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Search tags: Jennifer-Lynn-Barnes
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review 2017-07-18 01:20
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

(Whoops, the character I kept calling "Derek" is actually named Dean. I think I fixed all the instances.)

 

The Naturals is YA Criminal Minds with some of the usual “secret school for special teens” mixed in. I read an ARC copy I picked up at a conference several years ago (yes, I'm terrible about reading ARCs, which is why I rarely request them).

When Cassie was 12, she entered her mother’s dressing room only to discover a bloody crime scene, but no body. Her mother's body and murderer (because how could she still be alive after losing that much blood?) were never found. Cassie is now 17 and living with her father’s family. She doesn’t feel like she fits in, but she also doesn’t want to be the focus of her family’s often overbearing love and concern.

Ever since she was little, Cassie has had a knack for noticing little details about people and figuring things out about them using those details. She used to use her ability to help her mother, who worked as a psychic. Since her mother’s death, she hasn’t used her skills for much beyond privately guessing things about customers at the diner where she works, so she’s both intrigued and suspicious when a handsome boy gives her an FBI agent’s business card.

The agent presents her with an offer she can’t resist: she can become part of his “Naturals” program, a team of teens with natural skills that take most adults years of training to learn. Because the program members are all minors, they only get to deal with cold cases, but Cassie still jumps at the chance to do something good and useful with her abilities. However, she and the other program members can’t resist getting more and more involved in a difficult, and possibly personal, active case.

Although this book made for smooth and easy reading, I felt like I’d already seen/read a lot of it before. The school-like setting and characters reminded me of books like L.J. Smith’s Dark Visions series and Kelley Armstrong’s The Summoning. As for the serial killer/criminal profiling aspects, I’ve already mentioned Criminal Minds, and one particular revelation probably won’t come as a surprise to fans of Barry Lyga’s Jasper Dent books. Dean’s self-loathing and efforts to push Cassie away reminded me strongly of Stephenie Meyer’s Edward Cullen.

It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t feel terribly original. It didn’t really help that a lot of this book was geared towards setting the stage: introducing the characters, the lingo, and a little of the criminal profiling thought process. The really interesting stuff, the active case, didn’t come up until fairly late in the story.

Still, the Naturals and their abilities interested me. Lia was a natural liar and lie detector. Sloane was a walking collection of statistics who couldn’t help looking for patterns. Michael could read people’s emotions via tiny details in their body language and facial expressions. Dean, like Cassie, was a natural profiler. Sadly, because of the book’s first-person POV, only Dean and Cassie’s abilities received much detailed attention, and Lia and Sloane nearly faded into the background once the love triangle between Cassie, Dean, and Michael was introduced. This was especially awkward considering that Michael had an on-again, off-again relationship with Lia.

I’ll probably read the next book in the series at some point, but I sincerely hope that the love triangle either disappears or fades into the background a lot. It felt like the boys were snapping over Cassie like dogs over a bone. I got the impression that she was leaning more towards Dean, so the kissing scene with Michael near the end really bugged me - it was stupid and seemed entirely intended to add just enough fuel to the love triangle to make the collection of characters in the final showdown more possible. Here's hoping that future books also give Lia and Sloane more of a chance to shine. Sloane seemed sweet, in an awkward sort of way, and I really wanted Lia to be more than the snarky girl potentially standing between Cassie and Michael.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2017-07-17 16:46
Reading progress update: I've read 308 out of 308 pages.
The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Finished! Which means I can roll again. One problem: my computer is acting up and this time around it might not be a false alarm. I'll try to write a Booklikesopoly post today, but if I have to do it on my phone or tablet it'll be bare bones.

 

This book was ok. Cassie did some stupid things at the end, but I forgave her because she didn't exactly have a lot of options, considering the info (or lack thereof) that she had at the time. I'm interested enough to continue the series, but I sincerely hope that the next book has less of the tense love triangle.

