Conversion by Katherine Howe

‘St Joan’s Academy, an elite private school… has been shaken by a bizarre illness that has doctor scratching their heads… What’s causing it? And are your children at risk?’

This book follows the story of Colleen Rowley, a seventeen year old attending high school at St Joan’s High. Final’s are coming up, and people are trying to get into universities. Every last minute counts towards their future. Teachers are expecting them to handle the pressure, but when they can’t everything starts to spiral out of control…

It started with lovely Clara Rutherford, admired by everyone. When she starts twitching uncontrollably in class out of the blue, many have no idea what to do. Doctors are at a loss. When more start experiencing strange coughing fits, hair loss and body vibrations, diagnosis goes out of the wall. Parents are angry. The media is buzzing. School nurses are puzzled. What is the cause for this ‘mystery disease’? Is the school telling the truth? And are the weird texts that Colleen has been receiving got to do with anything?

I really like this intriguing book and how it is written. It took me a while to finish, longer than a normal book takes, so I’d recommend this as a long read, perhaps on a plane journey. My favourite character is Emma, because there is a lot more to her then you think, and Ms Slater, Colleen’s history teacher. Girls would like to read this book most, from around 13 to 17, but adults may like it too because I thought the writing was interesting and sophisticated. I would give it a four star, and the publisher is Rock the Boat, and imprint of Oneworld Publications.

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