Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Don't Turn Around"

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.

Gagnon applied the Page 69 Test to Don't Turn Around, her first novel for young adults, and reported the following:
From page 69:
She scanned through it looking for unusual source code; sometimes hackers sent each other messages hidden inside HTML formatting. But there was nothing. Why the hell had someone sent her this? If they’d seen her escaping from the warehouse complex, why hadn’t they tried to stop her? Was this from the same people who took her, or someone else?

Noa sipped more coffee as she pondered, wrapping both hands around the cup to warm them. She still felt unusually cold, like with every exhale she should be seeing tiny puffs of air. Maybe she was in some sort of shock.

She glanced through the picture window. There was a guy leaning against the building across the street. Around her age, wearing jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. The hood was up, so it was hard to see his face clearly. But he seemed to be staring right at her.

They gazed at each other for a minute. Then a bus stopped right in front of him. Noa craned her head, but it didn’t look like he’d gotten on.

The bus pulled away from the curb and back into traffic. The guy was gone.

Suddenly wary and eager to get off the streets, Noa wrapped up the sandwich and chips and stuck them in her bag in case she got hungry later. She tucked away her laptop, slung the strap over her shoulder, and pushed back out into the cold.
This excerpt represents the book perfectly. Everything is there: Noa’s hacking abilities, the fear that she’s being followed, and a hint of the core mystery that underpins the entire storyline. I couldn’t have chosen it better if I’d tried. I’d like to think that if someone was skimming the page, these few paragraphs would induce them to keep reading; but if not, then Don't Turn Around probably isn’t for them!
Learn more about the book and author at Michelle Gagnon's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Tunnels.

The Page 69 Test: Boneyard.

The Page 69 Test: Kidnap & Ransom.

--Marshal Zeringue