Thursday, July 12, 2012

Early Review: Don't Turn Around (PERSEFoNE Trilogy, #1)



Don't Turn AroundAuthor: Michelle Gagnon
Publication date: August 28th 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Hardcover, 310 pages
My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Noa has spent almost her entire life in the system, changing foster parents far too often. Along the way, she became extremely good with computers and she somehow managed to create a false foster family for herself, make a lot of money online under the name of her non-existent foster father and rent a great apartmen. But because of her lack of personal connections, she is targeted by a group that performs illegal medical experiments on human subject. At the beginning of Don’t Turn Around, she wakes up in a warehouse on an operating table with a huge scar on her chest and with absolutely no recollection of how she got there. She somehow manages to run, but she is cut off from her money and her things, and she has nowhere to go.
Peter’s parents are obscenely rich, but ever since his brother died from a rare disease, he might as well be an orphan. His year older girlfriend just started college and is drifting away and he’s not really interested in anything but the website he created for his group of hacktivists. One day, while going through his father’s files, he stumbles upon a URL and when he tries to access it, armed men storm into his house, threaten him and take away his laptop. Completely terrified, but still curious, Peter turns to the best hacker from his site, which happens to be Noa. Pretty soon it becomes clear that their goal is the same, but that doesn’t mean they instantly trust each other.



Don’t Turn Around is an action-packed adventure that leaves you no time to relax, blink or even breathe. Before I started reading, I was curious about the title, but it soon became very clear. The main characters are being chased from one place to the next throughout the book and turning around to look at their pursuers is rarely a good idea. Although separately, both Noa and Peter are on the run the entire time, always trying to find somewhere safe to huddle with a laptop and learn more about the people hunting them. Since they’re both on their own, running, hiding and fighting back using minimal resources, the book has very little dialogue, but it is very fast-paced. The rapid pacing was exhilarating at first, but it soon became exhausting - it left me a bit dizzy and actually physically tired.

Fans of romance will be heavily disappointed. Dual perspective has been growing in popularity, especially in YA, and in most cases it means that the two main characters will eventually fall in love, sometimes very early in the story, sometimes a bit later. Noa and Peter don’t even meet properly until the second half, and even then there’s a lot of distrust between them, so there’s really no real romance to speak of. Peter is heartbroken and Noa is, for the most part, just broken, and even though they’re occasionally attracted to each other, that’s as far as it goes. Personally, I didn’t mind that one bit, but I know there will be a lot of frustrated readers out there.

If you’re expecting any kind of closure from this book, you will be disappointed. The ending is not exactly a cliffhanger, but nothing is resolved either. At one (pretty random) point, the story just stops. Nevertheless, I have no intention of reading the sequel, I just didn't develop any emotional attachments to these characters.



21 comments:

  1. Oh no ! I have this book too from Edelweiss, but now I wonder if I'll enjoy it. I like action-packed books, so that's a good thing, but it really sucks that you didn't form any emotional connection with the characters. The fact that the book just ends doesn't bode well with me either. :/
    Thanks for the honest review, Maja.

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  2. Hmm I have not seen this one...doesn't sound good with a dizzying pace that makes you tired and a non resolution ending, you and I agree wholeheartedly on how awful those are, almost worse than a cliffhanger. Thanks for the honest review. Can't wait to see what you think of This Is Not A Test!

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  3. Ugh, this doesn't sound good at all. I didn't think it did from reading the summary, but that cover is gorgeous. :) And I hate endings that just stop. Did the author not know where the stop the book, so they thought "here is a good place!" ?? ugh. no thank you.

    great review!

    Ashelynn @ gypsy book reviews.

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  4. Sorry this didn't work for you. I think it's great there was no romance. It doesn't always work, and it's a bit overdone at times. however, I also really like books with a lot of dialogue and the description/action can tire me as well, so it sounds like this isn't for me.

    -Lauren

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  5. Great review, Maja! I had high hopes for this so it's a shame to see it didn't quite work for you. I do generally prefer a fast-paced book to a slower one, and the premise for this book is quite interesting, but it seems like it is a little too plot-driven... Especially as you couldn't invest in the characters emotionally. Lovely, helpful review! :)

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  6. Well, for me, I think it would be kind of hard to be disappointed by the lack of romance in this one because based on the cover and title, I wouldn't expect anything but a thrill type of story. But I see what you mean by the assumption that readers might make when they realize it is told in duel POVs.

