#BookReview: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Purchase: Amazon / B&N / BookDepository

Synopsis

Cassie Hobbes is not like most teenagers. Most teenagers don't lose their mother in a bloody, unsolved kidnapping. Most teenagers can't tell who you are, where you're from and how you're likely to behave within moments of meeting you. And most teenagers don't get chosen to join The Naturals.

Identified by the FBI as uniquely gifted, Cassie is recruited to an elite school where a small number of teens are trained to hone their exceptional abilities.

For Cassie, trying to make friends with the girls, and to figure out the two very different, very hot boys, is challenging enough. But when a serial killer begins recreating the details of her mother's horrific crime scene, she realises just how dangerous life in The Naturals could be...



My Thoughts

Reading The Fixer duology by this author was like fresh air to me, I’ve never read so amazing YA thriller before with that most passion, well create mystery and amazing characters to turn it into one of the most memorable books I had the opportunity to read. Saying so, I just picked up The Naturals because the ravishing reviews this series have and because I thought it could have a similar (but not really that much) success in me than The Fixer had. However, I was beyond happy when it resulted into the most fulfilling read I’ve ever had. I couldn’t ask more from this book, every aspect of it was perfection.

The Naturals tells the story of Cassandra “Cassie” Hobbes, a seventeen years old orphan girl with a very specific talent. Because that talent, the FBI contact her for the Natural program, an elite group of teenage that help the Bureau resolve cold cases. But in a deadly turn, a current case obligated Cassie and her friends to participate in the investigation, one that could risk their lives and minds.

I’m fan of crime TV shows and this book was like watching one; all the chilling feelings you got watching CSI, Criminal Minds, Castle and Bones were present here and you could really enjoy it because not only feature a well-structured mystery with excellent plot twist, but also the struggles of the characters while dealing with their own monsters and facing the horrid parts of murders. I like how real everything feels, not only the characters per se but the mystery and how all unfold into an attractive story. 

The plot is marvelous, unexpected and developed so smoothly, even when the story is fast-paced, it’s still easy to understand and connect with. At the same time, you know it has to had some dramatization of criminology in it, even more when it is a YA book, but it’s not like the dangerous of it or the weight and importance of the situation it’s taken lightly, definitely we see how much it costs to the characters be part of this world. The mystery, by other hand, is absolutely engaging, keeping you guessing all the time, I really like how it resolved, unexpected but very much rewarding (the last part considering the development of the story and not how much the result affected the characters).

Every character is so well portrayed, each individuality well developed and we find diversity with each. Lia is Asian and a deception expert, which has the tendency of addressing the elephants in the room for entertainment or distraction; Sloane is the genius of the house, she sees number patterns everywhere which actually makes her unable to understand emotions but at the same time she is the most childlike of the bunch and one of my favorites. Michael is the emotional reader, very difficult to figure out himself, literally, he change the way of talk, dress and acting just for his fellow Naturals don’t know who he really is; Dean, oh Dean, he’s a profiler and my favorite, I just love him so much but he also has a darkness inside and lot of emotions he try very hard to keep in check; and Cassie is the newest profiler, the kind of lead character I like, who fight and fight and keep fighting until she find what she want, but she also cares for the people she started to love while living in the house, she has a tragic past but I like that even when she is kind of depressed, she doesn’t let that stops her for living new adventures and look for happiness.

OVERALL, The Naturals is the kind of book I’ll died recommending, one of the best I’ve read in a while, totally engaging, totally addictive and totally heartbreaking. One of the things I like the most of it was the fact that you not only could connect with the characters but also with the victims, even when you didn’t know who they were, you care about them and you have this urge to catch their killer. I can’t wait for the next books because I just can’t get enough. 

On a side note: I know that I mentioned criminals TV shows like Castle and Bones, when it’s more like Criminal Minds, but the thing is that here we can find the kind of humor we see in those shows too, so I think of letting you know (if you ever watch any of them) how you can have an idea of what this book is about and how Jennifer made a great work balancing the gore theme with a more lightly subjects and humor like we probably have combining those three shows. 


About the Author

Jennifer Lynn BarnesJennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen. 

She's th author of The Squad, Tattoo and The Fixer duologies, The Raised by Wolves trilogy and The Naturals series. 

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