BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Release Day Review of The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Format Read: eGalley
Source: The publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate link; the blog receives a small commission for purchases made through this link.

Blurb from goodreads:

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.

Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. 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.
 



Bea's Thoughts:

Almost two years ago, I read and reviewed "Every Other Day" by Ms. Barnes. When I heard about "The Naturals", I knew I wanted to read it - an author I enjoyed writing a mystery with a hint of paranormal, oh yeah. I wanted it. I was fortunate to receive a digital ARC from the publisher.

This book was darker than I expected but I enjoyed it. I'm not sure why the darkness took me by surprise, it is a book about serial killers, but nonetheless it did. Carrie is a teen with a knack for reading, or profiling, people. Some of her ability is natural and some of it learned form her late mother, a "fortune teller" who was good at reading people, though she didn't have Cassie's gift. That gift brings her to the attention of the FBI who recruit her for a program of teens with natural gifts similar to hers to hone their skills. I never really understood why the talents or gifts of the teens -spotting lies, statistics spouting, reading body language and emotions, etc - were treated as something other than normal abilites. They seem like normal enough skills, just ramped up. There's no background to indicate that they are paranormal though I kept waiting for some indication. I also didn't really buy the rationale for the FBI recruiting teens and training them. That part never really made sense to me.

There's a love triangle between Cassie, and the two boys in the program, Dean and Michael. There are two other teen girls but the boys are gaga in their own ways over new girl Cassie. Frankly, the triangle was unnecessary and added nothing to the story. Most of the characters also needed more fleshing out. But the mysteries, the serial killer, the profiling information, all were fascinating and kept me reading. There are some twists and turns and I was completely surprised by the identity of the killer, though when  I looked back I realized that clues were there all along; well hidden but there.

The ending is ambiguous in that while some mysteries are solved and one killer found, others are left open as is the nature of Cassie's gift and the gifts of all of the teens in the program. Will there be more? The author's site hints at it; I hope so as there are still questions and I'd love to see Cassie and the others more fully developed. The story held my attention and it was a good read despite all of the questions I had.

Enhanced by Zemanta

10 comments:

  1. Still working on my review for this one. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I agree that the love triangle was a bit silly but loved the profiling and mystery. I do hope there is a sequel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am hoping that I can start this soon, but I am kinda leery with the whole love triangle thing. But I will still give it a go. Great review. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like one I'd enjoy. I was a criminology major in school so really love mysteries/profiling/etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's be interesting to get your take on it and see how accurate you think it is.

      Delete
  4. The plot sounds intriguing (if a bit far-fetched, as you suggest), but a totally unnecessary love triangle always leaves me irritated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. Most love triangles irritate me actually but when there's really no need for them, ugh.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for the review, Bea! I've been refused the arc of this book by the publisher and now I think that I won't be in a hurry to buy it. So often the love triangle is completely unnecessary to the story, the authors just seem to add it to a lot of YA books.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't rush to read it; it was okay but nothing special.

      Delete
  6. Lovely review Bea, this was enjoyable but I wanted more, my fav part was the profiling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it was lacking which was disappointing after how good Every Other Day was.

      Delete

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let;s talk!