Don't Turn Around (PER5EF0NE #1) by Michelle Gagnon
Type-y type-y, hack-y hack-y….
You may have seen this book in my Christmas video, and I’m happy that I finally got to the bottom of the pile. Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon is one of the best YA Science Fiction novels that I’ve read in the past few years. Gagnon’s brilliant and unique writing style combined with the less-than-perfect characters along with the plot make this novel a suspenseful, engaging, and overall great read. As a first YA novel (but not debut novel), Don’t Turn Around happily exceeded my expectations.
The story starts with Noa who wakes up in a room not knowing where she is. Throughout the book, she is always a strong character. When she finally is told what happened to her, she has a hard time coping, but then she turns it around and uses it against AMRF. Noa always dwells on the really important things, and she never backs down from a challenge or enemy. Noa doesn't blab on and on about Peter (well, and this book isn't focused on romance) and she doesn't complain about her odd body condition. Noa Torson is focused, dedicated, and wicked smart. She impressed me with her independence, but worked with others while not trusting many people. One of my favorite characters so far this year for sure.
Peter is another main character who is almost opposite Noa (almost). He can be more cowardly and doesn't really understand the hardships that she’s gone through, coming from a privileged background. Peter is the general-guy type. Charming, funny, and smart, but he also has great character development in the novel. From leaving home to fighting and avoiding AMRF, Peter becomes more strategic and "steps up to the plate" per-say. At the beginning and throughout the book I actually didn't like him that much, but he gradually grew on me. He still retains his softness, but he becomes stronger....if that makes any sense.
I've found that a lot of books fail to empress when they're written in 3rd person, but this book was written expertly. Gagnon found a great balance between the he's & she's and the other words used. Sometimes I find books written in 3rd person incredibly annoying because of the repeating "she's" (She ran to the tree. She grabbed the closest branch and pulled herself up. She was really scared of the wolves.) or "he's". Gagnon also wrote dual (and eventually tri) POVs. This was an excellent choice because it really builds suspense in the book. You just have to read it to see how awesome it is. Speaking of the plot, it was just amazing. There was a great mix of emotionally riveting scenes and well-researched medical science ideas. Even at the end I still had questions about what happened to Noa, what will happen with AMRF, and many others. Overall, a wonderful read and I'm SO EXCITED to read the next installment!!!
4.5 out of 5 stars
P.S.Worried about a possible love triangle - no...square - no...pentagon?!
View Don't Turn Around's Goodreads here.