Monday, March 18, 2013

Review: Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

Don't Turn Around (PERSEF0NE #1)
By Michelle Gagnon
Published: August 28, 2012
Published: HarperCollins 
Hardcover, 320 pages

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa's talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation called AMRF threatens his life in no uncertain terms.

But what Noa and Peter don't realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who'd stop at nothing to silence her for good. --Goodreads

5 Stars

Don't Turn Around is a beautiful book. Seriously, I think I've been waiting my whole life for this. It's got everything a truly terrific young adult book needs to have:
  1. A strong female character (Noa) who doesn't get progressively weaker as they male character (Peter) appears.
  2. The beginnings of a romance between the two main characters (it's only the first book. I'm sure it'll progress)
  3. A storyline improbable enough to be classified as young adult, but grounded enough in reality and the insane world of hackers to make for an incredibly entertaining read.
  4. An author with some insane writing skills.
The book alternates between the viewpoints of Noa, a girl living on her lonesome after running away from the foster care system, and Peter, a rich boy who lost his brother to some mysterious disease that is taking out the country's teenagers. The book starts out with Noa waking up in a warehouse crawling with evil henchmen with an IV in her arm and Peter's house being broken into by a group of masked thugs. The story continues on the action packed course it starts off with and doesn't slow down. 

The book ends up including just about everything and action book could. Tragedy? Some. Insanely wild and awesome fights/running away? Lots of it. Sheer fantastical hacking scenes? Enough to make you want to become a professional hacker. The beginnings of a revolution just to spice things up a bit? You got it. A few predictable plot lines? Come on. This is young adult fiction we're talking about. You already know the answer.

Overall, Don't Turn Around was a gripping novel with strong characters the reader roots for, a storyline that keeps the pages turning and, of course, hackers!

Purchase this book at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble / The Book Depository


  1. Glad that Noa stays strong even when Peter enters. I haven't heard a lot about this one, so thanks for the review.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Loved this one as well! Don't get to see that many good YA hacker books. I really hope the second one doesn't develop the dread triangle though.

    - Nyx @ Unraveling Words

  4. I'm so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed it! Thanks for the great review!

  5. I really, really loved this book so much. I just finished reading her new book Stranglets which was totally different from this one but still had the engaging thriller quality to it. Great review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

  6. This sounds really interesting! I didn't have much interest before reading your review, but I think you've changed my mind. I must check out these awesome hacking scenes you speak of!!

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction


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