Title: Don't Turn Around (PERSEFoNE #1)
Author: Michelle Gagnon
Publication date: August 28th, 2012
Genre(s): Young Adult (Thriller/Dystopian)
Format: Digital ARC
Don’t Turn Around is a thrilling novel that is told from two POVs. We’ve got the 16-year-old girl who has been in the foster system all her life but recently ranaway and set up a fake foster family and got a high paying online job as a work at home man. Then we’ve got the other side of the story, Peter. A rich kid who is also good with computers to the point of creating an online hacking hub known as //ALLIANCE//. They end up getting entangled in a very deep and dangerous organization and that’s when the excitement begins.
In all honesty throughout reading Don’t Turn Around I was holding on hope for something spectacular to happen. The novel had a ton of chases and Noa used her brainy and hacking skills to get away out of every slippery situation. She was headstrong and truly independent. I mean she hacked into the foster system, created a foster family out of thin air and added herself as a foster child to them, updated the system as if social workers came for regular check ups and enlisted herself to be home schooled. However I just kept on waiting for that thing that would render me speechless or mind blown. Unfortunately it never came. I liked the plot, and how there is a bit of a post-apocalyptic feel to it with the PEMA disease. But what didn’t keep me 100% invested in this novel is my emotional detachment to the characters and their eventual teaming up to fight against the forces of evil.
The plot was fantastic, the characters were super smart, but I just needed more out of it. Since this novel was all about hacking, I hoped we would see more of it. We only get the word hacking thrown in every couple of pages but you don’t get to sit in with them, biting your nails, tying to break through firewalls and escape IP detection systems. If you’ve seen Nikita, then you know what I mean. However, even if I was left a bit disappointed due to my high expectations, Don’t Turn Around was still a pleasant read and I did enjoy it. I think young adult readers who want a novel with a bit more mystery and excitement they should check out Don’t Turn Around. Fans of Cold Fury by T. M. Goeglein would highly enjoy it.