I am really sorry it took me so long to read this because this was wonderful.
Cassie is a teen who is a natural at reading people. She’s never really thought of this as an exceptional talent other than how it has served her (winning big at poker, for instance). But others have noticed, and the FBI comes to recruit her for a special program that they have which uses exceptional teens (such as herself) to solve cold cases.
Cassie is sent to a training facility/school where she studies with other gifted teens but she slowly learns that no one is quite what they seem. Everyone has a secret and some are better at keeping them than others. Yet they will all have to learn to trust one another when a new killer emerges and challenges everything they know.
Author Jennifer Lynn Barnes writes a really exciting, energetic, engaging YA mystery here with just a pinch of supernatural. Characters are key, especially in a YA novel, and Cassie has just the right amount of expected curiosity, angst, anger, and sass. This book is going to hinge on how much you like and understand Cassie, and Barnes gives us exactly what we need to really get behind her.
We have kind of a stock assortment of characters to go along with Cassie, but they are brought to life in such a wonderful manner that we forget they are the classic character types. (And of course many YA readers may not have the reading experience to recognize these characters.)
While the characters are really important, there is also a tremendous story here as well. We’ve got an intense mystery, well plotted and well suited to these characters.
I really enjoyed this and I will look forward to reading the rest of this series as well as anything else Barnes writes.
Looking for a good book? The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes is exactly what you should read if you are looking for a good YA mystery.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
series: The Naturals #1
hardcover, 308 pages