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The Naturals ((the Naturals #1)) Hardcover – 5 November 2013
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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. PW"
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) Kirkus"
5Q 5P S 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.-Suanne B. Roush. VOYA"
Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has always had a gift for getting into people's minds. Maybe she inherited it from her psychic mother, and maybe she would ask her mother about it-if she hadn't disappeared five years ago, leaving only a bloody crime scene behind. So when tapped by the FBI to join an elite, secret team that solves cold cases related to serial killers, Cassie doesn't hesitate. Relocated to the D.C. suburbs, she meets a team of "Naturals," teens with gifts ranging from reading emotions to detecting deception, and becomes the FBI's newest profiler. In this high-adrenaline series opener, the latest spree of serial killings turns personal for Cassie when they grow increasingly more related to her mother's presumed death. And when it's obvious someone in the FBI may be involved, how can she trust or hide her emotions among the professionally trained Naturals? Grisly details and intermittent glimpses from the killer's point of view sustain the high level of suspense. Even a psychic won't anticipate all the twists and turns. - Angela Leeper Booklist"
Spending her childhood with a con-woman mother has left Cassie with a knack for reading people, and she's often able to predict their next actions with almost preternatural accuracy. Five years after the brutal and unsolved murder of Cassie's mom, the FBI comes knocking on Cassie's door, offering her the opportunity to join the Naturals, a group of gifted teenagers who work to solve cold cases. Her mother's case is off limits, officially, but when a string of murders occurs, echoing the pattern of her mother's death, Cassie and her newfound pals (including a pair of hot guys) find their way around the rules to investigate on their own. From the creepy, titillating details of the murders (lipstick souvenirs and peeled-off skin are just a few) to the multiple red herrings that effectively lead readers down disturbing blind alleys, this is basically the YA version of a CSI/Criminal Minds/Law and Order episode and, like those shows, it has a sort of compulsive appeal that will spur readers on, even if the characterization and actual logic of the plot are limited. Barnes' heroines (in The Squad, BCCB 3/08, and Every Other Day, BCCB 2/12) are of the sassy, snarky variety and Cassie is no exception, covering much of her grief over her mother's death and her uncertainty about her own abilities with a thick layer of sarcastic wit and prickly attitude. The absence of supernatural goings-on will draw readers who prefer the no-nonsense of realism, while both the unresolved love triangle between Cassie and two fellow Naturals and the deepening mystery behind Cassie's mother promise a sequel. KQG BCCB"
Seventeen-year-old Cassie is recruited to become one of the FBI's Naturals, a covert group of teens who have a special talent with profiling, lying, numbers, or reading people's emotions. This secret group is expected to solve cold cases, but as Cassie joins the four other teens, events unfold that lead the Naturals to track down a serial killer who has a connection to Cassie's mother's disappearance five years earlier. While the premise might seem inconceivable, Barnes makes it work. The crimes are not graphically described but give enough detail to be interesting, moving the story along in a way that keeps the reader guessing until the final pages. A few of the scenarios stretch the imagination but that doesn't stop the reader from being fully engrossed until the killer is finally revealed. What happened to Cassie's mom is never revealed which suggests this title may be the solid base for Barnes to build a top quality series. Kelly M. Hoppe, Librarian, Palo Duro High School, Amarillo, Texas Recommended Library Media Connection"
About the Author
- Publisher : Disney-Hyperion (5 November 2013)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 308 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1423168232
- ISBN-13 : 978-1423168232
- Reading age : 12 - 17 years
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 20.96 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top review from Australia
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Whilst Jennifer Lynn Barnes's THE NATURALS is NOT the result of book packaging or retelling, its concept requires too much suspension of disbelief. The FBI is adult. These "Naturals" are teenagers, who are supposedly better at crime-solving than the FBI. Even though FBI agents go through strenuous training and years on the job, these teens' abilities are "natural", rather than learned. Nothing paranormal - just Special Snowflakes.
Minus the chapters from the killer's point of view, you'd be surprised to go through 100 pages (a third) of the book until the case is even mentioned. Even later for the teens to get involved. Generally speaking, origin stories (of how someone joins a group) make better prequel novellas, rather than wasting time in a novel. But without the origin story here, you only have roughly 200 pages (or less) of relevance.
The main character is completely superfluous. The Naturals already have all the bases covered without her: a lie detector, a probability calculator, an emotion-reader, and a profiler. If Cassie Hobbes had a different ability, her presence would be justified. Instead, she's just another profiler.
But apparently Cassie and the other profiler, Dean Redding, have some complementary thing where she presents the victim's POV and he presents the killer's. They're love interests, too, so...kind of creepy. But this is part of a love triangle, mind you - Cassie must choose between moody Dean and fun Michael. We've read enough YA romance to know that Cassie and Dean are soul mates, or some tripe, so the love triangle just seems like time-wasting.
The case turns out to be about Cassie, as if to justify her inclusion, but...still not impressive.
As someone interested in psychology, THE NATURALS should've worked for me. Maybe it would've, if I'd turned off my brain's logic. But I shouldn't have to stop thinking in order to enjoy something.
Top reviews from other countries
(P.S. Love the protagonists <3 )