The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Naturals is a teen version of Silence of the Lambs, minus Hannibal Lector. Cassie has a natural ability to instinctively notice details most would overlook. This talent was honed by her sham of a psychic mother who taught Cassie how to "read" people prior to her murder five years prior. Cassie was the one to find her and the memory haunts her. She doesn't feel that she fits in with her father's family, so when the FBI offers her the opportunity to join a group of teens in a program called The Naturals, she jumps at the opportunity and lands in a house with four other "special" teens. Lia is a master deciever and human lie detector, Sadie is the brain and a freak statistician who can identify patterns in crime scenes, Michael is adept at reading body language and Dean is a profiler, like Cassie. Though tasked with solving cold cases, the team quickly gets drawn into an active investigation for a serial killer who may or may not be the one who murdered Cassie's mother. I was completely absorbed in all of the scenes where Cassie is profiling and going through training exercises; however, I had to bump down to four stars because I felt the final quarter of the book took a bit too much of a weird twist for my tastes. However, I did love that it was so different from the YA's I often read and much more in line with Thomas Harris novels or even tv shows like Elementary and an overall action packed, fun read!