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3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  3,879 ratings  ·  793 reviews
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 the
Hardcover, 402 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (first published June 4th 2014)
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  • Conversion by Katherine Howe
    Release date: Jun 16, 2015
    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…more
    Giveaway dates: May 16 - Jun 16, 2015
    10 copies available, 2296 people requesting
    Countries available: US
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    no no no no no!
    We're not even halfway through 2014, and I'm almost certain this has been my biggest 1-star year to date. True, most of it is due to the facts that, a) the more I read YA, the more my standards go up and my tolerance threshold for BS and stupidity lowers, and b) the more time I spent in GR, the less afraid I am of giving out 1 stars. I don't think it's entirely up to me, though. This year has come packed with an avalanche of pretty bad YA books. This year alone, I've read offensive books like Th ...more
    Allie Larkin
    Witchcraft, conversion disorder? What's really happening to the girls of St. Joan's?

    Katherine Howe's latest book is smart, suspenseful, and brilliantly executed. You won't be able to put it down.
    This is more of a 3.5 star read. I really enjoyed jumping between times but I thought that the 2 stories would eventually come together. However, in the end, they read like two separate stories. The build up was very intense but the final conclusion was very lacking. The author tries to explain the correlation between the two narratives but I still didn't see the likeness. This had so much potential for a 5 star but the ending was just bad. I still love this author but this book missed the mark ...more
    Emma Harvelle (Verity Reviews)
    I read Conversion with three black cats on my lap, feeling very witchy (even though cats don't really have anything to do with witches traditionally), reluctant to put it down for more than five minutes at a time. I was completely and totally absorbed in Howe's book. What first piqued my interest was the Mystery Illness, and Howe delivered all the tension, unease, and fear you'd expect to find in a book about an epidemic. But Howe also incorporated Ann Putnam's account of the events at Salem in ...more
    I have been looking forward to this one since I first started stalking the author’s Pinterest board last year. I was so excited to see Conversion up for grabs on Netgalley, and it did not disappoint. I couldn’t put it down! Conversion is smart, yet accessible enough to appeal to young adults. It alternates between the Salem witch trials and the real-life mystery illness of early 2012 that caused a handful of girls to develop PANDAS-like symptoms. You will race through this one as you read to fin ...more
    So I see some pretty harsh reviews below, but I loved this book. How tells the story of a group of girls at a Catholic school who, one by one, fall ill with a mystery malady. This book is told from the point of view of one student as she navigates an intensely competitive Senior year, friendship drama, etc. etc. The confounding story of the girls at St. Joans is written right alongside a dramatization of what happened during the Salem Witchcraft trials. I thought most of the girls portrayed in t ...more
    Amy Sturgis
    In Conversion, Katherine Howe alternates between a current-day health panic in a female private school and the 17th-century witch hunts that took place on the same ground - today's Danvers, history's Salem Village, Massachusetts. Howe captures the runaway train that is hysteria and peer pressure quite well as she describes young women who are under severe stress while, at the same time, they're enjoying a sense of power and visibility previously unavailable to them.

    What I most appreciated about
    My apologies that this is going to sound overly critical, and I am appreciative for the chance to have a copy sent to me in exchange for an honest review via the Goodreads first reads giveaway. In the spirit of honesty, I must say this book didn't develop into the somewhat spooky, mysterious, and twisted tale I had hoped it would become. I kinda knew 20 pages in where it was headed, but I kept hoping the story would ramp, evolve, and mix the historical tale together with the present day teenybop ...more
    I love the history of the Salem Witch Trials. A native Southern Californian, when I had an internship in New England, the only weekend trip I took was to Salem. I’ve been there multiple times since I moved to Massachusetts, and find the history fascinating. When I saw that Katherine Howe was writing a new young adult novel that had some basis in the Salem hysteria, I knew it was a must read. Sadly, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

    Howe tries something interesting in Conversion. She links the
    This book was a piece of shit.
    Godzilla smash, angry review to come...
    3.5 stars
    I've often wondered what the people of earlier times did for fun. Obviously these girls depicted here were having a lot of fun. There have been many theories posted about why the girl accused fellow Puritans. This was an entertaining read about those girls and some modern day compatriots. We never quite know what is going on with the modern day girls. Are they faking or is it caused by some evil? I thought Howe did a great job of keeping the tension as she alternated between Annie's sto
    Beth Knight
    Right now I'm feeling 2.5 stars but I need to think about it for a day or two.

