Review - The Naturals

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Title: The Naturals
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
"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."
RELATED: Nobody // The Squad // The Fixer // The Long Game

The Naturals follows the story of Cassie. She's young, has a talent for reading people, and feels out of place. So when the FBI provides her with a chance to leave the people whom she "loves" but doesn't feel she belongs with, she takes it. If there is a farfetched chance she may learn something about her mother's disappearance, then, all the better. But this new world of similar teens, is not all it appears to be. Secrets are held, lines are blurred, and danger lurks in the shadows.

I rather enjoyed this book. (Side note: The cover quotation compares it to Criminal Minds. So the whole time I am reading it, all I can picture was a younger Reid joining the house.) It was interesting and entertaining for a quick read. The story basically follows Cassie as she learns about her natural talent and goes through this training program with the other kids to focus and develop their talents before society can curb their instincts.

But, to me, the core of this book seems to be the romance triangle. If you are not a fan of love triangles at all, you may want to skip this one. Most of the book Cassie fluctuates between the two boys, she notices and we notice things. If you are not a fan, it could easily be too much. I didn't mind the triangle so much, and I am curious as to which boy she might finally choose. But there were some times when I just wanted to smack them for being, well stereotypical teenagers. One can only take so much angst before one has to say enough. Or decides to strangle a certain cocky boy.

The serial killer plot is what really kept me invested in the story. Every so often you get a bit from the killer's point of view tossed in there. I liked reading them as the story progressed and picking out details that I thought would be relevant to discovering just who it is. I was in the dark for most of the book, and I liked that. It's horrible when I figure out who done it in the very beginning. And the motive? Didn't see it coming at all. So that was a plus.

I am hoping for book two that the characters will be fleshed out a bit more, the love triangle tones down a bit, and we get another great mystery to solve. But I am planning on reading the next book.

"The Bat-Signal had nothing on the Battagacia-Signal, and less than twenty four hours after Nonna sent out the distress call, the family had gathered in force."

"Let's just say I have the rare ability to be dissatisfied wherever I am. (Michael)"

"This encryption is pathetic. It's like they want me to hack their files. (Sloane)"


  1. So I've wanted to read this for a while, I've read mostly positive reviews but your review definitely had the magic words, "the core of this book seems to be the romance triangle". *buys* :) Great review!!!

    1. Hehehe. It's funny. I hate romance triangles in theory, hate them. 99% of the time, my guy never gets the girl. And yet, I always seem drawn to them and end up loving them most of the time.

      Thanks for stopping by.


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