Saturday, February 22, 2014

Same Book, Second Look - The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Published: Nov 2013
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 304
Copy Provided by: Borrowed
Summary: Goodreads


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.


I loved loved loved this title.  It had all the elements I was looking for at that moment - suspense, a gripping story, a little bit of romance and a plotline that kept me reading.  Plus, there was even a little smartass humor sprinkled in.

Cassie seems a bit like a lost soul when we first meet her and she is waitressing.  Ok, so she seems like a lost soul who reads people a little TOO well.  When she first moves into her new pad, it reminds me of a foster home for the insanely gifted and incredibly dangerous.  I started to have flashbacks of Kelley Armstrong's - Darkest Power's series.  However, instead of having supernatural talents, these teens seem to be able to use their intuition and powers of reason to read and predict the actions of others.  

The Naturals was highly entertaining and I couldn't pick out if there was a particular character I liked the most.  Of course I did like Cassie but Sloane's penchant for bits of factual information at random (often inappropriate) moments made me laugh out loud.  It took me about 2/3rds of the book to figure out the ending but I was happily enjoying the story nonetheless. 

I was lucky enough to meet Ms. Barnes a few years ago at a book signing and she was brilliant.  All of the other authors bragged about how brilliant this woman was and how she would finish her PhD and be the smartiest pants around.  (Kind of a pun since Curlypow and I met her on the Smart Chicks kick it tour....).  They really weren't kidding...just recently Jennifer finished her PhD and is now teaching at (Yale?).  She even brings her love for Psychology and YA writing together in an essay analyzing Divergent by Veronica Roth called Divergent Psychology.  You can find a copy of it in Divergent Thinking.  Pretty cool if you ask me.  You can visit her website here...

I am super pumped about The Naturals book #2 - Killer Instinct.  I'm a little bummed that it doesn't come out until November but I guess it is something to look forward to in the fall!

If you enjoyed The Body Finder series, you will enjoy this one as well.  It has a great mystery element to it but does lack the supernatural...which in some ways, makes it appealing because it can be so plausible!

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