This is the Booklikes profile to my blog AYA M. Productions.
For those of you who don't know me, I'm a bookseller, post graduate job seeker, avid reader, and a blogger. :)
The Case: The Naturals (The Naturals #1)
The Suspect: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Suspected of: Jennifer Lynn Barnes was suspected of writing a mystery YA novel focused on teenaged profiler Cassie entitled The Naturals. The Naturals was a thrilling and creepy read with some light romance and even a potential love triangle.
Witnesses: Cassie was the main character and the new girl in the group of naturals. Agent Briggs, in charge of the naturals, brings her in hoping to use her natural talent of profiling people to solve cold cases. I loved Cassie. She was an amazing protagonist. I felt for her and and connected with her story. Her back story wasn’t the brightest and becoming part of the naturals makes her face those old issues. Then again, all the naturals seemed to have had it rough.
Michael and Dean were like the popular guy and the brooding bad boy respectively. Michael could read emotions, and Dean was a profiler like Cassie. They were constantly clashing and butting heads. Although, they both seemed to like Cassie on a potentially romantic level. I’m not sure who I liked more for her. Michael was sweet, but I don’t thick I got a good read on him yet. Dean purposely distances himself from others. His secret, which is HUGE, totally explains why he acts like he hates the world most days. So perhaps Cassie could help Dean? I don’t know. Like I said earlier, romance was very light in this book. So there’s no clear cut winner in my opinion.
Sloane was the quirky one of the group that was really good at knowing statistics. Loved her! I thought she was an awesome roommate for Cassie, especially considering the alternative. Although, I do think Sloane has some issues socializing normally… Sprouting random statistics all the time can’t be good.
Lia, the last one of the group, was pretty much the mean girl. She was practically the human lie detector, which made her a great liar. I wasn’t all that fond of her honestly. She did not treat Cassie very well. She did seem a bit protective of Michael and Dean, but her reasons were a bit self serving to me… Once again, she was a human lie detector! I don’t think I could trust anything she was saying usually.
Other Evidence: There were “YOU” passages between chapters that were in second person. At first I was confused what they were, but once Cassie got into her training I finally understood. These passages definitely upped the creepiness of the story. Reading it as if the story was saying I was doing those actions made my skin crawl at times! It was definitely vital to the overall feel of the story.
The story also kept me on my toes. I couldn’t quite guess who the killer was until the end. Although, I guessed it before Cassie knew. So that was neat. All my forensic studies have been put to good use. Haha! I felt Cassie’s abilities were believable for the most part. It wasn’t really explained how Cassie knew these things, but honestly it makes sense that Cassie wouldn’t really know why she can. If you’re a natural at something, often it would be second nature to you. Therefore, she probably does all her profiling without thinking about it much.
Final Verdict: Jennifer Lynn Barnes was found guilty of writing a suspenseful, fairly realistic mystery with a bit more creepiness than I expected. The Naturals gets 4.5 stars. I absolutely LOVED it! I can’t wait to read more about Cassie and her potential romances in the second book. Well done, Jennifer Lynn Barnes.