THE NATURALS BY JENNIFER LYNN BARNES

I’ve had this book my TBR list for quite some time now. So when I spotted it’s spine sticking out of the library I immediately checked it out. And after a slower start than I anticipated, despite all that happened, I devoured my way through the rest of the book and am definitely keen to get my hands on the next one in the series.

Cassie is a natural at reading people, when it comes to piecing together someone’s personality she’s pretty good. So good, that the FBI offer her a deal – to be part of a classified program of special teenagers to crack unsolved cases. There with four other teens with skills as equally impressive of her, she starts to learn the tricks to enhance her ability. However, when a serial killer strikes close to where the group train, it may no longer be cold cases Cassie could solve.

This book had quite a slow start, despite what happens at the beginning. Establishing Cassie in the cafe and displaying her abilities immediately set the right tone. However, the time it took for the story to get into the full swing was a bit too long for my liking. There needed to be much more pace for me. The beginning was very much like series of this genre, and I think I just didn’t want it to be another clone of one of those. Although, I love YA mysteries a bit of difference is always good.

Once Cassie was settled into the program and we got introduced to all of her acquaintances, I was deeply immersed in the book. I found their antics and dynamics throughly intriguing, and all possessing abilities that capture the imagination and are not the typical role of the mill. I loved how the characters interacted as well as how their stories were just steamed rolled out. The subtle hints and twists that were left made for a much more awe inspiring read.

Although the love triangle may get on my nerves in the next book, the completely diverse personas of the two guys kept it interesting. Cassie didn’t obsess over the guys, instead took it in her stride and focused on the task at hand instead of them. A good way to go about it I should say. I liked that the focus of the narrative ended around her mother’s disappearance and although I had an incline of the murderer it still took directions that I wouldn’t have expected. I am definitely looking forward to the expansion of Dean’s back story.
A much better read than I had anticipated, with a gripping storyline and character intriging to follow. I definitely won’t hesitate to pick up the next book in this thrilling series.

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