By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
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.
Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.
Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. 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.
I really don’t have much to say about this novel, it was rather disappointing and lacking in many aspects. Picking up this novel I was optimistic that I would get a chance to delve into a sort of Criminal Minds literature.
However the plot felt forced, almost like the author was trying too hard to connect the pieces of the puzzle. There were so many details that didn’t quite match up or were just too coincidental to be believable. The mystery was improbable and while the ending actually shocked me, it barely drove me to actually finish the book
Yes, I know the characters are teenagers. But these are teenagers in training with the FBI, equipped with skills that FBI agents could never have even after years of honing. You would expect that characters that come into contact with unexplainable death everyday would be at the very least, complicated. The characters were just so juvenile and stereotyped. Dean the brooding bad-boy loner, Michael the rich Porsche owning young man who hides his vulnerability behind a bucket load of snark. Lia the overly flirtatious, silk wearing human lie detector. Who also happens to be the complete opposite of Sloan, a girl who has a perfect memory, and comes off as bookish and awkward.
The characters mainly the protagonist, Cassie came off as flat. There was no real depth to any of them. I didn’t find myself cheering Cassie on, getting emotionally invested or empathising with her at all. There was nothing enticing about her. There is of course a love triangle between our protagonist, the misunderstood golden boy and the mysterious brooding outsider. All the same the end result was foreseeable and lackluster.