Chapter by Chapter's Reviews > Don't Turn Around

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
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Jul 11, 2012

it was amazing
Read from August 24 to 27, 2012

Just by judging the story off the description on the back of the book, I was very excited to begin reading Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon. It sounded like a fun, thrilling, and action filled read. Guess what? It totally was. I expected the novel to be good and I have to admit that I’m far from crestfallen at the fact that Don’t Turn Around is better than good. It’s great! Never have I read a story with such badass character who are also highly intelligent hackers. In most novels (and remember I said most) you get a badass who doesn’t have an equilibrium of brains and brawn—so not the case in Don’t Turn Around.

Don’t Turn Around revolves around main characters Noa and Peter, both of them have very different lives but have one thing in common: Computers. Computers and being insanely skilled hackers. Noa wakes up in a warehouse with an IV in her hand and a series of stitches on her chest and after an intriguing opening sentence, you find yourself reading (however in my case, I could see the scene playing out like a movie,) about Noa as she escapes threatening guards who futilely attempt to keep her from leaving the warehouse. The novel quickly switches to our second main character Peter’s point on view; Peter’s house is broken into by a menacing man known as Mr. Mason who strikes fear into the hearts of many characters throughout the novel and for reasons unknown Mr. Mason steals Peter’s computer and nothing else.

I personally liked the character Noa more than Peter, simply because Noa was a character I think female readers can take a lot of inspiration from. Noa comes from basically nothing, she’s a foster child who managed to use her hacker skills to have a life where no social workers would come to hunt her down. She has no family. She has no friends. She only has herself. But despite those factors, Noa doesn’t panic or whine about her situation… especially when she finds out the reason why there’s an incision on her chest. Noa makes up her plans as she goes along throughout the story (kinda like a female Indiana Jones) and when she’s hit with the unexpected she handles the situation rather smoothly.

Peter on the other hand, is a character who is more street savvy, but personally I found him a bit needy and naïve. He’s the brains behind /ALLIANCE/ (which is a World of Warcraft reference, awesome-sauce right there) a vigilante internet group that is similar to the real world vigilante group Anonymous. Peter sets up a series of hacker attacks against the group who kidnapped/cut open Noa to gather their data. Like something out of a comic book, we learn that the bad guys have more nefarious plans than our characters have expected and watch them plot a way to bring the destruction of the company that has been using teenagers as human guinea pigs.

I would recommend Don’t Turn Around to fans of sci-fi and action. Readers who have been having a hankering for fast paced thrillers will also fall in deeply in love with Don’t Turn Around. I know I did.
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