Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Naturals


I've seen enough SVU and other crime shows that I thought I had this one figured out...I did not.  Which is great!

Jennifer Lynn Barnes' The Naturals is the first in a new series. Seventeen-year-old Cassie is good at reading the tiniest of details, and figuring out a person's story to a T.  So far, though, she's used it to guess customer orders at the local diner.  When the FBI comes to recruit her, she is brought into a world of killers, cold cases...and other teens with similar gifts.  A serial killer is striking, though, and a bit too close to home for Cassie.  Will she be able to use her gift to save herself and others?

The Naturals was gritty and suspenseful, while still Teen-ish?  It's told primarily in first person, with Cassie as our narrator; occasionally, though, it switches to a disturbing second person POV.  From the first second-person narrative, I was hooked (and creeped out).

To be honest, I thought Cassie and the others would have supernatural, X-men-esque abilities.  The fact that it was all profiling, etc, makes it so much cooler! 

The characters are likable--interestingly enough, Cassie wasn't at the top of my character favorites.  For some reason I really liked Lia, the resident liar.  I liked interactions the teens had with each other, and wondered about each past.   Actually, as sick as I am of series (for the time being anyway) I am looking forward to this branching into stories of each kid: Lia, Sloane, Michael, more of Dean...

There's a love triangle, but it's not the most compelling.  I almost wish it had been left out completely and maybe developed throughout the series.  Cassie also says she "should have" done well, a lot of things.  I got to where I highlighted every time she said she "should have [done this]" or "should have [done that]."  Those minor things aside, though, I enjoyed the book.

This would be great for anyone who likes shows like Cold Case, The Mentalist, Profiler and any of the Law & Orders.  Highly recommended for teens who like crime shows.

The Naturals is published by Disney-Hyperion.  Digital ARC provided by NetGalley.
Release Date: 11.05.2013

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