Don't Turn Around (Don't Turn Around Series #1)

Don't Turn Around (Don't Turn Around Series #1)

4.3 92
by Michelle Gagnon
     
 

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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

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Overview

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 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.
 

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Teen runaway Noa has managed to make a tolerable life for herself. She has an apartment, a job as a freelance computer security specialist (she's a hacker), and a fake foster family to make it all legal. Most importantly, she is off the grid and all but invisible-until she wakes up on an operating table with no memory of the past three weeks, a strange scar, and a ton of questions. She needs help and she needs answers, but first she needs to escape. Peter, a privileged suburban kid who leads a computer hacktivist group called /ALLIANCE/, has stumbled onto a terrible secret that may involve his whole family. Suddenly the two of them are on the run, chased by a powerful company willing to do anything to catch them and keep their secrets. Don't Turn Around is a tight, well-written thriller from a best-selling adult writer. The story opens quickly but then takes a while to gain momentum. However, by the time Noa and Peter get together, the action and the developments come fast and furious all the way to the end. The teens come across as authentic young adults and deftly walk the fine line between teenage hard-headedness and being appropriately sympathetic. There is a certain amount of computer jargon but it never slows the action, and everything is reasonably explained. The ending is left open for a possible sequel, which will surely excite anyone who reads this first installment.Erik Knapp, Davis Library, Plano, TX
Harlan Coben
“A fast-paced, rip-roaring thriller for all ages.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Gagnon's writing draws readers effortlessly into an adrenaline-packed ride. This is a smart, gripping addition to the growing hacker-action genre with strong appeal to fans of Doctorow's Little Brother and Falkner's Brain Jack.”
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

“Gagnon’s writing draws readers effortlessly into an adrenaline-packed ride. This is a smart, gripping addition to the growing hacker-action genre with strong appeal to fans of Doctorow’s Little Brother and Falkner’s Brain Jack.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Gagnon’s writing draws readers effortlessly into an adrenaline-packed ride. This is a smart, gripping addition to the growing hacker-action genre with strong appeal to fans of Doctorow’s Little Brother and Falkner’s Brain Jack.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Gagnon’s writing draws readers effortlessly into an adrenaline-packed ride. This is a smart, gripping addition to the growing hacker-action genre with strong appeal to fans of Doctorow’s Little Brother and Falkner’s Brain Jack.”
Katie Crouch
“A sophisticated, mind-bending thriller.”
VOYA - Suanne B. Roush
Teens all around the world are dying of PEMA, a mysterious and incurable wasting disease. Noa and Peter are two teens with advanced hacking skills but radically different backgrounds. Peter is a rich kid who started /ALLIANCE/, an online group of hackers, and Noa (reminiscent of Dragon Tattoo's Lisbeth Salander) is a former foster kid who has gone off the grid, making money under an assumed identity by testing and setting up website and company security. The two teens are brought together when Peter starts poking around one of his father's business interests. This leads to a home invasion by "men in black" type goons who take his laptop and threaten him. Noa wakes up on a metal operating table with an incision in her chest, strapped to an IV, and wearing only a cloth gown. She barely escapes and goes on the run. After tapping into some money she has saved, she gets a new computer which puts her into contact with both Peter and the mysterious A6M0 who warns her when she is in danger. Realizing they are both being chased by the same people, and that it has something to do with PEMA research, they start working together to figure out what is going on and what was done to Noa and why. This fast-paced thriller will keep all readers, including adults, on the edge of their seats. This is a must-purchase title, especially for libraries looking for something besides the paranormal. Be prepared to stay up all night reading; the ending can stand alone or support a sequel. Reviewer: Suanne B. Roush
Kirkus Reviews
Teenage hackers Noa and Peter band together for vengeance and discover an inconceivable conspiracy. Sixteen-year-old computer whiz Noa Torson has escaped the Child Protective Services system by creating a fake foster family that includes a reclusive, freelance IT-guy of a father who draws a tidy salary working "from home"; she thinks she's safe. When she wakes up in a hospitallike operating theater with no memory of how she got there, she doesn't take the doctors' lame explanation that she was in a car accident and uses her smarts to escape. Meanwhile, Boston child-of-privilege Peter pokes around his father's files and is interrupted by armed thugs who break down the door and storm off with his computer (leaving a warning for his parents). Peter enlists his hacktivist group /ALLIANCE/ (of which Noa is a member) to, first, research the subject of those files and then to attack his attackers via the Net. The attack only serves to dig the teens in deeper when they uncover a frightening conspiracy of human experimentation and corporate malfeasance that could mean a quick death for them both. Adult author Gagnon's YA debut is a pulse-pounding scary-great read. The strong characters and dystopian day-after-tomorrow setting will have teens begging for more. The slightly open end leaving the possibility (but not necessity) of a sequel will rankle some; others will just breathlessly smile. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for preteens and teens, a surefire hit. (Thriller. 12-16)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062102928
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/28/2012
Series:
Don't Turn Around Series , #1
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
99,127
Lexile:
HL710L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

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What People are saying about this

Katie Crouch

“A sophisticated, mind-bending thriller.”

