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StorySnoops Children's Book Reviews | Don't Turn Around | Michelle Gagnon
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Don't Turn Around
by Michelle Gagnon
LEXILE READING LEVEL: HL710L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: HarperCollins
NO. PAGES: 320
GENRE{S}: Mystery/Thriller
ISBN: 0062102907
READ & REVIEWED BY: Jen - StorySnoop

The Story
Don't Turn Around—Book Review

Thanks to her computer-hacking savvy, sixteen-year-old Noa found a way out of the foster care system and has been on her own for almost a year. But when she wakes up in a warehouse with a scar across her chest and no memory of how it got there, Noa realizes she may not have been as invisible as she once thought. After escaping from her captors, Noa must piece together what has happened to her. Meanwhile, rich kid Peter Gregory has his own problems. The founder of a website for vigilante hackers, Peter's most recent "hacktivist" activities have gotten him threatened, kicked out of his house, and on the run. When Peter and Noa team up, they discover that Noa herself holds the key to a horrifying secret. Will Peter and Noa be able to stay one step ahead of those who would do absolutely anything to prevent the secret from being exposed?
The Scoop
Don't Turn Around—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Don't Turn Around is a cyber-thriller with an interesting premise that draws the reader in from page one. Initially, it is unclear how Noa's and Peter's stories tie together, which adds to the suspense. Noa is a bright girl who did not fare well in the foster care system, suffering abuse at the hands of adults and other foster kids. She invents a fictional foster family to fool social services, but is abducted because no one would notice she was gone. Peter is also a brainy teen who founded a computer "hacktivist" group that targets bullies, sexual predators, and corporations that are cruel to animals. Together, they discover that Noa is the victim of a corporation that is using human test subjects to develop a cure for a deadly disease. Foster children have been targeted for this purpose because they frequently run away and are difficult to track. The story involves some violence, and language can be strong but is infrequent (d-mned, h-ll, b-stard, f--k, a-shole, b-tch, bullsh-t). Fans of thrillers will thoroughly enjoy Don't Turn Around, but make sure to have some time set aside because this one is difficult to put down.
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