Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon – Review

Posted 10 August, 2012 by Danny in Blog, Danny, Danny's Book Review / 18 Comments

Don’t Turn Around

Book 1 in the PERSEF0NE Trilogy 
Genre: YA, Mystery/Thriller
Expected publication: August 28th 2012 by HarperCollins
Copy received from publisher
Get your own: amazon | BookDepository 
Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon, synopsis from goodreads: 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.Filled with action, suspense, and romance, this first book in a new trilogy offers readers nonstop thrills. 

The YA “Girl with The Dragon Tattoo” would be maybe a little exaregated, but the main protagonist Noa reminds very much of this famous girl. Noa is a very talented hacker, lost her parents and tries to live under the radar of the social system.


The Story is told in 3rd person narration and shifts between Noa and Peter. Peter is also a hacker, but has a very different background. Rich family everyone loves him and he has a cute girlfriend. This narration style always gives you much more inside into the characters, their backstory and the happenings surrounding them.


Starting with a Bang!

The story right jumps into action with Noa just waking up, confused and trying to escape… This opening chapter was a great pace maker and I was believed this set the tone for the book. The story could have told with a great deal of action and fast pacing and I think this book would have needed a little more streamlining to deliver just that.


Noa and Peter

The two main characters, were actually easy to like characters, yet failed to completely convince you of their awesomeness! I liked them, but I didn’t love them… Both were so very different from each other and I liked seeing both kids from the opposite POV. There is a lot going on, also in terms of backstory, which was interesting to discover.

Noa is a girl with obvious trust issues, but cpabable to live without adult supervision which makes her seem older than the 16 she is. Seeing her slowly beginning to trust people and actually realizing that you cannot deal with everything on your own was a great to follow. Taking Peter out of his usual rich and trusted enviromnet was equally interesting to follow. I fact ,those two characters were great to see interact with each other…


The mysterious storyline…

… was a little lacking. I was always hoping for more tension, for more mystery but somehow the story didn’t manage to completely draw me in. I cannot even exactly tell what the problem was, just that I felt disconnected from the story and wasn’t completely mesmerized.

Bewitched Rating


Bottom Line

Don’t Turn Around was a nice read, but not the explosive and thrilling story I expected. Now and Peter were great characters and with their opposite backstories and so different characters left room for a lot of character development and tension.



Additional Notes

If you are interested in this book, there is a  Novella available at amazon for free! , which is set before the happenings in Don’t Turn Around! I love when authors do this, it can give you a feeling about the book and it is a great Teaser! Michelle Gragnon is also the author of a Adult Mystery Series featuring Kelley Jones an FBI agent!


So guys, you like a good thriller and mystery? Is this on your wish list?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

Much Love,

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18 Responses to “Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon – Review”

  1. I had the very same reaction to this book as you, Danny. I liked the characters, but they weren’t memorable enough for me to form an emotional connection with. I also thought the ending didn’t wrap up anything.
    I agree with everything you said!
    Great review, Danny. 🙂

    Reply »

    Danny 8/15/2012

    It was a little sad that the characters weren’t more awesome! I really want it to flash me!
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  2. Shoot! This cover is all creepy and interesting and I was hoping the book would be as well. I love how you used the word “mesmerizing” – that’s exactly what I want to be when I’m reading. Completely and utterly mesmerized. Like with Kaidan:)

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend my friend!

    Reply »

    Danny 8/15/2012

    oh yes!!! The cover is awesome, as is the premise! But, yes just like you I wanted to be swept away and this story didn’t! It was great, but not awesome!

    Oh and .. do not get me started on Kaidan! lool
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  3. Oh, I didn’t know this is YA. It’s too bad it was lacking the wow factor. 🙁 It sounds like an interesting concept though.
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    Danny 8/15/2012

    Yep, like an YA version of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo… many elements can be found. It’s a nice thriller, but just not mind blowing!
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  4. Sounds like the potential is there but it just didn’t quite live up to it. I like the idea of the outcast hacker girl (though I’m hoping it really isn’t like Dragon Tattoo girl ’cause she was seriously messed up!). Still, I think I’ll have to check it out!
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    Danny 8/15/2012

    uhm.. yes messed up fits perfectly here too. Just not as bad as the Dragon Tattoo girl, but it comes close, like a mild version of it! I hope you’ll love it more!
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