Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Cassie is seventeen and has preternatural profiling abilities.  She can size up most people without even thinking about it and often make predictions about future behaviors.  When the FBI recruits her for a top secret initiative, it doesn’t take her long to decide that she wants to press her natural talent into service working on cold cases.  Flown by private jet to live in a group home, of sorts, with other talented teens, she has some big adjustments to make, teen drama to live through, and minor mysteries to solve until a bigger one with higher stakes reveals itself and sucks her in.  Will her talent allow her to save others?  Or will it become her downfall?  

Chapters alternating between Cassie’s first-person narration and an anonymous serial killer’s second-person narration keep the suspense going and ratchet it up as the story progresses.  A thriller along the lines of I Hunt Killers geared toward readers under sixteen, The Naturals features a female protagonist with a sharp mind looking for a feeling of belonging.  Recommended for independent reading, this book will appeal to those looking for a mystery and those who enjoy psychological drama and bloody murder descriptions.--Jessica Fenster-Sparber

Barnes, Jennifer Lynn.  The Naturals.  New York: Hyperion, 2013.

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