Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015: 'The Naturals'

Welcome to Book City
Date: January 1, 2015

Spoilers Ahead

The Naturals
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.

City Calendar:
This is what happened during the week.
Cassie gets a business card from a stranger at her job at the diner.  She meets Agent Briggs. She agrees to be in the Naturals program. She goes to the house where the other Naturals are. She meets Lia a human lie detector, Sloane a fact checker, and Dean another profiler like her. She profiles people at a mall with Dean and Agent Locke a FBI profiler. She gets into the head of a killer for the first time. Lia gives Sloane coffee, making her spew facts like nothing. Judd the owner of the house goes out, leaving the teens alone. They play truth or dare. Cassie ends up kissing Dean. Michael and Cassie kiss within a day of her kiss with Dean. Cassie reads interviews. She finds out that Dean's dad is a serial killer. Cassie and Michael blow things up after Cassie has a fight with Dean. Sloane reveals she has stolen an USB from the FBI agents. Cassie sees the file and determines the UNSUB (unidentified subject) is killing people who are either red heads or in the same type of profession as her mother. She fronts Agent Briggs. She asks to be on the case but  is denied. She gets a present supposedly from the UNSUB. Cassie and Dean get into the UNSUB's mind. Cassie's put under watch. She gets another gift, revealing a girl is kept alive but hurt. Cassie goes to the scene where this girl Genevieve was last scene. She finds a clue to where to go next. Cassie and Michael kiss again. Cassie figures out UNSUB has reached the house. Dean and Cassie flee the house by Agent Locke's instructions. They find Michael when they try to leave by the basement. Michael is shot. Agent Locke reveals herself. She hits Dean and knocks him out. Agent Locke tries to make Cassie kill Genevieve. Agent Locke is the UNSUB. She reveals that she is Cassie's aunt and that Cassie's mother had abandoned her. Michael comes to and shoots Agent Locke, killing her. Michael heals up. Cassie still doesn't know who killed her mother. And doesn't mind but will find out. 
And that's what happened this week.

Personal Ads:
Cassandra 'Cassie' 
Seventeen. Profiler. Part Italian. Dead psychic mother. Part of the Naturals. Big paternal family. 

I was surprised how much I liked this book. I typically don't like mysteries. 
I liked the mystery. The mystery is amazing. I really liked it. The clues kept you going. Who did it? Male? Female? Someone they know? Someone they don't? You don't know. You want to know, though. You feel for Cassie. She has the curiosity. She has the interest. You want her to figure it out. You don't get enough. And I'm not good with these things anyways. I'm not a profiler. I don't solve mysteries. So I follow along. I started guessing. Or making assumptions. 
And the teen geniuses. I typically don't like teen geniuses. Why? They rub it in someone's face. But it isn't the case here. You don't feel like they're rubbing it into someone's face. They can't help it. They are born, or taught young, to be who they are. They have gifts. I don't feel jealous. Well...I am, but I'm not too jealous. I would hate to be gifted in those areas.You might end up working crime scenes. I can't stomach those things. But these gifts were amazing. They could apply things. Not just know the steps. 
The romance was surprisingly...good. I was surprised. I don't typically like romance. The romance was interesting. The girl didn't seem clingy. Nor did she really try. She was focused on the mystery. Dean and Michael seemed to chase after her. Why? I'm not sure. Physical attraction? Dean may like that she is a profiler. Michael might like that she can't label him. I don't know. Both like her in their own way. It's interesting. I don't love these romances. I'm not rooting for anyone. But they are interesting. I want to know who Cassie chooses. 
And the secrets! They were hidden. Surprising. You would never guess them. Things are hidden from you. You don't get a hint. You're surprised as Cassie is. I like these secrets. They're something the characters try to hide. And they're not obvious. 
I didn't like the cliffhanger. I want to know more. What happens? Does she figure out who killed her mother? What about Dean and Michael? Does she choose? I like the story. But the cliffhanger is driving me crazy. I want to know. I really do. I want to know. The questions are driving me crazy. Things aren't explained. And there is more to know. 
Or the lack of backstory to some of the characters. I wanted more on their backstory. It wasn't that it wasn't enough. For Lia and Sloane, there wasn't enough backstory. I wanted their story. Their pasts. They have to have a past. Dean did. Cassie did. Michael did. We also didn't see a lot of backstory for the people who got backstory. The most backstory came from Agent Locke. A girl whose sister abandoned her to an abusive father. We don't get much period.  

Sunny with a 20% chance of rain 

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