10 July 2012

Teen Tuesday

Don't Turn Around (Persefone Trilogy, Book 1) by Michelle Gagnon (HarperTeen hardcover,  28 August  2012).

Well-off high-school senior Peter Gregory is an accomplished hacker who has started an online group called /ALLIANCE/.  Alone at home one weekend, he snoops through his father's desk and finds papers about a corporation called AMRF.  No sooner has he begun to investigate it than thugs break down the front door, threaten him and his parents and take his laptop.

Noa is a sixteen-year-old orphan, who has been living "off the grid" for some time.  One day she wakes up on a table in a remote, deserted warehouse with an IV in her arm, and no idea how she got there, or how long she's been there.  Skilled at self-preservation, she manages to get away, but not without attracting attention.  Also a skilled hacker, she logs onto /ALLIANCE/ and connects with Peter, who afraid for himself and his family, is also on the run.

Together, the two attempt to uncover the truth about her kidnappers and the mysterious AMRF.

Apart from their shared hacking skills, both teens are intelligent and capable in different ways.  Noa, who has credibly been likened to Lisbeth Salander, is street-smart and wily.  Peter is most definitely not streetwise, but because he's not as solitary as Noa, has contacts in both the real and hacker worlds.

This gripping page-turner that's not just for teens, has received starred reviews from journals like the young adult librarian's bible VOYA, the hard-to-please Kirkus, and now from Stuff and Nonsense.  Fans of dystopian literature and techno-thrillers will love it!

Michelle Gagnon has been a modern dancer, a dog walker, a bartender, a freelance journalist, a personal trainer, and a model. Her bestselling thrillers for adults have been published in numerous countries and include The Tunnels, Boneyard, The Gatekeeper, and Kidnap & Ransom. Don't Turn Around is her first novel for young adults.  Her second YA thriller Strangelets will be released in 2013.

Many thanks to Michelle for the e-galley she sent me to review.

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