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Don't Turn Around (PERSEFoNE #1)

3.86  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,273 Ratings  ·  827 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by HarperCollins
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YA Novels of 2012
210th out of 1,325 books — 10,606 voters
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54th out of 545 books — 1,051 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sep 18, 2012 Giselle rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc, contemporary
Wildly exciting with never ending action, Don't Turn Around is perfect for fans of Lisbeth Salander and Bourne Identity.

With a bang, we begin this fast paced, nail biting thriller that takes us inside a story filled with conspiracies and lies, and how two hackers are gunning for the truth. If you're looking for a high-action plot you're definitely at the right place. There is no room to breathe in this novel, let alone relax. It begins and ends with your adrenaline pumping. It's exciting; keepi
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

Noa has spent almost her entire life in the system, changing foster parents far too often. Along the way, she became extremely good with computers and she somehow managed to create a false foster family for herself, make a lot of money online under the name of her non-existent foster father and rent a great apartmen. But because of her lack of personal connections, she is targeted by a group that performs illegal medical experiments on human subject. At the beginning of Don’t Turn Around, she wa
Initial thoughts: I really wanted to like this novel more than I did, but for the sparse worldbuilding and lack of connectivity as far as the characterization and events goes, this didn't deliver. I'm hoping I can explain more in my full review.

Full review:

Thriller/suspense/technological stories are usually right up my alley. I love the thrill of the chase, and watching the MCs of such tales grapple with their outer (and inner) adversaries to ultimately come to terms as the story winds down. "Do
Jan 19, 2015 Joost rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Een leuk boek, maar het blies me niet echt van mijn stoel. Hier kan je mijn recensie lezen:
Nov 04, 2012 Jon rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
Find this review at Scott Reads It

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon is a Young Adult thriller that takes place in the city of Boston. Everything about Don't Turn Around for me was fascinating and made me want to read it desperately. The cover is just so interestingly designed and made me very inquisitive. The description was enticing but the selling point for me was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Don't Turn Around was being compared to Dragon Tattoo which is one of my all time favorites.

This started off OK, got weird and then I decided I didn't like this very much at all. Too many contradictions, too unbelievable in places and I didn't connect with any of the characters. This book reads like various books and movies I've read/seen and I was more impressed by those than this novel. This is nothing like Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, yet I get the comparison. It has more of a wannabe teen runaway novel with secret corporation agenda and ends with a nod to The Matrix. I'm disappointed ...more
* Booksessed * Bec
Book provided by author

what can I say. I received it in the post today after winning it in a competition. I couldn't put it down. brilliant story. it was fast paced, action packed, full of suspense. I never knew what was going to happen next. I loved noa's character. that's one tough cookie lol I know I would have been hysterical if I woke up on a metal bed in a strange place. It was one of those books that keeps you guessing and turning the page. The story line was really interesting. I'm not s
Jenni Arndt
Sep 04, 2012 Jenni Arndt rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-ebook
You can read all of my reviews at Alluring Reads.

A copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

If you're looking for an action packed thrill ride, Don't Turn Around is for you! I wasn't too sure what to expect going into this novel but the cover really sucked me in from the first moment I saw it. What I got was a mix of the movie Hackers and the Jason Bourne series, which was a very welcome blend. With that said, if you are looking for a story that will touch you emotiona
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
A finished unsolicited copy was provided by the publisher for review.

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
Sonia O'Brien
Aug 01, 2012 Sonia O'Brien rated it it was amazing
Michelle Gagnon is known for her bestselling thrillers. But, for her new novel “Don’t Turn Around”, due out August 28, 2012, she decided to switch genres and pick up the YA mantle. Boy, am I glad she did. She’s a natural at writing intriguing, mature, but still flawed young characters with loads of issues. The book centers around Noa, a teenage computer hacker/forgotten foster kid who wakes up in a hospital gown on a surgical table in an empty warehouse with a mystery incision healing on her che ...more
Dec 03, 2012 Mona rated it it was amazing
Freaking awesome! Stay tuned to www.paperbackdolls for full review.