    And what's with the growing popularity of stories that just stop. If this is the latest trend, it needs to, well, stop because it's WTF at it's most fu*kery! LOL

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  7. maybe its just me
    but not every book w/ dual pov'sneeds some frexing romance
    its just me. i',m looking 4ward 2 this1

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  8. The cover and synopsis really creep me out, but I do like that for once there is no romance between the MCs, what a nice change!

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  9. And they say opposites attract -- it sounds like their similarity is what brings these two together! :) Most times I'm a complete romance girl so I always go after books that are heavy on it, but sometimes I like to read a book that doesn't let the love aspect overshadow everything else, and I'm glad it worked for you here! Just from the way you described them, I feel like Peter and Noa have enough to deal with without too much stress from dating. x)

    Thanks so much for the amazing honest review, Maja! This may not sound like the best book in the world, but I'm glad you could still be respectfully honest as always :) <3

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  10. Gosh, that sounds like one hell of an opening. I love Noa's whole back-story. And I'm really surprised (in a good way) by the lack of romance. That's pretty rare these days.

    Too bad about the ending though. That sounds very disappointing. As always, I really enjoyed reading your review though. :) Hope you're having a great summer!

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  11. I think I've seen this book around but I haven't actually wanted to read this book although it sounds quite interesting! And awww, I'm a huge fan of romance and I'm sad that there are not plenty romance in this book.

    Awesome and honest review, Maja! ♥

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  12. Oh I'm sorry to see you didn't enjoy this one. I was really looking forward to it, but from reading your review, I think I was expecting something a bit different. The "no romance" aspect would definitely turn me off and I like a book to be fast paced but I enjoy the dialogue and getting to know characters and connect with them. Great review Maja. I was refused for this on Edelweiss and now I'm glad lol

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  13. Wonderful review full of candor! I also often get disoriented if the action appears to fast. Caring about the characters and dialogue are important for me to enjoy reading books, so thanks for letting me know that Don't Turn Around lacks that. witty dialogue is often my favorite quotes from books.

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  14. Ive been eying this book lately, it does sounds full of actions but the fact that you didnt invest any connections to the characters are good enough for me to stay away from this book. :) Atleast for now. Great review Maja! x

    Ƹ̴Ӂ̴ƷFICBOOKREVIEWSƸ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ

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  15. Oh my. I think I'm going to be one of that disappointed reader you mentioned. :P I agree, dual POV become increasingly popular in YA lately. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don't think it's necessary. I love the sound of the heroine though! She seems very smart, and I need more heroines like that in my books! Plus, she's a hacker! That's just EPIC coolness. I hope there would be many scenes involving computer and her hacking ability. xD

    Totally fabulous review, Maja! x)

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  16. This one sounds interesting, but no romance? And the ending? Meh. I finished one a few weeks ago that just stopped. Had me checking to see if I had missed a few pages. Wonderful review as always, Maja. Thanks so much for sharing. <3

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  17. Hmm...I'm intrigued, but think maybe I'll wait to see how the sequel pans out. I actually LOVE when books don't include a romance, but I'm sick of dual perspectives.

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  18. Sounds exciting but I thought it was going to be more about her waking up on the the table confused. I like amnesia plots and didn't realize it would be mostly them separately running and communicating by laptop. I do refer a romance heavy book but sometimes I don't mind a more action packed book. But at the same time i don't think this is quite what I expected or wanted. Might pass on it after all. I also prefer a wrapped up conclusion. A series can continue with plenty more action without just ending abruptly. I hate that.

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  19. =o Don't Turn Around sounds terrifying! I got an adrenalin rush by just reading the summary. Not sure I would want to read it if there's absolutely no closure at the end... especially when it's the kind of book that thrives on the suspense. I want answers at the end! Always! It sounds interesting, though. Awesome review, Maja :)

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  20. Hi, I have read the trilogy and I find it quite good. The trilogy are some of the few books I just "have to" read one more page over and over again. the way the author wrote the books made me feel like I knew Noa and Peter, and the rest that comes along later in the story. I think the story is breathtaking and awseome. At one point in the book I actually began to cry cause it had a so strong emotional grip on me. I rally recommend the books! Love them!
    Thank you for your review:)

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  21. Hi, I have read the trilogy and I find it quite good. The trilogy are some of the few books I just "have to" read one more page over and over again. the way the author wrote the books made me feel like I knew Noa and Peter, and the rest that comes along later in the story. I think the story is breathtaking and awseome. At one point in the book I actually began to cry cause it had a so strong emotional grip on me. I rally recommend the books! Love them!
    Thank you for your review:)

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