Saturday, December 14, 2013

Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The NaturalsThe Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: November 5th, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: Mystery/Especially Skilled Teens
Rating: 4.5 STARS

Goodreads Summary:
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.

Wow. Just wow. Unlike other books, The Naturals did not really draw me in emotionally but the story line, the mystery, the characters, the different gifts and their mechanics, and writing style made me love this book and had me hooked from the very creepy and unexpected first page. The chapters with "You" totally caught me off guard and had me confused at first but then it turned creepy and very interesting to read as we learn how it connects with the story and how it all works. The explanations for every gift and how they worked for each character was enjoyable to read because there have been a decent amount of books with vocab or something that is never explained or thoroughly described leaving the readers to figure it out throughout the book. The mystery aspect of the story was well done and I think it was done to the best of the author's abilities. It was quite a lot like Criminal Minds but for teens or well as teens but it made it enjoyable to read.

Cassie was a kickbutt character. Not too much sass but not too much innocence. She was easy to relate and connect to her as a teen and it was easy to slip into her mind and her way of thinking. I loved the way she would always be analyzing people, how natural it is for her, and how rational her line of thought is. Michael is my favorite character; with his charm, looks, and wit it was hard to just ignore and not love him. He definitely added the humor in the book and always brought a smile to my face as I read. Dean was cool but I think with all that went down in this book, the 2nd book will have a lot more room for his character development and hopefully show more of his personality.

Lia, the lie detector and liar, was catty and blunt. I didn't really like her at first, more wary than dislike I guess though. But as the story went on, she grew on me and was a close part of the whole gang. Having her in the story did add some spicy sauce/juice and just like Michael, her unique personality composed a different part of the group of Naturals. Sloane is what I call the "shy but not really" character. She's like a kid, quiet when I first met her but then as I got to know her she became this glowing, smiling, and serenee/normal source of the world. I think it was cool and hilarious that she would know all these random facts that has no relevance to the story. It's a bit hard to pinpoint their characters without it all becoming gibberish so sorry if this paragraph made no sense to you.

All in all, The Naturals is a well written, unique, and splendid book to read. Most definitely one for all the mystery and thriller lovers. I do recommend for everyone to give it a chance since it does have a contemp aspect and a paranormal/sci-fi mood even though it isn't. The Naturals is not a book you want to miss out on! Happy Readings!

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