Friday, November 22, 2013

For Your TBR Pile - The Naturals

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Published: November 5th

Thanks Disney Hyperion and NetGalley for the eARC. In exchange, I've written this unbiased review.

From GoodReadsSeventeen-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.

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.

Rating: 4 stars.

Writing: I absolutely loved this premise. A group of hand-picked teenage prodigies who help the FBI solve cold cases? Absolutely. The best part was how as Cassie was taught to think like a killer by thinking through the suspects' motives using only the word "you." For instance, you do this because you think/feel/want that. Jennifer Lynn Barnes did a great job twisting and turning the plot, you'll have no idea who did it until the very end.

Characters: Each of the Naturals were diverse, not only in their "natural skills," but their attitudes, backgrounds, and hang ups. There was a nice romantic tension between Cassie and her two male colleagues Michael and Dean (although I thought Dean was the much more interesting of the two). Never fear, I'm-over-romance-in-YA readers, the romance was tertiary in this story. But I really loved the other girls in this book: analytical Sloane and professional liar and shit-stirrer Lia. I loved the scenes where the team worked together to think through how they would solve cases. I wish there was more of that in this book.

Recommended For: A lot of people are comparing this to The Mentalist, but I'd say fans of Dexter and Law and Order SVU would like it too!

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