13597723The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: ALA 2013
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

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. – Goodreads


I was actually really excited to get this book at ALA. It was not on my must have list or anything but once I read the synopsis, I had to read it. And I did. On the train from Chicago to Milwaukee. Recommendation, do not read a murder mystery on a train when sitting backwards. Of course I’m paranoid, that probably didn’t help my situation at all.

This is the story of Cassie, an average American teenager who is trying to live her life. Of course Cassie has a gift that allows her to be able to read people. Cassie doesn’t treat this as gift, or a skill, but instead treats it as something that she was born with and deals with it. Like being born with the need to wear glasses, she just deals with it. She deals with it by working at a restaurant and torturing the customers in her brain. While they take 20 minutes to order, she already knows what they are going to order and has to looked shocked when they finally order.

Cassie then goes to live at a house with a mix of people who all have skills, including two very nice attractive boys. I mean, it is a YA novel, there has to be the romance aspect. And there is and it ends with Cassie having to find herself before she finds a love interest, which personally, I always love and adore. I would always rather have a girl be alone but find herself than be with a man/woman and have no idea who she truly is.

Barnes is also able to end this book on the perfect time of cliffhanger where it really isn’t one, but at the same time it is so shocking you can’t help but want the next book now.

One day a gentleman comes into the restaurant and knows far more about her than he is letting on. He lets it drop that he works for a classified program in the FBI and she should come work with them. She has no interest in working with them. None. And I love her for that. She gives no shit about what the FBI thinks and is fine with the life that she has. Until they bring up her mothers unsolved murder. Then she cares. That is always a part of her life that no one has been able to understand and she wants to finish that part of her life. Who can blame her?