Monday, August 20, 2012

Review:Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

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Don’t Turn Around
Michelle Gagnon
Series: PERSEF0NE Trilogy #1
Publication date: August 28th 2012
by HarperCollins


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 computer-hacking skills to stay safely anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in an empty 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. 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.

*A copy was provided by HarperCollins for review purposes*
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; keeping me up reading late at night, though it does have a few quirks that holds it back from becoming a truly amazing read. Like character development.

First we meet Lisbeth Noa who has hacked herself into an independent life to escape the evils of foster care. I liked her instantly. Although not as mentally messed up, nor as characteristically fleshed out, Noa’s hacking and resourcefulness reminded me quite a bit of Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Greater development would have helped make her a more memorable characters like our dear Lisbeth, but I did enjoy her nonetheless. Noa’s foster care upbringing was not ideal, so what we do get is an apprehensive, keep-to-oneself, young woman who is just now starting to let people in. Thus, we do still glimpse at who she is at large, and for a first book in a series with so much happening, lack of greater depth is not a very prominent issue. At least, it didn’t stop me from absolutely devouring this novel! Alongside Noa, we’re introduced to Peter who is vastly different from her if only for the fact that he grew up in a rich household, and with parents who seem to have gotten way over their heads into something abysmal. I found Peter’s character to be even less established than Noa’s, never quite getting a feel of who this kid is except a hacker. I still found his voice fairly easy to like.

With dual gender POVs some of you may expect a romance, so let me tell you that this book does not have a romantic subplot, which didn’t bother me in the least as I felt it wouldn’t be a good fit for this story in any case. Still, the author tries to work a tiny bit of romance in the plot which, as the novel fails to bring forth any chemistry between the characters beyond a mere acquaintance relationship, I found these instances quite awkward and out of place. I think I will be disappointed if any romantic relationship does germinate between them in the future. They make a great team as hackers, romance doesn’t always need to pop it’s head – especially when it’s ugly.

As others have mentioned, I do agree that we’re left with an abundance of questions when the book ends. We do amass some details throughout the book relating to the major plot points, but we only merely scratch the surface, leaving a mountain to discover in the next installments. I’m particularly interested in digging deeper inside the medical side of the plot; a new terrible disease that targets teenagers is just what I need to quench my thirst for some terrifying mutated illnesses that kills. What? Is this a weird fetish?

With its freaky, creepy cover, I highly recommend Don’t Turn Around for readers who enjoy action packed, incredibly fast paced thrillers that include fascinating medical evolution and research.

4 Hot Espressos
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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30 Responses to “Review:Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon”

  1. Nick

    Happy to hear that you enjoyed this book, Giselle. I, myself, am among the readers who were annoyed and frustrated by the lack of answers in the end, but I agree that the book was action-packed.
    Brilliant review as usual, Giselle! 🙂

  2. Aylee

    Wow, Noa does sound a lot like Lisbeth. Doesn’t surprise me that she couldn’t hold a candle to her though – Lisbeth is one of the best developed and enigmatic protagonists I’ve ever read. But that you can even make a comparison to her is high praise, I think, and that alone makes me want to read this book. Too bad there were so many leftover questions though – I hate that. Great review, Giselle!

  3. Kris (Imaginary Reads)

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this book. I received five review copies (some to give away), so I passed one to my mom, and she loved it. She’s mad at me though for giving her the first installment. Typically, she likes to wait until all the books are out, so she can read them all at once.

    With everyone telling me that this is an awesome book, I’m going to have to read this one now 🙂

  4. Amy

    This really does sounds good despite that there are lingering questions. At least knowing it’s a series we can hope to get answers in the next book. It’s refreshing to not have a romance in a book. I mean I like romance just as much as the next person, but if it doesn’t add to a story, there’s no need for it. Great review chick!!

  5. -Ria xo

    Usually I’m a sucker for a romance, and love when I book includes some. But it sounds as though it really wouldn’t fit in here, so it’s good that it was avoided!

    And the cover is definitely creepy, and really enticing, too.<3 I haven't read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but I've heard that the main character is fantastic, so if Noa is anything like her then that's something. 😀

    Thanks for the lovely review, Giselle!

  6. Zoe Crook

    WOW. This looks amazing! The cover freaked me out a bit… but I think once I get over it I’d enjoy the book! xD The storyline sounds so unique. Thanks for posting, Giselle, great review, as always! 🙂

  7. kimbacaffeinate

    Great review Giselle, I have been on the fence about this one due to mixed reviews, I am glad to hear you enjoyed it, despite these issues..lets hope book two delivers more!

  8. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Great Review! I really enjoyed the action in this one and agree that there could have been more development on the characters. And yes we are left with a ton of questions at the end, but like you, I still put the book down feeling completely satisfied. Great review chick!

  9. Danny

    I am so happy you liked ti more than I did! But, when I was reading it I was actually sure this would be a book for you, glad it was!!!

    I liked it, but I did miss the romance part a little bit, but yes that’s me with being extremely romance driven!

  10. Eileen

    Great review! I’m really intrigued by this now 🙂 I don’t know how I feel about having a lot of questions unanswered at the end though I’m always so easily confused in books 😛

  11. Meg K.

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed this one! DON’T TURN AROUND was a little on the ‘meh’ side for me, but like you, I thought that the premise and plot was really good. 🙂

    Great review, Giselle!

  12. Annette

    I’m so pumped about this one. EVERYONE compares it to Dragon Tattoo, and I’m great with that! It’s on my list. Thanks for the exciting review.

  13. Kristin @ My ParaHangover

    I think it would be better if I read The Girl books first (nope, haven’t read them yet!!) I think the lack of answers at the end would have put a burr up you-know-where and the cover is kind of creeping me out…. but it gets the creep factor across 🙂

  14. Mel - Thedailyprophecy.

    I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this book so much. It really sounds like an intense read. I love how action packed it sounds, but I hate it when a book just ends. I can’t help it, but I really need answers, but I will try it out, since there will be other books. I can’t stand it in a stand alone, but in a series it might work 🙂

  15. Camille Picott

    You’re right, that’s a TOTALLY creepy cover! This one sounds good! I love a page turner. It’s a bummer about the characters, but sometimes I don’t need great characters if the plot is fun and fast-paced.

  16. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Lisbet was such a well-drawn character, I like that she’s an inspiration for this character, even though she has her own quirks (thank goodness! Lisbet’s pretty hard core!). Medical thrillers kind of creep me out…a good thing sometimes.

  17. Vivian @ Vivaciously, Vivian

    Wow, this sounds great, Giselle! That’s a really good point, sometimes, for authors to not try hard and squeeze unnecessary romance out of their characters. Nevertheless, I really like the sound of Noah–oops, NoA, and Peter! The computer hacking sounds incredibly intriguing as well. Fantastic review, as always!

  18. ShreShre

    Woohoo! I’m all about the action 😀 and thrillers! So glad that it’s fast-paced, been looking for a book like this one forever! Thank you for your amazing review (as always) Giselle and so glad you found it to your taste! <3

    Chocolate Coated Reviews

  19. Books And Beyond

    I just started this at 3am. I was awake, and just read the free novella prequel, got out of bed, found the arc, my book light, a brownie, juice, and did not stop reading until my eyes shut themselves by force!
    I immediately thought of my homegurl/hero Lisbeth too!In fact I woke early, walked the 2 doggies, let the cat Bruiser out to sun on the porch, sat in my porch rocker, read a bit more, just woke up, and came in..lolz
    Long story short- I love this book thus far! I wanna send Harper a bouquet of flowers and yummy chocolates as a big ol’ Gracias!