The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Naturals
Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: The Naturals
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: 5th November 2013
Buy This Book: Amazon / Book Depository

Seventeen year old Cassie has always felt like she doesn't quite belong with her family. Her mother has been missing, presumed dead for five years and she has lived with her fathers family ever since. But she can't help but feel like she isn't one of them, part of her will always be with her mother. She will always wonder what happened to her mother that night, how she died and who murdered her. So when her natural ability to profile people gets the attention of the FBI, Cassie can't help but be tempted to go with them. They could help solve her mothers murder, could hold all the answers she so desperately wants. But Cassie doesn't quite realise just what she has got herself into. 

First off, before I even start with the review, I have to comment on how much I love the cover. So I am especially gutted that the cover available on the UK Amazon and Book Depository aren't this one. 

 I really disliked both, but actually they are kind of growing on me. Would still rather buy myself the other cover though. 

So on to the review part and I have to admit I loved this. I don't know if the reason I loved this so much was because I read it after reading a book that I really hated - *cough* Allegiant *cough* - but I honestly don't think so. It was great to read a book with such great pacing though, something that kept me turning the pages well into the night, when really I should have been sleeping.

Now there is quite a lot to say about this book, first and most importantly is the fact I really loved it. Our main character is Cassandra Hobbes, who prefers to go by Cassie, and she has the natural ability to profile people. I kind of loved her, I adored how much she reminded me of a female Sherlock Holmes. Just by looking at someone she could figure out so much about the person. I felt she was such a great female character and I really rooted for her the whole time. She's the kind of female lead I can really root for!

Secondary characters, to me, are really important to any book. If they all fall kind of flat and seem like they haven't been developed at all, then I really struggle to enjoy the book. But, luckily for me, this book introduced me to some rather amazing secondary characters that I could really fall in love with. They were all so different, but equally as crazy and endearing in their own ways. Michael, who I found really funny as I adored his sarcastic sense of humour. Then we had Dean, who is the brooding guy with the dark past who I kind of fell for. Then if that was not enough we have the wonderful Lia and Sloane, who bring their own comedic relief and had me giggling. But though they are great characters, I need to know more about them but I'm sure if this series continues then we will get to know them better as time goes by. I can't wait to be honest.

This story kept me guessing, actually I couldn't stop. As with all crime books you read, this one keeps you guessing till the very end. I had almost 10 different potential murderers in my head so was actually shocked when I turned out to be wrong. I would make a pretty bad detective it seems. I stayed up late into the night  to finish this, as I needed to know what was going to happen. This was very fast paced, which was a pleasant change.

I loved the chapters from the perspective of YOU, which is our serial killer. They speak of them in terms of YOU as it helps them get into the mind set of the killer. These chapters are quite graphic, which I wasn't expected but was pleasantly surprised by. I was worried this would be a very young young adult crime novel and be lacking in the crime aspect. But, as a warning as well if you're squeamish, it isn't. In fact at times it was quite brutal in it's description of the killings, which really grabbed me and got me into the book. I was scared for them all, in case they came face to face with the killer. 

If I have to pick one fault with the book then it's the use of the dreaded love triangle. Something, I believe quite a lot of us are getting sick of seeing in books lately. Add into that a rather cringe worthy game of Truth or Dare in order to get two of these characters to kiss, causing the other to get jealous and you have me shaking my head in disgust. But I did kind of go with it in the end and already have my man chose. 

This seems like a great start to a series, with lots of places that it could go and I just need to get more of these characters. This was a really quick read and something that can be devoured easily. For anyone one with a love of crime thrillers for young adults then this is a great one to discover. 

4/5 Stars

I really enjoyed this, a nice quick read with characters I can love and a storyline that kept me guessing. Sequel now, please!

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*I received a copy of this novel from the author/publisher/publicist via Netgalley in exchange for a free and honest review and received no monetary compensation for this review.


  1. Great thoughts on this book. The existence of a love triangle is kind of unfortunate but I love the fact that the mystery keeps you guessing.

    1. Thanks, I was worried it would be a bit immature, as far as the crime side goes so I was pleasantly surprised when it actually had me flipping the page and still had me guessing at the end.

  2. Your review definitely makes me want to read this book. I love a mystery that keeps you guessing and the fact that the secondary characters were so well-done is such a great thing to hear. I'm actually surprised when there's not a love triangle these days, so it doesn't really bother me anymore. Great review! ~Pam

    1. It was really enjoyable, I had just read Allegiant when I started it, so I am really not sure if that affected how much I enjoyed it. But I think it's a great start to a series, I'm looking forward to any potential sequels. That way we will learn more about the secondary characters.

      I am starting to just go with the love triangles now! It gives you someone to root for =D

  3. I'm not sure which cover I like best, but the one definitely more eye-catching than the usual of just a person on the cover. I'm hoping to read The Naturals soon.

    1. I hope you love it when you do. That's how I feel, the other one just seems a bit more original :)

  4. New follower -- your review made me laugh. (Also, I am obsessed with British slang -- is gutted the opposite of chuffed?)

    As for the book: I liked this one except for the tedious love triangle (why???) Also, I like the UK covers better than the US one -- I guess the box refers to that scene in the book, but it doesn't do anything for me.

    Thanks for stopping by -- happy to discover your blog :)
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Haha I don't even realise it's not a word everyone will know - yeah gutted is like disappointed.

      I know, love triangles are getting really old now!

      Thanks for following :)


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