Author(s): Katherine Howe
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.
'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.' School Library Journal 'A simmering blend of relatable high-school drama with a persistent pinprick of unearthliness in the background.' Booklist '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.' Publishers Weekly, starred review 'Richly drawn characters and period language ... a deliberate build-up of escalating tension and suspense.' Kirkus Reviews 'Howe's writing is suspenseful and effortlessly draws the reader in.' VOYA, starred review 'Engrossing and thought-provoking.' Boston Globe '[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.' USA Today '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!' Christian Science Monitor '...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. New York Times
Katherine Howe is the author of the #2 New York Times bestseller The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, as well as The House of Velvet and Glass. She is widely considered an expert on American colonial life and the Salem Witch Trials, having written both as an academic and a novelist on the subject. She is a lecturer in American Studies at Cornell University. She is also a direct descendant of three of the women accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials, one who was hanged and two who survived. Her books have been published around the world in 23 languages to date.