|Picture Courtesy of Goodreads|
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Naturals #1
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Review by: Tessa
Cassie cannot forget being at her first crime scene--her mother's.
Cassie is a natural at profiling people. Just by looking at the clothes you wear she can practically read your mind.
When the FBI finds out about Cassie's talent, they want to recruit her for their new program, The Naturals. She would be given the opportunity to work with others like her and help to solve cold cases that have been dead for years.
All Cassie wants is to avenge her mother's death-- by finding the murderer.
Soon, Cassie is caught up in a flow of murder cases. The killer is slowly escalating and Cassie needs to work with the other Naturals to find the solution to a seemingly dead case, before the killer strikes them next.
I am personally a fan of Criminal Minds. I love trying to figure out who the killer is before the rest of the team. No matter how many episodes I watch, I will never get tired of the twists and turns. This is exactly how The Naturals was for me.
It has been a while since I have read a mystery/thriller. I am going to blame this on the lack of quality mysteries in YA at the moment (but if you disagree, then feel free to comment with some recommendations!) I just feel that thrillers all tend to follow a set pattern-- someone is killed, the main character "needs" to solve the mystery, things go wrong, things get even worse, then the main character has an epiphany, and the mystery is mysteriously solved.
Where other YA mysteries have failed (lack of thrill, predictability, and romance) The Naturals was amazing!
For starters, the plot was amazingly intense and action-packed, without going overboard. It was not like one of the stereotypical who-dunnit stories. The development before the mystery was introduced really got me caught up into the story. I feel that most of the time, mysteries are too fast-paced for me. I like a little background before the mystery is thrown at me.
I also loved the use of two point of views. Most of the book is narrated by Cassie, the protagonist. A very small part (like between every other chapter) is narrated by the killer. But, (and this is the part that confused me at first) the killer's perspective is labelled as "You." Can it get any creepier? I absolutely loved it!
Another thing that I loved about this book was that it was based in science and psychology. The logical references made the story seem real to me, instead of feeling like every stereotypical thriller.
I truly felt as if I was inside everyone's mind, including the killer's. Barnes did an incredible job with making me love and understand her characters.
At first, I was totally creeped out at the other kids "talents," but then they started to grow on me. I know that this can be very cliche, but I think Barnes developed the characters well enough that it does not seem like a knock off of The X-Men.
The one thing that did not float my boat was the love triangle. It was subtle at first, with the focus on the mystery, but in the end it was a bit overwhelming. And by the way that the book ended, it was obvious that the love triangle was going to continue into the next book, Killer Instinct.
Another thing that bothers me is that I still cannot decide who I like better in the love triangle. I do not feel that the two relationships did not evolve enough for me to properly decide.
I am so ashamed to say that I did not see it coming. THAT NEVER HAPPENS TO ME. Most of the time, I have a general idea of how the book is going to end halfway through the book. It infuriates and amazes me that I was fooled with this book. If you are afraid of reading another predictable who-dunnit book, then The Naturals is the next book for you. You will not see it coming...