Monday, October 26, 2015

Conversion by Katherine Howe Review

Title: Conversion
Author: Katherine Howe
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Mystery
Series: N/A
Star Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

Where do I start with this book? God. I wanted to love it, I really did. I was so excited for it. And I loved the concept. The Salem Witch Trials has been a historical event that has fascinated me and captured my imagination for years, and I especially like hunting out fiction for it, seeing it through the unique light that the author shines upon this very dark and bloody period in history.

I've wanted Conversion since before it came out, and I was so excited when it finally came in at my library. I really liked the format of it: the contemporary chapters alternating with the ones Ann Putnam Jr. narrated, from the actual time period. But it was really slow in the beginning, and gleaning information was like pulling teeth. I wanted to love it, and I did love some of the book--I didn't hate it. But I definitely have mixed feelings.

Colleen Rowley is the narrator, and a student at the highly competitive St. Joan's School for Girls. I liked her as a character--she was funny and wry, and it was really refreshing to have a teenager's 'voice'. I could feel her tension and stress as, she not only struggles to keep her grades up, but the mounting pressure of the 'Mystery Danvers Illness of 2012' begins to affect her classmates--girls twitching, often with nervous tics.

I liked the mystery of it all--it was enticing and exciting--but it got confusing as the novel went on, what with the big cast of characters. I liked Colleen and all of her friends, as each was different in her own way, and quite memorable, but overall, the mystery, at least in the contemporary parts of the book, were a real letdown. I'm not sure why--I was just expecting more and I really felt unfulfilled.

The ending(s) were both satisfying, and did justice to the characters, but as I said, I just really felt let down. I was expecting more from Colleen's time period, and was disappointed. It wasn't a bad book by any means, but it just didn't blow me away. The bottom line: I really wanted to love Conversion, but the contemporary parts of the book were just a huge letdown--I was really expecting more. Next on deck: Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott!

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