Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publication: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides— especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.
The FBI approaches Cassie, wanting her help with some cases. If she decides to help, she just might be able to find out who killed her mom. That’s an opportunity that Cassie doesn’t want to slip pass her. So she accepts.
Once she enters the program, she meets Lia, Sloane, Michael, and Dean. Other teens with different special talents just like herself.
Dean is good with profiling, Sloane’s talent is math and numbers, Michael has the ability to read other peoples emotions in their face and behavior, and Lia can detect if someone is lying and naturally is good at telling a lie. (Her skill sort of reminded me of that guy in the television show Lie to Me).
There is a little bit of romance going on and also a love triangle involving Cassie, Dean, and Michael. For me it was so-so. I could have done without it.
I liked seeing how everyone used their skill in order to piece together a case; especially when it came to profiling.  I would have liked it explained how the teens in the program got their particular talent.
The Naturals reminded me of the young adult version of the television show, Criminal Minds.  It was an interesting and enjoyable YA mystery/thriller. It was a very easy read to get into. Within no time, I found myself flipping page after page to see what would happen next. 
RATING: 3½ out of 5.
** I received this book on behalf of the publisher in exchange for only my honest opinion. Thank you. **

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