    Ever since I first heard of Katherine Howe's Conversion, I was hooked. The storyline sounded perfectly up my alley, and, just from the summary, I was already on my toes trying to decipher the "mystery". In the end, unfortunately, I ended up feeling a little distant from the novel and, more specifically, Howe's decision to use two narratives.

    In an elite prep school in Massachusetts (St. Joan's), girls are entering senior year and all the pressure and challenges that comes with it. Until one day
    Mike Cuthbert
    I have always been fascinated by the psychological underpinnings of the Salem witch trials of the 17th century. The irrationality of the New England of that time and the horrific damage done to lives and reputations based on nothing much more than the ravings of teenagers has vibrated in me through various incarnations, most directly the McCarthy trials in our 50s and more recently the political rantings and ravings, mostly on the Far Right in American politics. In both cases, rational thought a ...more
    This was nothing like what I was expecting.

    I went into this one without having read the synopsis, because I've learned that this is the best way to enter a book. I did have some vague recollection, however, of what the story might be about because of what I'd seen on YouTube. What I saw on the web was about how this would be a slightly creepy read with a touch of the paranormal. What I DIDN'T know was that this would also be one of those stories where the narrative is split into two different v
    Sep 20, 2014 Emily added it
    Despite having read many retellings of classic books during my years as a YA reader, Conversion is the first retelling of a historical event I have encountered. I finished it with two hopes: that I will soon be able to find another historical retelling, and that if I do, it will live up to this one’s stunning precedent.

    Conversion is told in an atmospheric dual-narrative—from the point of view of modern-day high schooler Colleen as well as real-life Salem Witch Trials instigator Ann Putnam—and I
    Sara Grochowski
    When a mysterious illness begins to afflict senior Colleen Rowley's classmates at the academically competitive St. Joan's Academy in Danvers, Massachusetts, panicked parents and hungry media swarm, armed with questions, accusations, and wild theories. Refusing to let an unknown illness jeopardize her college prospects and her rightful place at the top of her class, Colleen continues to brave the halls of St. Joan's and taking on an extra credit assignment comparing The Crucible to the real Salem ...more
    I knew pretty early on that this book and I were not going to get along. Luckily, I did this as an audio book so I could roll along with the story while trying to ignore all the glaring ridiculous ones.

    I think this book is a GREAT example of how a YA book can be okay for kids of that age and not translate well for an adult.

    I couldn't buy off on how anyone handled the sickness. I love tales of the witch trails in Salem but even that couldn't save this one.

    It's just boring. and way too long.

    Aug 27, 2014 Susan rated it 4 of 5 stars
    Shelves: ya
    I heard the author speak at a local bookstore, and the story of how she got the idea for the book was fascinating. A number of girls in a town near the author's started exhibiting inexplicable symptoms. After lots of theories and probing, they were finally diagnosed with conversion disorder, or what would have been called hysteria in the olden days. I remember reading a New York Times Magazine about these girls. When the author, who was teaching The Crucible to her class at Cornell heard about t ...more
    I really enjoyed this. I thought that it was well-researched and well-written, and the main character was very likeable. In fact all of the characters came across as ordinary, imperfect people.
    The two timelines blended quite well too, and I can honestly say that I was never confused or bored with what was happening.
    I would definitely recommend this.
    I love a fictional book that makes me want to look things up, to do research, and to explore the subject even further, and this book did that in spades.

    Not only does this book hearken back to the good ol' Salem Witch Trials, everyone's favorite time period in 7th grade (no? Was that just me?), it touches on a very real phenomenon/disease that happened right here in NY.

