Saturday, November 2, 2013

ARC Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Naturals 
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication: Miramax (November 5, 2013)

Description: 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. Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close. 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.

Think The Mentalist meets Pretty Little Liars-Jennifer Lynn-Barnes' The Naturals is a gripping psychological thriller with killer appeal, a to-die-for romance, and the bones of a gritty and compelling new series.

My Thoughts: THE NATURALS was an entertaining and engaging thriller. Cassie grew up with her mother who made her living as a fake psychic and taught her daughter a number of tricks to read people. Pepper became very good at it. But, one day, Cassie came to her mother's dressing room to find large amounts of blood and no body. She was sent to live with her father's family but the question of what happened to her mother haunts her. 

When she is seventeen, she is recruited into a special FBI program that looks for kids with unusual talents like hers to learn to be investigators. She moves to Quantico despite the protestations of her large Italian family and moves into a house with four other Naturals. Michael is an expert at reading voices, emotions, and body language; Lia is an expert at deception, she can tell when people are lying and is an excellent liar herself; Sloane is a crime scene investigator, Cassie's roommate, tends to spout statistics as part of her normal investigation; Dean is the other profiler and the son of a serial killer.

There are the usual rivalries you get when you put five teens together in a house. Cassie is interested in both Dean and Michael who are rivals. Lia likes playing them all off and keeping everyone off balance. While they are busy honing their skills by reading cold cases, their FBI trainers are busy with a serial killer who seems to be getting closer to the area where the kids are. In fact, the killer's MO and signature leads Cassie to believe that it might be the same killer as the one who killed her mom five years ago.

When the killer targets Cassie, she is determined to get involved in the new investigation. The story is filled with both very tense moments and moments of typical young adult behavior. The portions from the killers point of view and the ease with which Dean and Cassie can drop into that point of view were chilling.

Fans of suspense titles will enjoy getting to know these fascinating characters. I look forward to reading about their next case and hope a sequel is in the works. 

Favorite Quote:
"You know," he said conversationally, "I knew you'd come."

I raised an eyebrow at him. "Even though you told me not to."

He shrugged. "My inner Boy Scout had to try."

If this guy had an inner Boy Scout, I had an inner flamingo.
I asked for this one at NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.


  1. I love Jennifer's writing and am excited to pick up The Naturals. I've heard great things about it, and I'm glad you enjoyed it, too!

  2. I really liked this one too and can't wait to read the sequel.


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