Release Day Review: The Naturals (The Naturals #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

November 5, 2013 Review 0

Release Day Review: The Naturals (The Naturals #1) by Jennifer Lynn BarnesThe Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on November 5, 2013
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Sexual Content: Kissing.
Reviewed by: Julia
4 Stars

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.

Like my favorite television police procedurals, THE NATURALS takes plausible skill and science to the redline, where serial killers and the FBI profilers who hunt them may as well be magical monsters and heroes. I fell in love with these characters and their world, and can't wait for another chance to visit the Natural's clubhouse at Quantico.

From predicting her customers' orders to divining the reasons a killer kills, Cassie's view of the world is fascinating. All but supernatural, she and her fellow brilliant and broken Naturals offer a titillating level of tension and subtext. Yes, these kids don't stray far from familiar archetypes. Yes, there are two troubled and handsome love interests to keep Cassie suspended in limbo. But none of these tropes lessened the fascination and fun that pulled me through this book in one sitting.

Fans of both Paranormal YA and TV police procedurals will gulp down THE NATURALS and be eager for more. Losing Veronica Mars left me with a "teenage detective" opening, and Cassie promises to provide murderers and heartbreakers in equal measure. If book two offers deeper characters and some more surprises, this series may prove to be a new favorite.

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