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.
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.
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!