Title: The Naturals
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Published: November 7th 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery
Pages: 315 pages
Source: Paperback won in a Twitter giveaway
Book Blurb (Goodreads):
Cassie Hobbes is not like most teenagers. Most teenagers don’t lose their mother in a bloody, unsolved kidnapping. Most teenagers can’t tell who you are, where you’re from and how you’re likely to behave within moments of meeting you. And most teenagers don’t get chosen to join The Naturals.
Identified by the FBI as uniquely gifted, Cassie is recruited to an elite school where a small number of teens are trained to hone their exceptional abilites.
For Cassie, trying to make friends with the girls, and to figure out the two very different, very hot boys, is challenging enough. But when a serial killer begins recreating the details of her mother’s horrific crime scene, she realises just how dangerous life in The Naturals could be…
This is another book that I won in a giveaway from Quercus a few years ago. It sat on my shelf as one of those books that I would read ‘some day’. When I was looking for an easier, less heavy read, this book caught my interest as one that would probably fit the bill.
What I liked about this is that it’s basically my favourite TV show – Criminal Minds – but with teenagers and secret agencies. Each kid has a unique gift of perception that allows them to see and feel things that others simply can’t. Having said that, the program isn’t exactly cleared and so they’re only allowed to do cold cases.
Mixing a more traditional YA contemporary romance story line with a hard-hitting criminal investigation. It’s the mixing of the two genres that don’t necessarily come to mind as being two to put together that really worked for me. The characters were all brilliant personalities, some lending themselves to my liking more than others, but each had something about them that made them really enjoyable to read.
I devoured this book. It was one that when I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down and I was completely right about it being the kind of read that I had needed at that time. It was fast-paced, punchy, funny – just what I needed after a series of darker, heavier reads.
For fans of YA that are looking for something a little bit different, I’d definitely recommend this read. I’ll be looking to get through the rest of the series at some point in the future – hopefully sooner rather than later!
About the Author
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a “practice book” and which none of you will ever see) when she was still in high school, and then wrote Golden the summer after her freshman year in college, when she was nineteen.
Jen graduated high school in 2002, and from Yale University with a degree in cognitive science (the study of the brain and thought) in May of 2006. She’ll be spending the 2006-2007 school year abroad, doing autism research at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.
*Picture and Biography from Goodreads