Wow! What an incredible book! This fast paced and exciting YA kept me up reading long after I should have been in bed. But I couldn’t put it down. So many mysteries, so many coincidences, and so much like real life you’ll wonder if it’s actually fiction.

After waking up in a warehouse with an IV in her arm, Noa makes a daring escape. Meanwhile, across
Mar 14, 2015 Pamela rated it really liked it
Don't turn around woah-oh-oh! Der Kommissar's in town, woah-oh-OH! Obscure-ish music reference. Yes, I listen to 80s music. My parents are awesome and ensured that I listed to a wide variety of music as a kid. Road trips were set to Huey Lewis and the News and Queen and Jim Croce. Good times.

The whole time I was reading Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon, that song kept rumbling around in my brain. And strangely, it didn't drive me absolutely mad!

Also strangely enough: I quite enjoyed this boo
Jun 03, 2012 Cristina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-arcs
Okay, so I just finished reading this book and WOW! I really don't want to say too much, and spoil the plot for anyone. But what I will say is, this book was amaze-balls! Seriously, do yourself a solid and go buy it NOW!

This book grabbed my attention at the very beginning and never let me go. I was so engrossed in the story I felt like I was tangled up into the story right along with the characters! I was racing through the pages of the book to feel my way through the story to the end. My heart
Jun 24, 2013 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Just finished reading the book and really enjoyed it! First of all: I instantly fell in love with the cover. It caught my eyes and I had to read the blurb. And well, since I love hacker stories, I had to buy the book and read it. :)

The book had just the perfect mix for me. Hacking, weird medical surgery, suspence, a little science fiction and dystopia. It's like a mix of Bourne Identity, Coma and The Matrix. ^^

I'm afraid I don't agree with all the reviewers who match Noa with Lisbeth Salander. N
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Great book. Now, where is book 2? Review coming soon.
Paula  from Reading Lark
Sep 12, 2012 Paula from Reading Lark rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most impressive YA plots I've read in a long time. It's nicely streamlined for younger readers, yet doesn't lack for fast-paced plot points. Gagnon avoids the pitfalls of obvious predictability and ridiculous implausibility, both of which can be commonly found in YA thrillers. This alone makes me want to read more by this author.
Characters are usually what hooks me into a read, and in this book, they are really well-done. The interpersonal relationships are amazingly realisti
Dark Faerie Tales
Oct 21, 2012 Dark Faerie Tales rated it it was amazing
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A girl tries to find out who is behind the kidnapping of runaway teens (including herself). A boy leads a hacktivist group that eventually leads to Project Persephone.

Opening Sentence: When Noa Torson woke up, the first thing she noticed was that her feet were cold.

The Review:

Noa Torson wakes up in a “hospital” with a huge blank hole in her memory. How did she arrive at the hospital? No, why is she even in the hospital? Not one for detainme
Jul 10, 2012 Melissa rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 13, 2012 Rachael rated it really liked it
Ever since her parents died, Noa has been a victim of the system, shuffled in and out of foster care. Now sixteen, she’s finally found a way to beat the system by using her hacker skills to create herself a quiet and comfortable life. But whatever sense of calm Noa had built up for herself shatters when she wakes up on an operating table in a warehouse and no memory of how she could have gotten there. On the run from an enemy she doesn’t even know, Noa crosses paths with Peter, a fellow hacker. ...more
Mar 07, 2015 Moody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chroniqueuses
[CHRONIQUE CICE] Un joli coup de coeur pour ce roman haletant !

Crystal Clifton
Jul 05, 2012 Crystal Clifton rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book thru a goodreads giveaway and I must say it is a must read it is constantly moving and action packed. Sixteen year old Noa and her Allliance friend Peter embark on a life changing quest that turns into a lot of action and you meet a girl that can seriously kick some butt when it comes to computer hacking. Its a non stop action packed book that you can't put down. I loved it from the start so all I got to say is WOW Loved it.Really hoping there will be a part two. Thanks Michelle ...more
Aug 05, 2012 Thalia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Sci-Fi and Computer Fiction
Read the review on my blog:
Chayse Sundt
Aug 10, 2012 Chayse Sundt rated it it was amazing
Review COming Soon
Susan Tunis
Sep 09, 2012 Susan Tunis rated it it was amazing
Dang you, Michelle Gagnon!