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text 2017-07-11 12:40
Reading progress update: I've read 90 out of 308 pages.
The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I'm not sure how I feel about this one yet, but it's proving to be a quick read. The comparisons I've seen to Criminal Minds are appropriate, and there's the usual "school for special teens" aspect. All these teens are so guarded they might as well be wearing jackets studded with broken glass. "Watch me sparkle, but no touching."

 

I'm sure there's a love interest, because there almost always is, but I'm not 100% sure who it is. I would have figured it was Michael, the guy who can read emotions and who smirks too much (I really hate it when authors use the word "smirk" with characters who are clearly supposed to be intriguing and sexy), but Cassie just noted that Dean, the profiler, is good-looking.

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review 2017-05-06 20:49
All In: (The Naturals #3) - Jennifer Lynn Barnes

♪♫My Pick For Book Theme Song♫♪

Cold Water by Theory of a Deadman  --This song speaks of the dynamic between Cassie, Dean, Lia, Sloan and Michael, and how they are there for each other.  Holding each other up.  I picked the version of this song by TOAD over Justin Bieber & Co. because TOAD is one of my all time favorites, although it's a really crappy lyric video, if only I had the time to make my own.♫

 

 

Book Title:  All In

Author:  Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Series:  The Naturals #2

Genre:  YA, Mystery

Source:  Kindle eBook (Library)

 

Add to Goodreads

 

OVERALL RATING: 5/5 STARS

 

 

My Thoughts

 

This book rocked, it has this wonderful dynamic of five characters, who I feel like I come to know with each book.  I love how every little thing in each story is intertwined.  Each book, so far, gets more intense, more crazy and overall, it's just an amazing series.  I highly recommend!

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  5/5

Main Characters:  5/5

Secondary Characters:  5/5

The Feels:  5/5

Addictiveness:  5/5

Theme or Tone:  5/5

Flow (Writing Style):  5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Ending:  5/5  Cliffhanger: F*ck Yes…I actually went to library site to check out the next book (Bad Blood)…and it's not even out yet*…so sad.  I did put it on hold, though.

 

Will I continue this series?  See above^^^

 

*Bad Blood is out now, since 5/1/17 actually.  Apparently, I took a long time to post this review, probably that open house I've been trying to prepare for. Ugh! #sonotapartyplanner

 

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text 2017-04-30 23:24
April Re-Cap
Daughter of Deep Silence - Carrie Ryan
Queen of Always (Stolen Empire Book 3) - Sherry D. Ficklin
Unknown - Wendy Higgins
The Edge of Everything - Jeff Giles
The Hooker and the Hermit - Penny Reid,Luci Cosway
Ten Thousand Words - Kelli Jean
How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back - Diana Rowland
The Roanoke Girls: A Novel - Amy Engel
All In: (The Naturals #3) - Jennifer Lynn Barnes
GHOST (Boston Underworld Book 3) - A. Zavarelli

(Audiobook) Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Finish Date: 04/03

4/5 STARS


(eBook) Queen of Always by Sherry D. Ficklin

Finish Date: 04/04

4.3/5 STARS


(eBook) Unknown by Wendy Higgins

Finish Date:  04/09

5/5 STARS


(eBook) The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles

DNF on 04/12


(Audiobook) The Hooker and the Hermit by L.H. Cosway & Penny Reid

Finish Date:  04/13

4/5 STARS


(eBook) Ten Thousand Words by Kelli Jean

Finish Date:  04/19

3.8/5 STARS


(Audiobook) How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland

Finish Date:  04/22

4/5 STARS


(Audiobook) The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

Finish Date:  04/24

5/5 STARS


(eBook) All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Finish Date:  04/26

5/5 STARS


(Audiobook) Ghost by A. Zavarelli

Finish Date:  04/29

3.3/5 STARS

 

 

10 Books Total for the month of April (3,331 Pages)

(5 eBooks and 5 Audiobooks)

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