Thursday, 7 November 2013

Review: The Naturals

The Naturals
Title: The Naturals
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N

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.


“ it was possible that I could instinctively understand how people–their personalities, their beliefs, their desired—but when it came to what I wanted, I was just like anyone else, muddled and confused and stumbling through.” 

The Naturals gave me a fun and exciting reading experience that I missed in reading YA. It wasn’t heavy but it wasn’t that light either. It was creepy but at the same time fun, especially since it definitely makes your brain work by making you think of theories about what’s happening in the story. 

Unfortunately, I had a love/hate reading relationship with this despite it being fun and exciting. I had those moments when I’d get lost in the mystery then all of a sudden, stumble across something in the story that bothered me. 

- I love that they worked on serial killers, despite having other cases to choose from. The risk of them working on something that is extremely dangerous, especially at their age and lack of training, gives that kind of rush while reading it. I love guessing what will be the killer’s next move or form theories that will connect the dots, especially how everything is connected to Cassie. What I love best was the second person POVs by the killer. The creepy vibe is enough to raise the hair on my nape but is also the one that makes it all exciting. It was sick and twisted but I enjoyed reading what the killer’s doing. 

- The whole mystery and the kids’ abilities kept things interesting in this book. Unfortunately, sometimes they were overpowered by other stuff because of dwelling too much on them. Examples were the unnecessary love triangle, Michael and Dean’s antagonistic attitude towards each other and Cassie, dwelling too much on her mother’s death. I know her mother’s death was a mystery like what they’re trying to solve but some parts focused too much on her emotions instead of details.
- Another thing that lacked detail was about how the kids got their special ability. There was no explanation presented about this one, other than these kids have these innate talents while the FBI has to learn them for years. I can’t help but think about other books I’ve read in the past? Were they a result of a laboratory experiment? Were their genes altered? 

I can’t say I’m not surprised with the twist at the end of it, especially on how everything was connected. It was something that passed my mind but I didn’t really dwell too much on it. I guess I trusted the character too much to really see the person as someone who could do those of horrible things. 

“I’ll always come after you. But you and [spoiler]Redding[spoiler] have something. I don’t know what it is. I don’t blame you for it. A lot has happened. You have a lot to figure out. I can be a patient man, Colorado. A devastatingly handsome, roguishly scarred, heartbreakingly courageous patient man. So take whatever time you need. Figure out how you feel. Figure out if [spoiler]Dean[spoiler] makes you feel the way I do, if he’ll ever let you in, and if you want him to, because the next time my lips touch yours, the next time your hands are buried in my hair—the only person you’re going to be thinking about is me.” 

With an open ending and that awesome speech by one leg of the unnecessary love triangle, I am looking forward to another book for more adventures and maybe some explanations, and hopefully Cassie will figure things out like what this guy said and get rid of the love triangle. Despite its shortcomings, The Naturals is something worth your reading time especially when you love mysteries and crime storyline.

This copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.