Sunday, September 20, 2015

Double Sunday Status: Conversion and See You At Harry's

Sunday Status is a weekly (ish) post where I let you know what I'm reading.  I'll usually share a quote from the page I'm currently on and let you know how it's going. 

See You at Harry's
Jo Knowles
Candlewick Press, 2012
Source: Library

See You at Harry's is the book I'm reading at school.  I picked it up from our school library on a whim and started reading it earlier this week.  I check out the back and it mentioned an accident.  The beginning of the story was great.  Fern and her brother Holden are dealing with huge bullies on the bus, her parents are always busy at the restaurant they own.  Fern's mom is constantly escaping into her meditation room and her older sister is a little lost as she takes a year off from school before college.  Fern is just trying to figure things out.

I wasn't ready for the tragedy.  I don't want to ruin it for you, but it was intense.  Intense.  I have been crying at my desk for two days.  My students seemed a little concerned at first, but then they asked me what was wrong and I told them that my book was really sad.  And it doesn't stop!  But it's good.

I brought this book home so I could finish it, but I'm not trusting myself to read it here where I can then just sob out loud through the ending--but I need to know.  I need to check on them.  I may finish it tomorrow.  Or I might finish it on Monday if I can't bring myself to do it while at home.  At school I will allow myself to cry, but keep it in check a bit.  Not at home.  It'll be full on ugly crying that brings on a headache.  I may risk it.  I think it'll be worth it. :)

Katherine Howe
Publisher: Speak by Penguin Group, 2014
Source: purchased

"I pushed the book across Ms. Slater's desk and pointed at a long excerpt of trial testimony, with this one little girl right in the middle of it, talking about yellow birds and all kinds of craziness (263)."

So I'm really enjoying Conversion.  I love the way the history of the Salem Witch trials is being woven in with the modern day story of high school students at St. Joan's succumbing to a Mystery Illness.  Told mostly from the perspective of Colleen Rowley, a senior at St. Joan's who is vying to be valedictorian, Conversion also takes moments to jump back in time to 1706 where Ann Putnam is also telling her own story.  So while the girls at Colleen's school are suddenly coming down with weird symptoms (vibrating, losing all their hair, Tourette's-like outbursts, and much more), she's also receiving odd texts about The Crucible and her teacher has assinged her paper on the history behind the play as well.

There's a lot going on and I'm not sure how it all ties together just now or what is really going on.  I haven't come up with a viable explanation.  Witchcraft?  A curse?  I don't know.  It doesn't seem like either of those can truly be the reason behind it.  At this point it doesn't make sense.  I have some ideas and already a few of my guesses about plot twists have panned out, but I'm out of guesses.  And there are 150 pages to go still.  We'll see!  Hopefully I'll have this finished by Monday and review up soon.

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