Usually, I'm not a fan of cover blurbs, but this one is so accurate: "The Naturals is Criminal Minds for the YA world..." -Ally Carter. I love Criminal Minds! How did I not read this book sooner?!? How soon can I get my hands on the sequel?!? How can I adequately express my gratitude to Beauty and the Bookshelf for putting this in my hands?!? Five enthusiastic thumbs up, and easily a Top Ten Read of 2015!
Pardon all the exclamation points. They're necessary.
Cassie has always been really, really good at "reading" people. Her mom made her living scamming people, claiming to be able to tell their fortunes, when really she was also just really good at reading people. Then, one horrible night, Cassie's mom is brutally attacked and presumed dead. No body was ever found, but the room that her mom was last seen in was covered in blood. Not too long later, the FBI contacts Cassie. They've heard of her talent for reading people and their motives, and they want her help. She gets put in a group with other super-talented teens, and together they assist the FBI with cases both hot and cold.
The Naturals was so similar to Criminal Minds that I even tried to convince the hubby to try it! (He also loves Criminal Minds, but doesn't usually care for YA. I know: his loss.) I loved the mystery: the "meat" of the book focuses on one case that the teens are trying to solve. I loved that I didn't figure out the mystery before the end of the book. Nothing more boring than solving a murder mystery before the characters do! I also loved getting to know all of the characters: their personalities, their special skills, their interactions. As you can imagine, having such a highly refined skill for reading others' emotions or motives can be rather alienating and lonely for a teen, so it's interesting to see how personality quirks impact their relationships with each other. I ended up liking all of the characters, even sarcastic Dean and lying Lia, for differing reasons. Like I mentioned above, I'm TOTALLY looking forward to continuing this series!
Maybe this could become a TV show, too? *hint, hint Hollywood!*
*My bookish Secret Santa gifted The Naturals to me. THANK YOU!