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.
Amber: I don’t think the secondary characters were developed as much as they could have been, and once again this comes down to the fact that this book could have been two hundred pages longer. I wasn’t a fan of Lia, although I totally get why Lauren was. She just didn’t appeal to me. I did love Sloane, who was basically Criminal Minds‘s Reid on crack, and would have loved to have seen more of her backstory, along with that agent guy whose name escapes me. *thinks* *has a look through the book* Briggs. Yeah, him.
Tatum: I liked Briggs too! In fact I really liked most of the characters except Michael, because fuck Michael t b h. Dean was intriguing because of his background but I also really liked how closed off he was and his whole internal conflict thing was sexy, so sexy compelling. Lia and Sloane were also pretty great; I liked how different they were and it would have been nice to have had more scenes with them instead of the love triangle.
Amber: I definitely think that more of the lessons were necessary. While I loved the fast pace of the plot, I don’t think more lessons would have dragged it down, and I actually think they were rather essential. I wanted to learn more tips and tricks, and see Cassie learn them too. I didn’t see the plot twist coming until right before it happened, which is always good! Very few twists in fiction surprise me these days, so to feel that rush towards the end was fantastic.
Tatum: I liked the natural progression of Dean and Cassie’s relationship; I enjoyed their dynamic and the subtle tension in their interactions made me really want to see more of them together just to watch them bounce off each other. And I repeat: fuck Michael.
Amber: I’m pretty sure I’m the only one out of the four of us who loved the romance. Well, not loved, exactly, but very much enjoyed it. It’s not often that I like a love triangle in YA, and yet I didn’t feel any negative feelings towards this one. While I personally ship Cassie with Michael, I could totally get behind her and Dean if he has a bigger role in the sequel. But for now I’ll be waving my Michael flag, because I like sarcastic arseholes.
Amber: I’m very excited to see where the sequel takes the characters, although I’m also quite hesitant. The Naturals would have made a great standalone book. I hope that the author uses the sequel to tell us more about Cassie’s mother’s murder, because I think we all need some closure on that front. My fingers are crossed for another well-researched thriller.
Lauren: I loved the I/You aspect of Cassie and Dean’s working dynamic. I thought it cleverly reflected their individual backgrounds and brought them together in a really individual way, and I’m excited to see if that gets expanded on in the sequel.
Tatum: What Lauren said ^^
Least Favourite Aspect
Tatum: What is a Michael why am I meant to care
Describe The Naturals in one word
Natalie Crown says
Love love love this!
I haven’t had this book on my radar, but just getting to read all your different opinions one after the other is cool.
We all know that different people like different things, but seeing it laid out this way – particularly with Michael – really drives it home.
Looking forward to more of these!
Amber (Books of Amber) says
Thank you so much Natalie! I really wanted to make a post that featured our different points of view, because while we might be BFFs, we always have very different opinions. If Dee had joined in, I would have had back-up with the Michael thing. Alas, she chose to skip this one. I will have to force her into it next month though.
Justin Elvins says
I can’t wait to read this. It’s looks amazing. Thanks so much for this wonderful review. The Best Underrated Books
Amber (Books of Amber) says
Is Cassie basically a teenage Sherlock because YES PLEASE. It’s too bad that this book has instalove AND love triangles. When will this ever stop. Also, I adore crazy endings, especially when murder mysteries are involved. Also, the comparison to Criminal Minds intrigues me. I love that show even though I’ve never really seen it in order. Just when it’s on TV. I’m rambling. Anyway, I love this post and your discussion. 😀
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I read The Naturals today after reading this post last week. THANKS! I LOVED it. I think it reminded me a little of The Body Finder series, which is one of my favourites. I was totally engrossed and it didn’t take me long to read at all.
I’m looking forward to the next book, Killer Instinct (boo hiss waiting until November!). I do hope she pans the love triangle though. I’m all for Dean. Maybe he’ll turn out like Derek from the Darkest powers trilogy without the werewolf-ism (here’s wishing).