The Naturals (The Naturals #1), by Jennifer Lynn Barnes.
This is a game, I heard Dean's voice echoing throughout my memory. It's always a game. That was what he'd told Michael, and at the time, I'd agreed. To the killer, this was a game - and suddenly, I couldn't help thinking the good guys might not win this one.
We might lose.
I might lose.
The reviews on this novel are saying it's like the teenage version of the TV show Criminal Minds (of which I am a big fan), and I definitely agree. The ending was a little abrupt but this is the first in a series, and I can't wait to read the second book once it is published.
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 liked this book a lot, although at some points it seemed like Criminal Minds-lite - it's not a short book but I got through it quickly. Cassie leaves her grandmother's home to come to D.C. and be in the program that the FBI has made for teenagers, and each of the teens in the program has a gift; Cassie is a Natural, which means she is good at reading people.
Cassie also decided to join the program because her mother was murdered a few years ago - that's how she ends up living at her grandmother's house, as her father is in the armed forces.
This novel made for quick reading although, like I said before, the ending was far too abrupt; the reason for this being, of course, that it's the first in a Naturals series. I've also heard this might be developed into a TV show, which I would watch, and I would think younger fans of Criminal Minds would also watch.
3.5 stars out of 5.
*Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.