Review Blog

Mar 28 2013

Don't turn around by Michelle Gagnon

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Persefone 1. Harper, 2012. ISBN 9780062102904.
(Age 12+) Recommended. Thriller. Computers. ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults 2013. Noa wakes up on a metal bench with an IVF in her arm and she knows that something is wrong. The room doesn't look like a hospital and fearing the worst she manages to escape. Fleeing the foster care system she has kept alive by using her computer skills and she falls back on these to find out what is happening to her. Peter, another hacker who has set up Alliance, a hacking group, contacts her and together they gain information about the terrible secret that the corporation, AMRF, is hiding.
There is non stop action in this suspenseful story that I just had to finish as quickly as I could. The mixture of a frenetic pace, lots of narrow escapes and two computer hackers on the run was addictive. I avidly followed Noa and Peter as they hacked their way into computers to learn about what was happening. The plot was handled very well and held together in a very exciting way. I found the idea of homeless runaways being targetted for medical research quite believable and the big corporation was certainly ruthless. A couple of questions that left me wondering at the end (before I realised that it was the first book in a series) will no double be answered in future instalments.
I must admit that I am now tempted to pick up Michelle Gagnon's adult thrillers as I found this one so compulsive. This will appeal to people who like thrillers and I think that it may even entice reluctant readers.
Pat Pledger

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