Book Review: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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.

I bought this book almost immediately when it came out, not necessarily based on the synopsis, but definitely for the recommendation on the cover from Ally Carter.  I’ve never read anything by Ally Carter, but she compared The Naturals to Criminal Minds.  With that comparison, I was sold.

So immediately when I started reading, I began to think of the characters in terms of their Criminal Minds counterparts, but this was a disservice to Barnes’ character creations.  Cassie, while a little bit clinical due to her natural ability, is still a very deep character with some painful memories that serve as her motivation.  I adored her character.

As for the other characters, I really hope we get to learn more backstory on the other members of this exclusive team.  Michael and Dean are especially intriguing.  Dean because of his family and Michael because he is legitimately the hardest character to read for Cassie and for a reader.  Lia mostly pissed me off because she was ridiculously full of herself.  Sloane was the source of a ton of laughs from me, and I really enjoyed learning all of her facts.  Sloane was definitely the female version of Dr. Spencer Reid.

Random side note: look at him: 

Anyhoo, back to the book, I definitely didn’t see the twist coming, which makes me love Barnes even more!  Because I actually tend to figure out a number of the Criminal Minds episodes before the end, and I really enjoyed being stumped.

I adored this book and I will be waiting on the edge of my seat until the sequel is released!

5 Bards



  1. DR. SPENCER REID. *Swoons* He is perfect. That makes me want to read this book even more. Great review!

  2. I have read this book 3 times over, and I agree it is so fabulous I can’t wait for the 4th and final!!!! <3

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