The Naturals

Overview

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 ...

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The Naturals

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Overview

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. Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms close. 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.

Think The Mentalist meets Pretty Little Liars-Jennifer Lynn Barnes's The Naturals is a gripping psychological thriller with killer appeal, a to-die-for romance, and the bones of a gritty and compelling new series.

Praise for The Naturals

"The Naturals is Criminal Minds for the YA world, and I loved every page." -New York Times best-selling author Ally Carter

* "[A] tightly paced suspense novel that will keep readers up until the wee hours to finish." -VOYA (starred review)

"This savvy thriller grabs readers right away." -Kirkus Reviews

"It's a stay-up-late-to-finish kind of book, and it doesn't disappoint." -Publishers Weekly

"In this high-adrenaline series opener...even a psychic won't anticipate all the twists and turns." -Booklist

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/30/2013
In an intense CSI-type thriller, Barnes (Nobody) lets readers inside the mind of 17-year-old Cassie Hobbes, a “Natural” profiler with the uncanny ability to piece together an individual’s motives, backgrounds, and patterns of behavior. After her mother’s gruesome abduction, and with her father overseas, Cassie is recruited for a special FBI program for teens like her to help solve cold cases. Cassie immediately realizes that being a Natural may be more than she bargained for, and her fellow gifted teens take getting used to, including Michael, an emotional expert who seems fascinated with Cassie’s, and Dean, who just looks pissed off—mostly at her. Barnes is in her wheelhouse with this story of keenly powered teens and covert ops, and she provides an enticing inside look at the world of crime-solving through Cassie’s hyperaware eyes. Cassie’s pursuit by an unknown serial killer keeps things tense, as do creepy narratives from the killer. Barnes shows every card at just the right moment, catching readers off-guard at the final reveal. It’s a stay-up-late-to-finish kind of book, and it doesn’t disappoint. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elizabeth Harding, Curtis Brown. (Nov.)
VOYA - Suanne B. Roush
Cassandra Hobbes has a natural talent to profile people. Cassie was taught by her mother, Lorelai, to observe BPE's—behavior, personality, and environment—as she also did, which helped her ply her career as a fake psychic. That training had ended years before when Lorelai was brutally murdered and her body never found. Now, Cassie is living with her father's family; he is stationed in Europe with the Air Force. She is working as a waitress when she is approached by an FBI agent to join an elite group of teens who are "naturals:" Michael can read emotions, Lia can tell when someone is lying, Sloane can rattle off statistics about anything and recreate crime scenes, and Dean is another profiler. They are to use their talents to solve cold cases, and Cassie hopes one of those cases can be her mother's. Unfortunately, their cold cases run into a very hot case when a serial killer starts killing women in the same manner as Cassie's mother, and then begins to stalk Cassie. They must help catch that person before Cassie becomes the next victim. Although the novel contains the same YA trope of so many—a girl finds herself attracted to two boys, one quiet and brooding, and the other charming, mysterious, and devastatingly handsome—the potential romance is only a small element of a tightly paced suspense novel that will keep readers up until the wee hours to finish. Recommend this title to fans of Gagnon's Don't Turn Around (HarperCollins, 2012/Voya August 2012), Miller's How To Lead A Life Of Crime (Razorbill, 2013/Voya February 2012), and television programs such as Criminal Minds and The Mentalist, and make sure to have more than one copy on hand. Reviewer: Suanne B. Roush
School Library Journal
12/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—The FBI recruits Cassie Hobbes, 17, to be one of the Naturals, a group of teens with innate crime-solving abilities. Cassie learned how to read people from her mother, a performing psychic who disappeared five years ago and is presumed to be dead. With her father overseas in the military and her large extended Italian family in Colorado, Cassie sets out on her own to Washington, DC, to hone her skills under the tutelage of Special Agent Lacey Locke. The four other teens living in her house possess extraordinary skills as well. Mysterious Dean can read people on sight, handsome and mischievous Michael can understand people's emotions, intense and brainy Sloane can quickly analyze facts and numbers, and catty and pushy Lia can instantly detect a lie. Cassie begins her training with cold cases but is quickly swept into an ongoing investigation. Despite the best efforts of their mentors to keep them off the case, the investigation, which is personal for Cassie, requires the talents of all the teens to solve. This fast-paced series starter introduces the characters and background without losing the intensity of the plot. The murder scenes have just enough blood and gore for forensics fans. The love triangle among Cassie, Dean, and Michael will keep romance readers entertained, and the FBI cases will lure in mystery enthusiasts. The ending is resolved with just enough left open for readers to look forward to the next installment.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD
Kirkus Reviews
2013-10-01
A teen with a special ability and a tragic past is recruited by the FBI to join a group of young profilers. Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has lived with her paternal grandmother since her mother's presumed murder five years ago. Lorelai Hobbes was never found, but the horrific scene at the site of her disappearance pointed toward her death. Cassie has never quite fit in with her family, haunted by memories and her uncanny ability to "read" people. Her mother had helped develop that skill so she could be helpful in Lorelai's "profession" as a psychic. When Cassie is approached by the FBI to join a special unit of young profilers, she sees an opportunity to do some good. Cassie moves into an unusual group home in Quantico, Va., with other teens who have gifts useful to the FBI. In addition to her training, Cassie has to navigate the group dynamic, as each of her cohorts has a back story. A series of killings like Lorelai's in nearby Washington, D.C., makes it impossible for Cassie to remain on the sidelines despite the efforts of her superiors. This savvy thriller grabs readers right away. Cassie's outsider feelings are convincing and give credence to her actions throughout the story. There is enough violence, grisly description and plot surprises to keep crime-show devotees reading. Unanswered questions will have those readers on tenterhooks for the next in the series. (Mystery. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423168317
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 10/7/2014
  • Series: Naturals Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 492,537
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Lynn Barnes has written several acclaimed young adult novels. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science. She received her PhD from Yale University this year and is now a professor in psychology. You can find her online at www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com or follow her on Twitter @jenlynnbarnes.

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