, and it’s fair to say that everyone is under a lot of pressure.  Then, suddenly, the most popular girl in school (Clara) falls ill in the middle of class with seizure like symptoms.  Soon the sickness spreads like wildfire, and Conversion follows the race to find a cure.

I enjoyed some parts of this book a lot and I didn’t like others.  I really liked the idea of a mysterious illness and everyone racing to find a cure.  It seems like a good idea in theory… all though I felt like this book was lacking a lot of the suspense and build up that plot could have had.  They focused a lot on Colleen’s academics, her friends, and their individual romantic relationships, instead of the illness itself.  Also, I felt like the chapters from the 1700’s were sort of unnecessary and I found myself skimming through a lot of them.  Overall, the writing was great, and it was very interesting, just not as fast paced and centered around the main idea as I would have liked.  The characters were well rounded and I liked that they each had quirks and flaws to them.  Overall, it had it’s ups and downs, and it was a good book in general.

I think one memorable thing is all of the varying theories Colleen came up with herself to try and solve the “mystery illness.”


Reviewed by Julia, grade 7, Tuckahoe Area Library

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