A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Don't Turn Around is a fast-paced techno thriller featuring characters willing to break the law to save themselves and protect others. The novel raises questions about online privacy and medical experimentation. There's some violence: a beating, a shootout, the death of a secondary character that's relayed second-hand, and body parts disposed of in a disturbing fashion. Language includes "bastards," "hell," and "screw you," as well as acronyms like "WTF?" and "FU."
What's the story?
After years in the foster care system, 16-year-old Noa wakes up on a table with an IV in her arm and no idea how she got a big, fresh scar on her chest. As she tries to learn the truth about what's happened to her, she teams up with Peter Gregory, a high school \"hactivist\" who has received sudden, brutal attention from some very scary corporate security types somehow connected to his neglectful parents. As Noa and Peter team up to protect each other, they uncover evidence of a conspiracy that involves a worldwide epidemic and the disappearance of hundreds of teens.
Is it any good?
DON'T TURN AROUND is an exciting techno-thriller, full of nonstop action from its opening scene. Peter and Noa, are well defined and reasonably realistic characters, despite their phenomenal computing skills. The villains, however, lack complexity, and Peter's parents seem one-dimensional in their awfulness, even though some explanation is given for their bad behavior. Although not advertised as the first book in a series, the novel ends with enough loose ends to suggest that the story will be continued.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how a greater dependence on information technology can lead to a loss of individual privacy. What do you think about computer hacking? Is it always wrong?
What makes Don't Turn Around a thriller rather than just a mystery?
Should parents keep secrets from their children? In what circumstances is it better to hide the truth rather than discuss it openly?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.