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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon

Title: Don't Turn Around
Author: Michelle Gagnon
ISBN: 9780062227706
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: August 28, 2012
Series: PERSEPH0NE #1
Duration: 8 hours, 31 minutes
Source: Audiobook from my public library

"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 the hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa's talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation called AMRF 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."
First Lines:

"When Noa Torson woke up, the first thing she noticed was that her feet were cold. Odd, since she always wore socks to bed. She opened her eyes and immediately winced against the glare."
Page 1

Secrets, lies, shady companies, hackers, underground hospitals, dead bodies piling up... what more do you want out of a YA mystery/cyber thriller?

Noa and Peter are both part of an online hacker community. They want to do good in the world by taking down corporations that deal with less-than-savory business. But when they start digging into the wrong corp, bad things start happening. Noa has been changed somehow - she doesn't need food, doesn't get tired, and doesn't really feel the changes in the weather. Not to mention that she is always on the run anyway with no place to call home. Peter is the opposite, until he starts questioning his parent's reactions to him being attacked. It's all very mysterious.

I really think this is a solid mystery/sci fi/thriller. But I'm probably partial to anything dealing with hackers, because I find them fascinating. Especially when you're dealing with a group who makes it their mission to make the world a better place. If only there were actually groups like that (are there?).

I can almost pinpoint the moment that I decided I really liked this book. At first, you're getting these very different stories about Noa and Peter. They are both trying to figure out what's going on, but they don't seem to connect in any way. It's just that they semi-know each other from the online community. But the moment that they realize working together is the way to go, I was hooked. They make a really interesting team and the dynamic is uncomfortably awesome. Both of them have trouble trusting anyone now and their alliance is uneasy. Which makes for some great drama. :)

The whole thing about farming kids who won't be missed is highly disturbing. I'm sure something like this actually does happen in the world - and we wouldn't even know it. Luckily, the adults in charge of that opperation come off looking like super creepers. And sometimes a little stupid in a meathead kinda way. Which makes the whole thing seem a little less horrifying. But the point is for Noa and Peter to find a way to take them down...

This is the first in a series, so you're left with a pretty steep cliffhanger. I'll definitely be checking out the next audiobook from my library in the near future. I just have to know what is going to happen to them! They did a great job with the audio and I'll be making sure to recommend that as an option. If you're a cyber thriller-lover like me, then you'll really dig this story. I'm excited to see where the author takes us next!
Other Blog Reviews:

Book Nerd
Story Snoops
Reading Lark
Fine Print
Sash & Em
A Leisure Moment
Birth of a New Witch
Appraising Pages

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