Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon is a very captivating and thrilling story that is hard to put down. Not only does it send you on a thrilling journey but mesmerizes you with its mystery.
Noa Torson is the main character in the story. After she was in the center for so long, she learned how to program and hack computers. At her last foster home she ran away and was hacking programs to survive own her own. Peter Gregory is a “spoiled” rich kid who formed a hacker group called /ALLIANCE/. He needed someone like Noa after the AMRF threatened his life. The AMRF is a corporation that is experimenting on kids to find a cure to a disease called PEMA. The setting takes place all around Brooklyn, New York, whether it be at Peter's house or the unknown warehouse where Noa first woke up. The conflict in the story is when Noa wakes up in on a metal table in an unknown place with no memory of what happened to her. This is the part of the story that made me wonder what could've happened to her.
Noa fights her way out of the unknown abandoned warehouse and manages to get away. Peter loved trying to hack into the AMRF’s website he didn't expect though for goons led by Mr. Mason to take away his computer. Peter messages a girl named Rain, who is also Noa, and asks her to help him hack AMRF since she's such a good hacker. Noa buys a new laptop after not being able to return to her house in fear they would be waiting for her. She checks her emails and sees the one from Peter. She agrees to help him for a fee of $500. Noa gets through the firewalls and receives files on a bunch of children regarding the Project Persephone even her own. Peter goes to the library and on a public computer and Mr. Mason finds him. He brings Peter back to his house, and expresses disappointment from Peter continuously trying to hack them. Mr. Mason shuts down /ALLIANCE/ and Peter runs away from his home. Peter reaches out to the members of /ALLIANCE/ on other hacking forums and asks them to help him to take down Mr. Mason’s website. I really liked the beginning because it helps build suspense to the climax.
After Noa and Peter fill in on what's happening to Peter’s friend Cody; Cody explains that the AMRF experimented on her regarding the disease PEMA. Cody gives her an x-ray, and he confirms that the AMRF implanted another thymus into her to see if it could prevent PEMA. This is where the mystery starts to unfold and the pieces come together.
Noa and Peter go back to the warehouse where Noa first woke up. They planned on breaking in and getting the cops to come to the place. After making a gruesome discovery, they run back to the car they stole to get to the place. A guy named Cole, who also worked for Mr. Mason, finds them. Cole takes the two to meet with Mr. Mason. Noa offers a deal with Mr. Mason. She tells him that if Peter can go then she will give him the cipher, which is the all the files on Project Persephone. Mr. Mason agreed but Noa would have to stay. Peter started to leave but came running back for Noa. When Peter returned a mysterious man had helped them out by throwing flaming bottles into the warehouse. The guy helped Noa escape to a boat and Peter stayed behind to fight Cole. At this point the story became more action packed and thrilling to me.
Peter wakes up back in his bedroom. His mom explained to him that he was the only one to survive the warehouse fire with the other runaways. He was taken aback by the lie and tried to explain to her about the experiment but she didn't listen. As the days go by Peter started to worry about Noa. He hadn't heard from her, and grew weary if she was still alive. Was Noa still alive? The ending to me was the best part and leaves you wondering what will happen next.