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Review: “The Naturals” by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

December 9, 2013

A cross between Maureen Johnson’s “The Name of the Star” and the drama Criminal Minds. Seventeen year old Cassie has been haunted by her mother’s disappearance and presumed murder for the last five years. Her mother’s talent for reading people (as a professional psychic) was passed onto Cassie by nature and nurture. She’s a “natural” at reading strangers. Somehow, the FBI finds out about her unique gifts and recruits her for an unusual program. She joins four other students with similar gifts and they are trained to hone their skills and solve cold cases. But when Cassie is contacted by an UNSUB the in FBI’s most recent case, she gets a lot more training than anyone anticipated.

The Naturals” kept me in suspense the whole time. I truly was surprised by the killer’s identity (no spoilers here!). But, I was a bit disappointed at the ending.  I get the feeling this will have a sequel, but I don’t know what it will be about. I don’t have that “I can’t wait to see what happens to Cassie next” feeling about it. The story was great by itself.

School Library Journal recommends this book for grades 9 and up.

Angie R., Headquarters

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