Review: ‘Don’t Turn Around’ by Michelle Gagnon

I received this book for free from event in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Don’t Turn Around’ by Michelle GagnonDon't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
Series: PERSEFoNE #1
Published by HarperCollins on August 28th, 2012
Genres: Action & Adventure, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 309
Format: ARC
Source: event
In Michelle Gagnon’s debut YA thriller, Don’t Turn Around, computer hacker Noa Torson is as smart, tough, and complex as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s Lisbeth Salander.

The first in a trilogy, Don’t Turn Around’s intricate plot and heart-pounding action will leave readers desperate for book two.

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 hacking skills to stay anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in a 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 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.

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Noa wakes up in a facility with a big long scar on her chest and once she realizes she’s being held prisoner in the city of Boston she escapes her tormentors. Running into fellow teenager and hacker Peter, they uncover a conspiracy so great that even help from the FBI is useless.

Noa’s character is fiercely sharp and intelligent, and I can honestly say I love her character. She’s a survivor who took matters in her own hands and started to teach herself how to hack into systems so she can survive on her own. Noa isn’t as hard and as cold as she seems, because you are privy to her vulnerable more sensitive side in bits and pieces.

Then there’s Peter who grew up in an affluent neighbourhood and gas had every advantage yet he his parents ignore him and basically abandon him. I kinda hated his father a lot. The things he said just made me incredibly mad. It was a large contrast seeing these two young lives, both broken in their own way. Both trying to make sense of how wrong society has influenced them.

Don’t Turn Around is written in dual perspectives and I’ve always loved different point of views because it adds so much more dimension to the story-line. So fast-paced, I couldn’t stop reading. And there were just so many questions I needed to answer that my mind itself was racing to figure it all out. This book is for any techy geek or anyone interested in a mystery or even conspiracy. There’s a little bit of hacking terminology like bricking which was a very interesting theory and most likely a realistic one. I loved this one and almost gobbled it up. I thought this was a standalone but I was happy to find out there were going to be more books after I finished reading the last page.

This one is going into my favourites pile and one I would read over again to find out if I missed any clues of foreshadowing.

Great strong characters.

So fast I was flipping through the pages.

Pretty interesting, but it could do a makeover to patch the actual plot.

Love love love!

Overall, one of my favourites of the year and can’t wait for the next one!


If I say I’m going to do something, I do it.
She liked the idea of helping people and animals that couldn’t protect themselves.





  1. Anonymous

    December 11, 2016 at 7:40 PM

    can you give a physical appearance of the characters?

  2. Cali W.

    July 27, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    Great review! This book sounds really good. <3

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  4. Diana Grace

    May 20, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Sounds like a thrilling book to read, glad you liked it. Thanks for the review! 🙂

    – Diana @amalia_chartres

  5. Tina

    May 16, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    I really want to read this book! I am adding this to my TBR list so I don’t forget about it. Thank you for the great review.

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  7. Andrea @Cozy Up With A Good Read

    April 29, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    Wow, such a high rating, I’ve been waiting for this book for awhile, it sounds like such a great story! I’ve been intrigued because I know it’s been compared to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (the whole hacker thing I guess.) I am definitely excited to read this one soon!

  8. Danielle S.

    April 29, 2013 at 12:18 AM

    I’ve been wanting to read this for the longest time and now because of your review I have to.

  9. Tina

    April 28, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    This sounds like a great book! I really want to read this because it seems like something that I would love. Thank you for the honest review.

  10. Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

    April 26, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Oh wow…this sounds like a book that I would love!! I’ve seen it around quite a bit but hadn’t read a review until now…so glad that I read yours!!!

    • Burlyn

      November 13, 2016 at 10:39 PM

      its a really good book we read it in lit circles at school and it has a lot of twisting parts in ir but its pretty amazing if you ask me. It makes you want to read the second one in the trilogy

  11. Jaime Lester

    April 25, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    I don’t read a lot of books like this one. Hardly any. I saw this at the library a few times, but put it back thinking it wouldn’t be my kind of story. And then the reviews started pouring in, and they were nothing but raving (that I have seen anyway). I had forgotten about the book for a while, but thankfully your review reminded me that I want to give Don’t Turn Around a shot. I think I will go put it on hold now!

  12. Sam Kasbrick

    April 25, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    I really liked this book too! I actually wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did, but was pleasantly surprised! 🙂

  13. Leeanna

    April 25, 2013 at 6:51 PM

    I have this to read but haven’t yet. I did read Strangelets by the same author, but I think more bloggers have liked this one. Glad to hear it’s good.

  14. Michelle Gagnon

    April 25, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    So thrilled to hear that you enjoyed it, hope you feel the same way about Don’t Look Now!

  15. Inky

    April 25, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Eep! I’m so glad you loved this one! I got book two for review and I can’t wait to dive into this one before that. Haha. This one has intrigued me for so long! I mean, I’m not very technologically advanced or anything, so the idea of a hacker is kinda cool. And I’m so glad to hear this action is awesome in this one! It sounds like an amazing book! Can’t wait to read it!!

    <3333 Inky

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