Monday, June 23, 2014

Review: Conversion by Katherine Howe

First, thanks to Edelweiss and Putnam Juvenile for allowing me to read an e-galley of this title.  I have read the adult novel by this same author, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, and it was also very interesting.  I don't think I have that review on this blog that I can link back to unfortunately though.  When I heard the way they were promoting this, Prep meets The Crucible, I must say I was very intrigued and so requested it.

Now, I don't know if that description is actually right on the money.  Yes, we have a prep school, all girls.  And yes, it is talking about the exact story of The Crucible.  But it was still a pretty good story the way it was.  We had flashbacks from the time of the Salem witch trials.  And we also had up to date parts of the story of a group of girls who began developing little tics and other types of illnesses seemingly for no reason, and with no causes.  The main character, at least in the modern part of the story, is named Colleen.  She is actually reading The Crucible, something that the students should have already read, but now she is reading it for extra credit because she really wants to be the valedictorian for her class.  She finds many similarities between the girls from back during the witch trials and what is happening to the girls in her class.  She even discovers some things that didn't even occur to me until they were pointed out in the book.

Some things that disappointed me were I would have liked more information about the modern day girls.  As well as more information from other viewpoints of the girls back in the original witch trials in the book.

Another reason I had been really intrigued to read this is because I remember when the girls were coming on the news and claiming all these weird tics and things happening to them.  I don't remember hearing much about it since.  I'm assuming that maybe the true story ended up with the same kind of diagnosis as the book did.  I'll have to do some research into that myself some time.  Definitely a good book for students to read who are interested in the Salem Witch Trials.  Could definitely be a good read after or with The Crucible.  I will be putting this on my list to order for the high school library where I work.

On a personal note, my recovery from my surgery last week seems to be going pretty well.  Unfortunately I've not read as much as I'd like so far, because a lot of times I'm still kind of tired and go to sleep instead of reading.  But I'm getting better slowly, so reading and blogging will get back on track!!