Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: Don't Turn Around, by Michelle Gagnon

Don't Turn Around is non-stop excitement. At times, some of the plotting was a bit convenient, but this didn't stop me from frantically turning pages to see what would happen next.

Noa wakes up on a cold metal table with tubes in her arms. She manages to overcome her captors and escapes -- to realize she's in the middle of a warehouse district.

Peter is a hacker. His parents are rarely home and they have provided him with a nice car, a private school, and a computer. He's snooping in his father's desk and finds a mysterious folder. When he begins to search on the computer for the company listed in the folder, he finds a mystery. Before he can figure anything out, his house is broken into by black-clad men, who threaten him and tell him to tell his father they were there.

Noa is a foster child and has been living on her own and off the grid for a while. So she's pretty well-prepared to survive and hide from the men who are obviously determined to find her.

The coincidental part of the plot is that Peter runs a web site/organization that consists of vigilante hackers -- those who punish  people who are cyber bullies, or commit other cyber crimes. Noa is a member of this organization and one with a good reputation. So when Peter needs help researching this mysterious company, he calls on Noa, and she, of course, finds out that this company has files with her name on them.

Once you get past that astounding coincidence, it's a wild ride. These two encounter one dangerous situation after another, and they are piecing together an unbelievable scenario involving human teens as test subjects for medical experiments.

There are other interesting characters that make a contribution to the story, but Noa and Peter are the stars, and of course they eventually end up physically together in their quest to ferret out and conquer the bad guys. Noa has a savior (another very helpful coincidence) and I suspect he will play a bigger part in the second book. Because....

They aren't finished yet, at the end of Don't Turn Around. But they are at least in a temporarily safe place. The ending sets up the sequel, Don't Look Now perfectly. It will be released in August, and I can't wait to see what is in store for these characters.

Give Don't Turn Around to your reluctant readers and other teens who like a lot of action and suspense. This one won't disappoint.

Published by HarperCollins, 2012
Copy obtained from the library
320 pages

Rating: 3.5/5

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  1. Sounds like this one starts off great, I really dislike books that have a slow start. I tend to just ignore all the coincidences in YA, because if you focus on them the book just becomes unrealistic. I think I will check this one out at the library, thanks for sharing!

    Alise @ Readers in Wonderland

  2. I agree, the coincidence was a bit hard to swallow, but overall it was still a very fun ride! Awesome review Annette, thanks for sharing! :-)

  3. The coincidence sounds like it might be hard to get past but seems worth it

  4. Another good recommendation for my library. Do you think it would appeal to both girls and boys?

    1. Yes. This one is good for both girls and boys.


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