Disclaimer: I received a e-copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinions.
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: November 5th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion
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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've been getting into the more thriller types of books lately. I also seem to be getting into crime/cop books and shows - which is definitely not my typical genre. When I read the synopsis for The Naturals, I was really excited to read it. After reading it, the best quick description I can come up with is that it's a Young Adult version of when Silence of the Lambs meets Psych.
Cassie is from a large Italian family, but has an absent father and a mother whose body was never recovered from what appeared to be her murder. She is recruited by a team from the FBI because of her natural ability to profile people to help solve cases that have long since come to a dead end. I took to Cassie almost immediately. Because she is a natural profiler, she doesn't trust anyone. It's like the catch of being able to hear someone's thoughts...except it's more believe/authentic.
The four other teenagers in the program are all really interesting characters. There's Michael, who is a mischievous emotion reader, Lia, a slinky cat-like lie detector who can also lie insanely well, Sloane, a whiz with numbers and probability, and Dean, a mysterious and unfriendly natural profiler. I really didn't trust Michael, but in the end, he wasn't as untrustworthy as I thought. I didn't initially love Lia's character, but she definitely grew on me. Sloane was probably my favorite character in the book. She cracked me up. I love the brainy, neurotic ones :) Dean was very closed off, so it was hard to get to know his character enough to like or dislike him. There are a few glimpses of his true self throughout the story and I hope that this isn't a standalone because I would like to see his character develop more. There just wasn't enough time in this book for that (not in a bad way, it completely made sense).
The ending was just astounding. I didn't see it coming and my heart was racing. WOAH!
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