A year ago at a lit event, I had the opportunity to hear the author of Don’t Turn Around give her “elevator pitch” for this novel—a 30-second summary designed to hook a potential reader. Michelle Gagnon said, “A sixteen-year-old girl wakes, disoriented, in a hospital bed… in a warehouse. She’s in pain, she has a surgical incision on her chest, and she has no idea why.” That was more than enough to hook this reader. I clamored for the finished product for the next year,
Hannah (The Irish Banana Review)
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
Oct 04, 2012 Parvez rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I got this book through Goodreads giveaway section. This is the first book I received from giveaway and glad to be one of the first ones to read it.

The short summary/intro of the book got me interested, specially when it was linked to Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Sadly, it was a bit disappointing. Not one of the books that made me keep turning the page and find out what happens next. Also, the characters felt somewhat under developed. May be my expectation was too high.
Nov 13, 2012 Kevin rated it really liked it
Well hello there younger version of Lisbeth Salanadar, how are you doing?

I was not a huge fan of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for some reason, I just couldn't like the characters, the story the mystery and everything else was fine and dandy, but I really could care less who was doing the actual solving of the mystery. Don't Turn Around and Noa specifically, is basically a younger, easier to like version of Lisbeth with a touch of the movie "Eagle Eye" as well.

When Noa wakes up on a hospit
Sep 16, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
4.25 stars.

I received an ARC of this book from Goodreads.

Noa Torson has been in and out of the foster care system for almost a decade and, through her knowledge of hacking, was able to eventually get out of the system and set up a fake family for herself, thus ensuring she would never have to see the inside of a The Center, the place she lived between foster homes, ever again. Peter’s a rich kid who has everything he could ever want, except for warm, loving parents. Both are hackers; Noa’s just
May 27, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

Brief summary: Two hackers, one a boy who has lead a privileged life and the other a girl running from the foster care system, stumble upon a medical conspiracy and fight to protect themselves and expose the corrupt company involved.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this book I thought it was well paced and interesting. It didn't feel dumbed down (which can happen when an author switches from adult books to YA) and the dialogue seemed realistic. I know very littl
Aug 23, 2012 tarawrawr rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-arc
Review originally posted

I don’t know why, but I was a little wary of Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon. But you know, one moment I was 12 pages in and the next I was closing the book and it was one in the morning.

Don’t Turn Around is engaging and intense and definitely sucked me in. I loved where the storyline went – it’s definitely an action packed book with lots of chase scenes, but even when there was downtime, I was invested in the story.

I had mixe
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #28 Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon 1 2 Jan 27, 2015 06:03AM  
Book Trailer Soundtrack 1 4 Nov 03, 2013 10:57AM  
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Michelle Gagnon is a former modern dancer, bartender, dog walker, model, personal trainer, and Russian supper club performer. Her bestselling adult thrillers THE TUNNELS, BONEYARD, THE GATEKEEPER, and KIDNAP & RANSOM have been published in North America, France, Denmark, Spain, Argentina, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Australia. BONEYARD was a finalist for a 2009 Daphne du Maurier Award for Exc ...more
More about Michelle Gagnon...

Other Books in the Series

PERSEFoNE (3 books)
  • Don't Look Now (PERSEF0NE, #2)
  • Don't Let Go (PERSEFoNE #3)

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“For most people, home we represented by four walls and a roof. Not for Noa. She preferred a motherboard to a mother, a keyboard to house keys. Nothing was more comforting than the hum of a spinning hard drive.” 9 likes
A whisper can betray you.
They will always find you.
Not even yourself.”
More quotes…