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February 14, 2014

PERSEFoNE Blog Tour: Series Review

Persefone Series Blog Tour
Don't Turn Around

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been a victim of the system ever since her parents died. Now living off the grid and trusting no one, she uses her hacking skills to stay anonymous and alone. But when she wakes up on a table in a warehouse with an IV in her arm and no memory of how she got there, Noa starts to wish she had someone on her side.

Enter Peter Gregory. A rich kid and the leader of a hacker alliance, Peter needs people with Noa’s talents on his team. Especially after a shady corporation threatens his life in no uncertain terms. But what Noa and Peter don’t realize is that Noa holds the key to a terrible secret, and there are those who’d stop at nothing to silence her for good.

Don’t Turn Around: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | iTunes


Noa Torsen is on the run. Having outsmarted the sinister corporation Pike & Dolan, Noa and her friend Zeke now move stealthily across the country, protecting runaways before they become test subjects for P&D's horrific experiments. Noa knows all too well what that feels like: Whatever they did to her has left her exhausted and scared.

Back in Boston, Peter anxiously follows Noa's movements from his computer, using his hacker skills to feed her the information she needs to stay alive. But he's desperate to do something more, especially when he learns what P&D has done to his ex-girlfriend Amanda.

Then, in an explosive confrontation, Noa and her team are trapped in the one place they thought was safe. It will take everything Noa and Peter have to bring down the corporation before it gets them first. And with no one to trust and enemies hiding at every turn, they may be the only people alive who can.

This stunning second book in the critically acclaimed Don't Turn Around trilogy raises the stakes to their absolute limit and will leave readers begging for the exciting conclusion, Don't Let Go.

Don’t Look Now: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | iTunes

Today I thought that since I received both books in this series for review, I'd combine them and do a series review. Going into the first book I really had no idea what to expect. I'd read the synopsis so long ago and had been confused by it so I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. That being said, I had no trouble becoming engaged in the story since the book dives right into the middle of the action

Noa wakes up in a sort of hospital room with no idea how she got there. The only thing she knows is that she was somehow kidnapped on her way out of her apartment and that she's being followed by terrifying people. Sure, the beginning was a bit abrupt, but you pick everything up quickly and find yourself rooting for the main characters to survive. Which leads me to the second main character, Peter. He's a rich, spoiled high school kid with girlfriend problems, but there's so much more to his character. Don't Turn Around is told in dual points of view and I found myself more interested in Peter's story. It just grasped me and I think his character was more relatable.

The plot is a never-ending sequence of action scenes. There's never a dull moment and that kept me reading well past the time I had designated myself for reading. I go to college and work so I only have certain hours to read during the day but I found myself putting other things off for reading Noa and Peter's story. Each chapter just made me want to find out what was going to happen next.

At the end of this book I wanted more of the characters (not a surprise there since I always want to dive right into sequels) so I was excited to have Don't Look Now waiting for me. If you haven't read Don't Turn Around this might be the place to stop reading. Go pick up a copy because this is a thrilling, action packed read that will have you wanting more.

Don't Turn Around doesn't end in a huge cliffhanger, but it's the type of story where you want to know what's next for the characters you've grown to care about. One thing that I really liked about this sequel was that Michelle Gagnon does a fantastic in recapping the second book. I think it's so well done that even if for some reason you stumbled into Don't Look Now, without having read the first book (which I'm not recommending), you'd still understand what's going on in the story. I read these back to back so I didn't need much of a recap but if there's one thing I hate about reading, it's forgetting what happens in previous books. With Don't Look Now you don't have to worry about that.

Noa and Peter have been through hell and back with this evil corporation and in Don't Look Now, we get introduced to all the other kids they've met along the way. That means that we don't only get the story from Noa and Peter's POVs but also Teo, a kid Noa saved from being experimented on and Amanda, Peter's ex girlfriend. I was so happy to read more about Amanda. I didn't particularly like her in the first book but her story becomes more interesting as the series continues and I felt so many emotions reading her parts. I've always said, multiple POVs can be tricky and disastrous, but when done right, can be oh so helpful to the story and Michelle does it right. I was never confused as to whose perspective was which.

Noa becomes more of a leader in this book because she has to guide the team of kids that are helping her find the other kids being experimented on. I love seeing her growth, even when she doubts herself Noa always stands strong and I admire that in a character. Her beliefs never waver depending on who she's around.

Another thing I liked is that the plot doesn't revolve around romance. Yeah, there is romance and I love it but the main thing is staying alive. It makes it more realistic. I know if I had a bunch of scary men chasing me, the last thing on my mind would be who I'm going to kiss. But that said, I do love the relationships in the story, whether it's simply a friendship, or something more. Plus, Noa's as emotionally awkward as I am, so that's a win in the relating department.

In comparison to the whirlwind Don't Turn Around was, this second one is a bit slower. It's more about building a team and finding ways to change the program, but I very much enjoyed the development. I'm really looking forward to the third and final book in this series, coming out this year!

Series Rating:
★ ★ ★ ★


Check out the rest of the tour! See what these awesome blogs thought about this series and check out some interviews with the author.

Monday, February 3rd - Chapter by Chapter
Wednesday, February 5th - Fantasy Book Addict
Friday, February 7th -  A Bookish Escape

Monday, February 10th - Ex Libris
Wednesday, February 12th - The Book Monsters
Friday, February 14th - YA Bookmark

Monday, February 17th - In the Best Worlds
Wednesday, February 19th - Adventures of a Book Junkie 
Friday, February 21st - The Real Bookshelves of Room 918

Michelle Gagnon is the international bestselling author of thrillers for teens and adults. Described as “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for teens,” her YA technothriller DON’T TURN AROUND was recently nominated for a Thriller Award by the International Thriller Writer’s Association, and was selected as one of the best teen books of the year by Entertainment Weekly Magazine, Kirkus, Voya, and the Young Adult Library Services Association. Book 2 in the PERSEFONE trilogy, DON’T LOOK NOW, is on sale now. She splits her time between San Francisco and Los Angeles.


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