    While I found the interludes back to Salem a little tough to stick with (I think because I already knew most of the informatio
    Sara B.
    When I read the blurb, I was absolutely positive I would love this book. Colleen, the narrator, is a senior at a Catholic, all girls private school. She's struggling with grades and college applications. One day, out of nowhere, a girl in her homeroom starts twitching uncontrollably. Slowly, other girls in the school start to experience symptoms like these. The girls are labelled with a "Mystery Illness" that is apparently contagious. Colleen starts to notice similarities between the events taki ...more
    Barbara Kling
    Odd things are happening to the girls at St Joan's School. Some display epileptic-like seizures with no previous history or medical reason; some inexplicably lose all their hair, or lose the ability to walk....what's happening? Oh, did I mention that St Joan's is in Danvers Massachutes? Formally know as Salem Massachutes?

    Howe's new book for young adults is a history lesson as well as a tale of academically driven young women, trying to enjoy their teen years as priviledged teens while going afte
    One of the best YA books I have read so far this year. Conversion is based upon the Salem Witch Trials and a fairly recent incident where teen girls at a boarding school all seemed to come down with a mysterious illness that caused neurological symptoms.

    The book presents two plots: one set in the time of the Salem Witch Trials and the other set in the present day, at an exclusive boarding school for women. The stories both feature cases of teen girls exhibiting symptoms of conversion or mass hy
    Tegan Mae
    Review also published at t and a book!

    Title: Conversion
    Author: Katherine Howe
    Type: Young Adult
    Genre: Dual Past Present/Thriller
    Tea: Lady Earl Grey, something that you've had before, but different and exciting it it's own way
    Rating: 5 out of 5.

    Conversion by Katherine Howe is just as great as I expected it to be. I first discovered Katherine Howe when I was at Barnes & Noble in 2009 and saw The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane on their Barnes & Noble Recommends table. I picked it up and in
    ok, so, the reason I picked this book up in the first place was solely for the fact that it was set in Danvers, Massachusetts which is a near where I grew up. Also it's about the Salem Witch Trials and that has always been an interest of mine being from Massachusetts. But the book itself was a lot different from what I originally expected. The synopsis is that a bunch of girls at an elite private Catholic school in Danvers come down with wierd ticks and unexplainable behaviors. Sounds interestin ...more
    I hate to say this but I'm a little disappointed after reading Katherine Howe's Conversion. I've been excitedly waiting for this book for months. It's set in the town I live in, Danvers, MA. The author is one of my favorites. And finally it's based on similar circumstances which happened in a different town a couple of years ago. I did like most of it although I felt some of the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more. It was the ending that left me unsettled and confused. It seems lik ...more
    Emma (Miss Print)
    This book had a lot going for it. The cast of characters is diverse. The story is set in both present-day Danvers and the Salem village when the witch panic starts. The narrator is reading The Crucible. (Which the book mentions isn't really about Salem but the 1950s.) On top of that, I really enjoyed Howe's debut The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and was incredibly excited to hear she was writing a YA novel.

    Sadly, this one wasn't for me. While it had all the right pieces, none of them came to
    I'm not really sure how, but for some wonderful reason, the publisher of this book mailed me an "advance uncorrected proof". I'll start off by saying that it seemed completely polished to me. I had my ink pen ready to help edit, if need be, but the story swept me away, and if there was anything needing corrections, it totally escaped me.

    Conversion is a stand alone book, which I love. By the time you reach the end, the story is wrapped up, and you have that completed feeling. Katherine Howe has d
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    Katherine Howe is the author of THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE, which debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list, was named one of USA Today's top ten books of 2009, and which has been translated into over twenty languages. Her second novel, THE HOUSE OF VELVET AND GLASS, was a USA Today and New York Times e-book bestseller, and her third novel, a young adult historical thriller cal ...more
    More about Katherine Howe...
    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane The House of Velvet and Glass The Penguin Book of Witches The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen The House of the Seven Gables

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    “When a Girl's on a pedestal, there's nothing some people would like better than to shove her off it, just to know what kind of noise she'd make when she shattered.” 5 likes
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