Harlan Coben

“A fast-paced, rip-roaring thriller for all ages.”

Meet the Author

Michelle Gagnon has been a modern dancer, a dog walker, a bartender, a freelance journalist, a personal trainer, and a model. Her bestselling thrillers for adults have been published in numerous countries and include The Tunnels, Boneyard, The Gatekeeper, and Kidnap & Ransom. Don't Turn Around, Don't Look Now, and Don't Let Go are her first three novels for young adults.

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Don't Turn Around 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 92 reviews.
TaylorKnight More than 1 year ago
What an amazing book! Thrilling from start to finish with curve balls every other chapter. Noa is an awesome character that kicks butt and actually has a brain and uses it. Don't Turn Around had me absorbed in each and every page. I was transfixed with the plot and was transported to the world of computer hackers. Don't Turn Around is one of the best book I've read this year and one of my favorite books of all time. I could easily re-read this book a couple more times and not get bored.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked that the story kept moving at a fast pace. The suspense was maintained throughout, which made it difficult to put down. It is 241 pages in entirety. I read it in 2 nights. The characters were generally easy to like (or dislike). It had very little foul launguage. May be a little grusome for the younger ones. I loved the story, and some of the characters. I'm totally game for reading a sequel... If you like face-paced stories, suspense/thriller types stories with relateable (albiet young) characters, you will probly enjoy it...just read it already!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome and well written. It holds your attention by suspense and leads up to a wonderful climax. I would definitely recommend this for readers who like thrill, action, etc. Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cool book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and can't wait for the next
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is simply amazing. Suspenseful from beginning to end. Get it, it's worth every penny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ever heard of 4chan? Anonymous? Hacktivists? Hackers at all? Medical jargon? Ever wished you knew how to hack or operate? Or maybe you're looking for a book with an intelligent, tough, independent chick for a main character that isn't constantly rambling about love? Or perhaps you think you grew up worldly, or are a proud citizen of a bubble? *How about you just want an AMAZING book to read that will keep you guessing and reading, getting excited because even your friends who hate to read would love what's in front of you?* Then please read this. It is worth paying for fifty times over. See, I am a book snob at times; I truly am. However, reading the teaser chapter one a month ago had me counting down till this book came out. I was excited, and this book is the first one in my 24 years that has not only met the high expectations I had for it for this period of waiting, but SURPASSED IT COMPLETELY in so many ways that I cannot get this stupid grin off my face and rush in my chest. No book has gotten me this hyped before, or the need to review immediately and not just to by avid-reading bff, but to anybody and everybody like this!!!! All that I can say is READ IT. NOW. WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS??? GO READ THE BOOK NOW!!!!!!!!
rachelnaddeo More than 1 year ago
A fast-paced enthralling novel that you will keep you hooked till its very last page. It has been awhile since I've read such an exciting novel that I couldn't even sleep before finishing the whole thing! Gagnon totally succeeded in captivating me with a story full of twists and turns filled with mystery. The Plot: What surprised me most about Don't Turn Around was the lack of romance (don't worry, there is enough of platonic love) and yet it had the capacity of completely grabbing my attention and not letting it go one second. Gagnon's writing is a match made in heaven for a novel like this one and I would be certainly reading anything this author throws my way. Furthermore the suspense and action is just plain exciting! The Characters: All characters fit perfectly the genre of this book. Noa was an independent, strong main character who often remembered me of Lisbeth from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Peter was the typical rebel. He is rich but doesn't have a good relationship with his parents since his brother died and he wants to make a different to the world with his hacker group. I loved the difference between them and the combination of their characters. The side characters complemented the story well and I found myself even liking them! Don't Turn Around is a novel for those of you who are in search of an exciting novel with many action-filled scenes and suspense. If you are into such movies as The Bourne Identity or action movies and books in general, you shouldn't miss this one which is coming out tomorrow! Now is a great time to pre-order it, you won't have to wait so long for it to come out.
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still don't know what i liked about it - it was frustrating at times!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
:) This book rocks!! Would recommend 10 yrs +
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down AT ALL. Suspensful, exciting, and definitely has a great flow that makes you feel like you're running around with them like a a camera man.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I paid $10 and it only gave us the sample. But the sample seems AWESOME!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just finished this book during a bout of the flu. Luved the medical mystery luved the intrigue. A must read 4all
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic.....action packed edge of your seat....many loose ends at the end but i liked that makes me want a sequel
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put it down! Read this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. Not so far fetched as it might appear because of recent revelations about all the spying the United States is doing on its own citizens.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a pretty good read. Interesting from the beginning and hard to put down. I think I will be picking up #2 in the series soon. Oh, it may hsve been written for older teens but tech-savvy adults will get it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Completely enthralled the entire time. I could not put it down. Love all of the characters and the story is so complex and exciting! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its the first book of a series. That means there are many more books. At least three more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really, I 'm not sure what to think. It was a great read. However the end was not the end for me. There was so much more I wanted. I thought there must be a sequal or something. Anything really. **********
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book, not my genre of reading but for a $1.99 why not? Waaaaay worth it and more! Fantastic read, could not put it down. Was a real page turner filled with nonstop action! Waiting for part II!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it