Monday, October 21, 2013

Book Review: The Naturals (The Naturals #1)

Release Date: November 5, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Length: 304 pages

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.


Protagonist: Cassie is the first protagonist I've come across that I can say nothing bad about, in fact she's a glowing example of what a main character and narrator should be. Her growth over the book is fairly easily seen and how she handles situations is brilliant. There were a few times that she may not have handled certain situations properly but it showed that she was still human in a natural way, instead of a way that may have seemed forced like I've seen in other books. Her narration is captivating and when I was reading the book time seemed to slip away more than it ever has before.

Romance: With an amazing protagonist comes a brilliantly worked love triangle. Now I'm usually not one to praise a love triangle, mainly because I hate how predictable they are, but with this one all of those different things that I can pick up on to figure out who the protagonist will end up with are gone, and I think that's because Cassie doesn't go around trying to decide which boy she likes more when there are more pressing matters at hand. While it's hard to figure out who might end up with Cassie, towards the end there are a few hints at who may be her endgame.

World-Building: The world-building around this book is unbelievably amazing. While in may seem that these kids Natural talents are a product of some slight supernatural influence, it's all in the realm of what's possible. I'm a huge fan of shows such as Bones and NCIS and this book puts everything I love about those shows into an superb YA novel with a twist, in this book the fairly untrained teens have special Natural talents that make them valuable assets to solving the crimes. I loved seeing these talents at work, and since we get a first hand look at the Natural profiling through Cassie it's amazing to see what she sees and how she can practically predict what will happen.

Predictability: Ironically even though our protagonist can practically predict what people do based on what they do, how they stand, what they say, etc. this book is very unpredictable. While reading I was constantly on pins and needles wondering what would happen next. Since this is a bit of a murder mystery, or turns into one later in the books, I was on constant alert trying to figure out who could be the murderer, but since everyone was so likable I suspected everyone, even Cassie once, however crazy that may sound. It was agonizingly thrilling not knowing who could be behind the murders, yet being fairly sure it's someone we know. Also, every few chapters we're treated to a look inside the head of the killer which can be a bit disturbing at times.

Ending: While this book does have a conclusion that's fairly satisfying, there are many questions raised which I'm dying to get answered. Waiting however long it is until the next installment will be practically torture. That being said though I did really enjoy the ending. After everything comes to a head there isn't too much we read after that, just a final almost epilogue-esque ending. It's short, sweet, and wraps up just enough for a fairly satisfying conclusion but still leaves many questions unanswered, which I can predict will lead readers to beg for a sequel sooner rather than later.


This book is beautifully written and I loved every minute of it's captivating story. Everything about this book is amazing and it's hard to even put into words my love of this book, the mystery, the characters, everything is just perfect. This has become one of my favorite books, and I wouldn't be surprised if it makes my Best Books of 2013 list.


1 comment:

  1. The Naturals sounds amazing. I'm adding it to my tbr! I can't wait to read it. Great review :)

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books