‘Perhaps the best thing about the book is its tense, paranoid atmosphere; the way it evokes the everyday pressure of being an ambitious, emotionally vulnerable teen, while simultaneously showing just how easily this pressure can twist into something monstrous.’
Colleen is feeling the heat. It’s her final year of school, and university applications and deciphering boys’ texts have turned life into a pressure cooker. Colleen and her friends are expected to somehow keep it all together – until they can’t.
The first victim is gorgeous, popular Clara who starts having loud and uncontrollable tics while her horrified classmates look on. More students follow suit with new symptoms: seizures, body vibrations, violent coughing fits, and hair loss. The media descends as school officials, angry parents and health experts scramble to find something, or someone, to blame. But there is one thing no one has factored in: the school’s town was once Salem Village, the site of a similarly bizarre epidemic among teenage girls three hundred years earlier – and it seems history is about to repeat itself.
‘A superbly crafted, multi-layered thriller, that will resonate with anyone who has had to study The Crucible as a set text.’
‘...this creepy, gripping novel is intimately real and layered, shedding light on the challenges teenage girls have faced throughout history. Particularly in situations of powerlessness, Conversion shows, stress can reveal itself in mysterious ways.
‘[Howe] has a gift for capturing the teenage mindset that nears the level of John Green ... there's no one better to bewitch teens and adults alike with a modern tale of gripping panic.’
‘Richly drawn characters and period language ... a deliberate build-up of escalating tension and suspense.’
‘Howe’s writing is suspenseful and effortlessly draws the reader in.’
‘Engrossing and thought-provoking.’
‘Conversion melds the best bits of private school drama (think Curtis Sittenfeld’s Prep) with the mystique of the supernatural. Pick it up this fall for a good old-fashioned mystery and maybe even a flashback to your high school years (for better or for worse). Be prepared to love this bewitching page-turner!’
'A simmering blend of relatable high-school drama with a persistent pinprick of unearthliness in the background.'
'Howe skillfully blends a modern medical mystery based on real events with the historical Salem Witch panic ... will keep readers guessing until the final reveal.'
'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.'