Book Talk: CONVERSION by Katherine Howe

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won’t find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could’ve been better or what worked or didn’t work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it’s here I probably think it won’t injure your brain if you read it.

Colleen knows pressure. At St. Joan’s – an all girl academy where only the best and the brightest of New England’s young women get in – it’s a constant. And senior year will bring things to a boiling point when queen bee Clara suddenly develops tics in the middle of class. Seeing Clara rolling on the floor and sputtering nonsense is disquieting, but Colleen knows better than to let her focus slip – she’s got a Harvard interview coming up… and blowing it is not an option.

But when a second girl is felled by the mystery disease, a third loses all of her hair, and a fourth beings spitting up pins, the events at St. Joan’s finally has Colleen’s attention – and the nation’s. Parents and reporters are demanding to know what’s going on at the elite school, and Colleen starts receiving mysterious texts urging her to read The Crucible if she wants to understand St. Joan’s Mystery Illness. Some research leads Colleen to the realization that her hometown was once known as Salem Village… a place where another group of girls suffered mysteriously 300 years ago.

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