Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon Review

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Title: Don't Turn Around
Author: Michelle Gagnon (Twitter)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: August 28, 2012
Genre: YA, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Pages: 309
Source: Publisher

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's never had a single person to trust, and it's been this way since she lost her parents. But life in the system was a far cry from fear she has when she wakes up in an unknown place with no memory of how she arrived there. What Noa doesn't know is that she's an asset, and she holds powerful information that could irreparably change the course of events. Can Peter, Noa's newfound ally, and she discover what this faceless corporation wants from them before it's too late, or will they both lose everything?

I'm a bit of a sucker for thrillers. I always have been, and I always will be, which is odd because they make me fear sleeping for days. I know. I digress. The point is, the synopsis for Don't Turn Around was immediately intriguing to me, and I definitely bought into the idea of a dark and sinister operation and a creepy, mysterious vibe. Author, Michelle Gagnon, has created a powerful heroine with whom the reader is able to go on a spine-tingling journey full of twists, turns and plenty of corruption. With a fast pace and a strong voice, Don't Turn Around is sure to whisk you away in its dark embrace.

Don't Turn Around is one of those novels that had a whole heck of a lot going for it. The writing style is fresh and clean, and we're offered a fast-paced introduction into what promises to be an exciting and tension-filled new series. The strongest suit of this book is simply that the action is non-stop. It's the type of book that I literally felt the need to read in one sitting because each page had me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out exactly what would happen next. Even better, Don't Turn Around provided just enough mystery and little enough foreshadowing to keep me on my toes, so I never felt as though I was getting too much of the story too soon. Rather, I was riveted from the get-go. Unfortunately, there's a flip-side to this, as well. Because the book was so heavily plot-driven, some of the other aspects of the novel sacrificed their time in the limelight. For one, I never felt as though I could really access Noa or Peter throughout the book. While I felt as though I got their framework, and it was definitely solid, I didn't really get to see these two otherwise powerful characters transform much from start to finish. In addition, a lot of key elements to this series were introduced but not really elaborated upon, such as the virus, PEMA. I would have loved to learn more about it in the first book, but I can only assume that this was not an oversight on the author, but rather a calculated risk in furthering the series. 

All in all, Don't Turn Around might be a book you're tempted to overlook on the shelves, but it's one of those action-packed books that I'm sure I'll pick up again to see if I missed something in my haste to eat it up. I give it a really high 3.5 out of 5, simply because I would have loved more detail on the characters, and I recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy YA, sci-fi and mysteries.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.

15 comments:

  1. Wow that cover really creeps me out. I'm an attention freak when it comes to characters so I'm not fully sure whether I'll enjoy this.

    Brilliant review nonetheless! <33

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    1. Isn't the cover crazy?! It's a really cool concept, too, so you might just like it, Melanie!

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  2. Oh, this one has been on my list! Thanks for the reminder. Great review!

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    1. Thank you, Annette! I think you'll enjoy it! :)

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  3. Oh this one sounds good. I have not paid too much attention to this one, but I may give it a go.

    Great review!

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    1. Thanks, Ashley! I overlooked this one for a long time, but it's definitely worth the read!

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  4. You're right, I completely overlooked this one. I never gave it a chance and didn't see any reviews of it either. Glad you gave it a chance. I don't read a lot of thrillers, for the same reason you do, they keep me up! But this one does sound good. I love deeply layered and developed characters, but if it's plot driven, I can accept that. Great review Melissa! I want to run out and get it now!

    Heather

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    1. Thanks, Heather! Definitely let me know if you read this one because I totally want to compare thoughts! :)

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  5. This sounds great! I love that it has a mystery element to it, and I'm glad it's super engaging. I'll definitely have to check it out now :) Amazing review!

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    1. Thanks so much! It's definitely an engaging read...I hope more people give it a go so we can all discuss it! :)

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  6. I'd never heard of this before, but it sounds great, I love a good thriller! I do love character developments though but I think I'll still definitely check this out if there's so much else going on :) Great review Melissa!

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    1. Hannah! You should totally read it...I want to hear what you think on it :)

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  7. Twists, turns, corruption, strong voice...I'm intrigued! That's too bad that the author didn't delve into the characters / plot, though. Still, sounds like a good, action-packed read!

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    1. Lea, it's a really solid read, and I was pleasantly surprised! :)

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  8. I've seen this one before, but I wasn't exactly certain if I wanted to read it. It sounds like it would be fun to read though, so I might just have to reconsider checking it out ;)

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