You'd have to have, like, a lentil for a soul to hate wiener dogs. ~Zuzana from The Daughter of Smoke & Bones by Laini Taylor

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Review THE NATURALS by JENNIFER LYNN BARNES @jenlynnbarnes @DisneyHyperion

Book Description

 November 5, 2013

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.

About the Author
Jennifer Lynn Barnes has written several acclaimed young adult novels. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. She received her PhD from Yale University this year and is now a professor in psychology. You can find her online at www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com or follow her on Twitter @jenlynnbarnes.



Cassie is whisked away to be part of a special school that trains teens to be detectives and solve crimes that are normally unsolvable.  She has special skills that allow her to read people and put little details together to form a bigger picture that can pinpoint the criminal.  There are other teens in this small group of "Naturals" that have skills ranging from those who can visualize a crime to those who can "see" what the criminals are thinking.  There seems to be a paranormal element to these teens, but it is only regarded as a gift.  These kids are extremely intelligent and are somewhat ostracized or in trouble because of their gift.

Cassie also is a special case since she now lives with her grandparents after her mother is brutally murdered.  You can quickly see where this is going since she will soon be researching the crime surrounding her mother's death that has been a cold case for years.  When she is recruited by Tanner, an agent who turns out to be around her age, she finds herself finally able to use her ability to find out exactly what happened to her mother.  I tried to guess who the killer would be, but I was wrong at every turn.

The minor characters are really memorable and I can see spin offs to follow them.  Lia, a clothes horse and human lie detector, was one that really stood out.  Michael, a stats expert, has a really sweet side, but all of these characters are damaged and that makes them even more interesting.  Any one who enjoys a good psychological thriller and mystery will love the start of this new series.  Parents:  There is some language, violence and kissing.  


  1. I enjoyed this one too. I've seen several review that say they knew the "bad guy" early on. I didn't see it coming at all. Maybe I'm a bit slow, but I thought it was well done. Hope to get to spend more time with these characters in another book. Great review!

  2. I have this on my wish list. I love a good mystery that keeps me guessing. Thanks for sharing!



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