The Naturals (The Naturals #1) – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Naturals (The Naturals #1) – Jennifer Lynn BarnesTitle: The Naturals (The Naturals #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publishing Info: November 5, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Scribd
Genres: Young Adult, Mystery/Thriller
Date Completed: June 29, 2018
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // Goodreads
Related Posts: The Fixer (The Fixer #1)

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.


For some reason I thought this book was about kids with extra special abilities as in, supernatural of some sort, but it’s actually just special as in heightened and highly perceptive. In case you had some misconceptions as well, it’s actually about a group of gifted teens who are gathered together to form a sort of natural superbrain team brought together to solve murder cases! I actually liked that a lot though! It was really interesting and I kind of liked that it didn’t have a paranormal twist, as I had expected.

THE NATURALS was a really enjoyable book! I had fun with the mystery/thriller aspect and I really enjoyed it from start to finish. I really liked getting to know Cassie and I felt like I got to know each character pretty well. They interacted really well and the audiobook narrator did a great job of giving them different voices and creating different personalities through those voices. The secondary characters really brought more life to the pages and added a great depth to this book as well. I can’t wait to see how they come into play in future books too!

It, like most books nowadays, was pretty solid and still enjoyable but missing that oomph that has me falling in love with a book. The way the mystery part of the book played out was really interesting and had plenty of surprises! I wasn’t expecting it take the turns that it did and really appreciated that the book kept me on my toes.

I’ll definitely continue the series and with the way this book wrapped up, it makes me very interested to see how the other books will continue! This one wrapped up fairly well and I’m curious to see how the other books go from here.


Kept Me Hooked On: Non-magical squads. This was an interesting team of characters! I liked all of their natural abilities without them being magical abilities.
Left Me Wanting More: Thrills. I did like the thrills presented in the book and the mystery had a nice twist, but I also still felt like it was missing a little something to give it that extra wow-factor!

Addiction Rating
Read it

This was really enjoyable! I’m not dying to rush ahead to continue the series but it’s in the solid want column.




The Fixer (The Fixer #1) – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Fixer (The Fixer #1) – Jennifer Lynn BarnesTitle: The Fixer (The Fixer #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publishing Info: July 7, 2015 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 5, 2015

Sixteen-year-old Tess Kendrick has spent her entire life on her grandfather's ranch. But when her estranged sister Ivy uproots her to D.C., Tess is thrown into a world that revolves around politics and power. She also starts at Hardwicke Academy, the D.C. school for the children of the rich and powerful, where she unwittingly becomes a fixer for the high school set, fixing teens’ problems the way her sister fixes their parents’ problems.
And when a conspiracy surfaces that involves the family member of one of Tess's classmates, love triangles and unbelievable family secrets come to light and life gets even more interesting—and complicated—for Tess.


I was in a bit of a reading slump and needed a good “me” book to pull me out and renew my faith in reading (just kidding. I could never totally lose my faith in books!) when a perfectly timed tweet from Andi bumped up THE FIXER on my TBR! As soon as I had heard about it from Bloomsbury, I knew I was interested so I dove right in! Thankfully, THE FIXER was just what I needed and really lived up to its name — fixing my reading slump!

The back cover of my ARC pitched the book as HEIST SOCIETY meets 24 and that I can totally agree with. Normally I’m afraid of the “this meets that” comparisons for books because I don’t usually feel that the comparisons are accurate but this one was totally spot on! I definitely got some HEIST SOCIETY feels from the characters as well as tone, plus the dash of intrigue and political society throughout the book. I think the 24 vibe definitely came into play towards the end and all together, these elements worked really well! The book was fun with dynamic and entertaining characters right from the beginning and it closed with some excellent action and intrigue!

The book was really just a blast from start to finish. I just loved the characters and how much the enhanced the overall story. Tess was kind of a fireball and I loved her sarcasm combined with her won’t-take-no-for-an-answer attitude (just like Ivy)! The supporting characters were also tons of fun. They provided a range of personalities and feelings for the book so it was just a really fun range of emotions that I got to experience.

I really loved the pacing throughout the book. There was an excellent blend of high stakes action, investigative work, personal moments, and theorizing. I thought everything came together really well. I zipped through the first fifty pages of the book and the rest was a breeze too! I didn’t find my interest waning and I really always felt engaged! Jennifer Lynn Barnes really put together a solid novel and I was so pleased with how much I enjoyed it! I actually wasn’t sure if this was a series when I finished (it is) and I really liked how the book closed one chapter but still really left it open to continue later on down the road!

THE FIXER was a really fun read for me and even though it was almost 400 pages, it didn’t feel like a long book at all! I really got lost in the pages and everything just seemed to fit together. The characters brightened the whole book and really made it come to life! I can’t wait to read more of this series.


“The View from Goodreads” is a featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!

the fixer gr updates


Tess // Character Obsessions: Her grandfather, taking action, solving problems.
I kind of love that Tess’s personality essentially pushes her to become a “Fixer” even though she has no intention of being one. She’s very strong-willed and doesn’t like to see injustice so she naturally sort of falls into that role. I also love how fiercely protective she is of her friends and family. Sometimes I feel like that protection is over-emotional but I really loved Tess and the combination of her take-charge attitude and intense connection to the ones she loves.


Kept Me Hooked On: Political thrillers. I think political thrillers are hard to find in YA (naturally, because most political scandals surround adults) but I really loved how this was done! I don’t actually feel the draw to pick up adult political thrillers but I loved the way this was handled in YA!
Left Me Wanting More: Secondary characters. There were a lot of great secondary characters — friends, friends of Ivy, relatives, politicians — and I wouldn’t say that I didn’t get enough of them but I’m definitely interested in finding out more! I’m really glad that this is a series because I found myself wondering about more backstories and I can’t wait to learn more!

Addiction Rating
Read it!

THE FIXER was both fun and thrilling. I loved the personalities within the book and the plot really constantly kept moving forward! Excited for more of the series — and more from Jennifer Lynn Barnes!



(Click the cover to see my review!)