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Don't Turn Around

(Persefone #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  6,519 ratings  ·  997 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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Victoire My answer is late, but maybe it can still help you. This is a good mystery book because it is really well written. I haven't read the other two tomes …moreMy answer is late, but maybe it can still help you. This is a good mystery book because it is really well written. I haven't read the other two tomes yet but in the first one, you don't really understand everything that is happening. There are a lot of questions we don't have answers to at the end, and it makes you want to read the next tome. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  6,519 ratings  ·  997 reviews

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Start your review of Don't Turn Around (Persef0ne, #1)
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc
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
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
Odette Brethouwer
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I've really enjoyed reading this! There is a lot of coincidences in this book, but I really like the idea and the storyline. The beginning is really strong, it grabbed me at the first couple of sentences. I'm excited to be reading the sequels soon! ...more
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
The ending gave me literal chills.. or it could be the 50 degree weather and wind chill.

Either way great story, great characters, great twist. Definitely recommend to any and all
Sep 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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.

Jun 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Monica (is working the heck out of

This is a fast-paced, action-packed read that will have you on your toes from cover to cover.

It is everything I love about romantic suspense without all of the...romance.

If you like off-the-grid, run-for-your-life, narrowly-escaped-capture thrillers, this is the one for you, particularly if you don't want to be bothered with gushy, overprotective male love interests who insist they know what's best because they're male.

There are some unrealistic and tstl moments here and there, and the
Dark Faerie Tales
Oct 21, 2012 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 detainment
Jenni Arndt
May 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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
Jul 10, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2012 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
Aug 13, 2012 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
Sonia O'Brien
Aug 01, 2012 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
Paula  from Reading Lark
Jul 23, 2012 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
Apr 22, 2012 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
Aug 28, 2012 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
Crystal Clifton
Jun 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker
Great book. Now, where is book 2? Review coming soon.
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read the review on my blog:
Trigger Warning: Kidnapping, Guns & Gun Violence, Rape Mention, Death

Don’t Turn Around, by Michelle Gagnon is:

- first in a trilogy
- Young Adult Sci-Fi Thriller/Mystery
- 336 pages (paperback)

When I first found this book, I was browsing through the library. I like this particular library because they have quite a few books in paperback, and I find library paperbacks such a breeze to read. Anyway. I found Don’t Turn Around and saw that the front cover has “ OFF THE GRID. ON THE RUN. ” on it. I wa
Aug 21, 2012 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
Jun 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Susan Tunis
May 25, 2012 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,
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted http://hobbitsies.net/2012/08/dont-tu...

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
Kathy Martin
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the time Noa wakes up on an operating table in a warehouse with an incision in her chest until the final page, the excitement doesn't let up in this heart-pounding beginning of a trilogy. Gagnon's website describes it as a technothriller.

Noa is a victim of the foster care system. She came to foster care after the death of her parents and she rotated between The Center and a variety of foster home placements before running away at the age of fifteen. Noa is a very skilled computer hacker and
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2013
Wow. This book was amazing. Starts off with a bang and the tempo never slows. I was enthralled until the very last page.

Great characters, interesting plot and an ending in a trilogy that didn't make me want to throw the book when I was done.

Can't wait for book 2.
I have read the swedish edition of "Don`t turn around" some years ago during middle-school but barely remember the plot.But i do remember really liking it for the suspense and the main-girl`s character. ...more
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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 Excelle ...more

Other books in the series

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

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