- Publisher: Quercus Publishing
- Format: Paperback | 352 pages
- Dimensions: 135mm x 198mm x 21mm | 220g
- Publication date: 7 November 2013
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1780876823
- ISBN 13: 9781780876825
- Sales rank: 54,281
Cassie Hobbes is not like most teenagers. Most teenagers don't lose their mother in a bloody, unsolved murder. 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 abilites. 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 new serial killer strikes and Cassie is drawn into a lethal game of cat and mouse, she realises just how dangerous life in The Naturals could be.
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Jennifer Lynn Barnes is the author of a dozen novels for young adults. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science.
By Julie Rimpula 06 Sep 2014
Wow. This is just –
Gods, I have no words. The Naturals is simply mind-blowing. This is freaking epic! One of the best YAs I've read this year, no kidding.
I love mystery and thriller but sadly, I don't get a lot of that in YA. (Know some good ones? Recommendations are highly appreciated! ^__^) Enter The Naturals. Serial killers? Check. FBI? Check. Teenagers with 'unusual gifts'? Check. Maybe a hint of romance? Check. So I dived in. And boy, I didn't resurface for a long time. This book is a page-turner so I suggest DO NOT PICK UP THIS BOOK UNLESS YOU'RE WILLING TO DROP EVERYTHING ELSE YOU'RE DOING.
So yeah. The Naturals.
What do I love about it? Basically everything, but here's the gist:
✔The characters. Or more specifically, their 'gifts'. I liked the fact that their abilities aren't too paranormal (like mind-reading, telekinesis, clairvoyance) but rather, more realistic because they are based on human psychology. The characters themselves may be a bit cliché, but I liked that despite their being Naturals, they are still teenagers having teenager issues. Cassie as the main character and narrator of the story was okay. Her ability was really intriguing and it was an amazing experience being inside her head. The other characters were great, too. Dean, Michael, Lia and Sloane have different personalities and issues that make them interesting characters. They were exceptional individually but more so when they're working together. My favorite was Sloane, though some people say that she's the least useful among the Naturals. I like her awkwardness and she has a certain naivete and innocence that I can't help liking. I also love the tension between the characters, their banters and quarrels. There's no shortage on sass and sarcasm in The Naturals, but really, what else would you expect when you put five extraordinary and most probably traumatized teenagers in one house? Hormones are raging so expect one or two kissing scenes, jealousy, a maybe or maybe not love triangle and lots of teenage angst.
✔Its uniqueness. What made this book unique to me was the touch of psychology. It was really interesting how much you can tell about someone just by looking at their posture, body language, facial expressions, mannerisms, etc. (And of course, it reminds me that once upon a time I wanted to study psychology.)
✔The plot. I liked the build-up of events, the way they were written, how they lead into the climax and resolution. The story was well-written and well-put together.
✔The mystery. I didn't realize I was holding my breath a lot of times until I actually remember to breathe again. Like I said, The Naturals is a page-turner. One time, I even read until 2am even it's a weekday and I have classes in the morning. It was that compelling that I couldn't stop myself from reading page after page. I always wanted to know what will happen next.
✔The You chapters. Because the story was told from Cassie's perspective, it was a nice move on the author's part to include the You chapters to show the killer's perspective but in a way like Cassie was profiling the killer and climbing inside his head. And actually, these are the parts that gave me the chills the most.
✔The twist and the revelation. The killer's identity came as a total surprise. I honestly did not see that one coming. I suspected a lot of characters but never the actual killer. When everything fell into place and the identity of the killer was revealed, I was mind-boggled! Nice one, Miss Barnes! Bazillion points for shock factor!
This mind-numbing, jaw-dropping, heart-stopping thriller is something you wouldn't want to miss. If you're looking for a freaking awesome crime thriller, The Naturals is highly recommended.
By Sarah Elizabeth 05 Oct 2013
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Disney Book Group and Netgalley.)
17-year-old Cassie has always been good at reading people, but she never expected the FBI to notice.
Offered an opportunity to be trained by the FBI, Cassie leaves her family to become a ‘natural’ profiler, one of only a few special teens chosen to work on cold cases.
When Cassie then gets herself involved in a current murder investigation, she gets more than she bargained for, and finds herself in imminent danger.
Who is the murderer? And can Cassie work it out before it’s too late?
This was an interesting story, but it took a while to get going.
Cassie was an okay character. I did find it a little odd how she didn’t seem to get home sick at all, but her talents were pretty impressive, and she at first reminded me a little of Sookie Stackhouse (because she was a waitress who knew what was going on in people’s heads).
The storyline was okay, although I felt like it took a while to really get going. It didn’t seem to get interesting until the 40% mark, but after that we got some surprises in the way of secrets about the main characters, and Cassie actually got to see some crime scenes! I thought that Cassie’s talents were good, and I liked how she had these talents without anything supernatural going on!
There was a romance element to this story, which inevitably turned into a love triangle unfortunately, but this wasn’t the main focus of the story.
When the final plot twist was revealed it was surprising, but not majorly surprising, and I did have some questions about how believable it was. Funnily enough though the exact questions I had pertaining to the killer were also raised by one of the characters in the book, so it seems pretty obvious that the author had given thought to these questions when writing the story. Things were wrapped up quite nicely, but there was also plenty of room for further books, making the ending quite satisfactory.
Overall; an interesting YA mystery/crime novel, that holds promise for the rest of the series.
7 out of 10.
'A page-turning thrill ride that will keep you guessing right until the very end' Ally Carter, author of the bestselling Gallagher Girls series. Ally Carter