Jennifer Lynn Barnes: The Naturals

This is a book made for me. The story, the pace, the length for an evening’s worth a read (I had a free evening), the thrill to see what happens, well written characters, it’s all there.

“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. Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close. 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.”

Cassie leaves her large Italian family (who are so cool, in the Italian way, especially Nonna) to go to a school where kids like her learn how to use their natural talents. Of course, she meets two boys there (both haunted by their pasts in different ways) and is instantly pulled into the macabre life of tracking psychopaths through profiling.

What I loved so much about this book is the fact that there are no unnecessary detours to the story, unnecessary explanations, everything falls into place and makes for a thrilling crime YA novel.




It’s just that reading  a YA novel where characters aren’t displaying signs of stupidity (they are young, not stupid, albeit I did wonder at some point here), where the story seems legitimate in the way it happens, where we skip through unnecessary scenes, well, now I think of it, it’s something that doesn’t happen that often. And I wish it did. Which might not seem like much of an endorsement but in my mind, it’s what makes a really good storyteller. I don’t need stuff explained like I’m a child, I can live with the story evolving without additional hints (you get enough of them here as well).

It might seem like a YA crime movie type of book being read in your mind but what’s wrong with that? I wish I knew in advance what novels are like this so I could read them more often.

And if I’m lucky (and I’m thinking I might be lucky in this), there will be more books in the series. If you wonder why that might make me happy when I usually rant against it, it’s the fact that the crime story ends with this book so there is no frustration until the next book comes out.

Thank you very much for that Ms. Barnes. 🙂



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One thought on “Jennifer Lynn Barnes: The Naturals

  1. […] 48. Jennifer Lynn Barnes: The Naturals […]


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