Oct 10, 2012

Review: Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

Title: Don’t Turn Around
Author: Michelle Gagnon
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 8.28.2012
Pages: 310
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Series: Yes (PERSEPHoNE #1)
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: A

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.

After a bit of a reading slump, I picked this book up off my shelf and, suffice to say, my reading slump is now over. Don’t Turn Around renewed my love for books within the first chapter. Michelle Gagnon grabs you in a vise and doesn’t let up ever. This book stole my breath in the best possible way.

The moment the book opens with Noa waking up, the action starts and doesn’t let up. This book is heavily compared to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and I get the similarities. But Noa is not Lisbeth Salander. While both are tech-savvy geniuses who have lived on their own for a while, Noa has a heart that Lisbeth just never got. Noa is endearing, frustrating, and thrilling.

I will say that this story definitely focuses more on plot than characters, but that totally works here. I felt like I had a good grip on the characters—they were engaging, unique, and had chemistry—but the real gem is the plot. Gagnon spares no expense as she dives into the world of corporate and government conspiracies. She creates this complex and intricate plot that weaves together into an ingenious literary knot.

I am so thrilled that there will be more books because I did not nearly get my fill of Noa (and Peter—especially Noa with Peter) and this crazy world. I’m usually the girl who has to have a romantic storyline to really fall hard for a story, but that wasn’t the case here. Yes, there’s some fun moments between Noa and Peter, and I truly hope their relationship evolves through the series, but the story itself was so exciting, I was addicted from the first sentence. Gagnon already had an established fanbase with her adult audience and that it sure to increase significantly with the YA crowd. She wrote a novel that will easily appeal to teens and adults.


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! It's been on my wishlist for a while but I haven't had the chance to read it yet. Can't wait to pick it up, though. :) Great review Hannah!

  2. I've heard about the book a lot! It's already on my tbr list and I'm sure I'm gonna like ti :) Thanks for the review!


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