Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't Turn Around - Michelle Gagnon

Synopsis: 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.
 (From Goodreads)

This is the kind of book that you hold your breath through without realizing you're nervous. The storytelling is so exceptional that you get caught up in it and it really doesn't let you go until you've hit the last page. It didn't take long to read, mostly because I barely put it down. This isn't the type of book I'd normally pick up, but I found myself drawn to it. I'm not a huge fan of thrillers, but I never had a chance to stop and wonder why I was reading a book in a genre I don't care for.

This book makes me want to learn how to be a hacker. Or at least how to do cool things with my computer. I've always thought I was pretty good with technology, but now I see that my skill set is laughably small. Peter and Noa are so dang impressive because they're taking on their enemies, not with special powers or super strength, but with their knowledge. They're so smart - and not just book smart - computer smart and street smart, too.

One of the reasons I don't find thrillers high on my to-read list is because I have a tendency to find the situations implausible. A super secret sect of the government that people in the government don't even know about are tracking down deceptively normal people just because a highly classified document may have fallen into their hands - yeah, I can't really get on board with that. But everything about Don't Turn Around felt believable. While the deadly disease that shows up is fictional, I feel pretty confident that if it did exist a story like this would play out somewhere. But the hacking feels incredibly current and Peter and Noa's enemies feel like they're real threats - even the reason they're after Peter and Noa seems real.

The book also does a great job at drawing attention to the treatment of orphans in our society. So many are neglected, living only to survive, and falling through the cracks. Noa is a product of this flawed system, although she's managed to find her way out of it. Still, she shows what can happen when there is such neglect. Despite everything, she's so strong and remarkably stable. She's easy to relate to and I can only hope that if I ever found myself in the same position as her that I'd have her strength and smarts to keep going. But even better, she's not just content to survive, but to ensure that everyone else survives as well.

My only small hesitation is the involvement of Amanda, Peter's girlfriend. Her only connection to everything that goes down is Peter, so I can't figure out why she has her own voice and story line. But, like I said this is a small detraction from an otherwise incredible novel. Plus, I imagine, or hope, that this sets Amanda up to be a bigger player in the next novel. I'm anxious to read the next part of Noa and Peter's story. This one went so fast, it's hard to imagine even taking the time between books in order to find out what's next.

2 comments:

  1. I love thrillers but don't read too many for some reason. I am so happy to hear this felt believable. I really don't like when books are far out there either. Great review! I am really excited to read this one! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never really read a thriller, this one looks exciting. I've seen the cover around and it's so creepy looking ! It's like someone is trying to reach out of the cover. Awesome review, thanks for putting this book on my radar, Hannah.

    ReplyDelete

Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't Turn Around - Michelle Gagnon

Synopsis: 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.
 (From Goodreads)

This is the kind of book that you hold your breath through without realizing you're nervous. The storytelling is so exceptional that you get caught up in it and it really doesn't let you go until you've hit the last page. It didn't take long to read, mostly because I barely put it down. This isn't the type of book I'd normally pick up, but I found myself drawn to it. I'm not a huge fan of thrillers, but I never had a chance to stop and wonder why I was reading a book in a genre I don't care for.

This book makes me want to learn how to be a hacker. Or at least how to do cool things with my computer. I've always thought I was pretty good with technology, but now I see that my skill set is laughably small. Peter and Noa are so dang impressive because they're taking on their enemies, not with special powers or super strength, but with their knowledge. They're so smart - and not just book smart - computer smart and street smart, too.

One of the reasons I don't find thrillers high on my to-read list is because I have a tendency to find the situations implausible. A super secret sect of the government that people in the government don't even know about are tracking down deceptively normal people just because a highly classified document may have fallen into their hands - yeah, I can't really get on board with that. But everything about Don't Turn Around felt believable. While the deadly disease that shows up is fictional, I feel pretty confident that if it did exist a story like this would play out somewhere. But the hacking feels incredibly current and Peter and Noa's enemies feel like they're real threats - even the reason they're after Peter and Noa seems real.

The book also does a great job at drawing attention to the treatment of orphans in our society. So many are neglected, living only to survive, and falling through the cracks. Noa is a product of this flawed system, although she's managed to find her way out of it. Still, she shows what can happen when there is such neglect. Despite everything, she's so strong and remarkably stable. She's easy to relate to and I can only hope that if I ever found myself in the same position as her that I'd have her strength and smarts to keep going. But even better, she's not just content to survive, but to ensure that everyone else survives as well.

My only small hesitation is the involvement of Amanda, Peter's girlfriend. Her only connection to everything that goes down is Peter, so I can't figure out why she has her own voice and story line. But, like I said this is a small detraction from an otherwise incredible novel. Plus, I imagine, or hope, that this sets Amanda up to be a bigger player in the next novel. I'm anxious to read the next part of Noa and Peter's story. This one went so fast, it's hard to imagine even taking the time between books in order to find out what's next.

2 comments:

  1. I love thrillers but don't read too many for some reason. I am so happy to hear this felt believable. I really don't like when books are far out there either. Great review! I am really excited to read this one! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've never really read a thriller, this one looks exciting. I've seen the cover around and it's so creepy looking ! It's like someone is trying to reach out of the cover. Awesome review, thanks for putting this book on my radar, Hannah.

    ReplyDelete