Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Monday, November 3, 2014

Just Finished Reading ... Killer Instinct by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2)
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
To be published by Disney-Hyperion
on November 4, 2014

Source: eARC from the publisher

Synopsis from Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Cassie Hobbes has a gift for profiling people. Her talent has landed her a spot in an elite FBI program for teens with innate crime-solving abilities, and into some harrowing situations. After barely escaping a confrontation with an unbalanced killer obsessed with her mother’s murder, Cassie hopes she and the rest of the team can stick to solving cold cases from a distance. But when victims of a brutal new serial killer start turning up, the Naturals are pulled into an active case that strikes too close to home: the killer is a perfect copycat of Dean’s incarcerated father—a man he’d do anything to forget. Forced deeper into a murderer’s psyche than ever before, will the Naturals be able to outsmart the enigmatic killer’s brutal mind games before this copycat twists them into his web for good?
My take:  If you haven't tried this series and are a fan of FBI/serial killer books, you can enter my giveaway for book one of the series, The Naturals.

To me, these books are a little bit How To Get Away With Murder

in which a squabbling Scooby Gang of kids with paranormal abilities secretly help the FBI on cases. 

At first, I wasn't sure about this second installment. I've written before about how teen FBI books have inevitable credibility issues, and this one was no exception. In addition, while the first book focused on Cassie, this book has a lot to do with Dean and his father, who's in prison for multiple murders. Sounds good, but Dean a) isn't the narrator and b) isn't the most forthcoming person, so there's a lot of Cassie interpreting his behavior, his feelings, etc.

The whole college criminology professor plotline reminded me both of How to Get Away With Murder and Veronica Mars Season 3.

In addition, just a heads-up that this series has a CELT (Completely Excruciating Love Triangle) in which the main character hems and haws and goes back and forth about which gorgeous, broody guy is the right one for her. *bangs head against Kindle*

But then, the end of the book had a couple of really phenomenal plot twists, and I was back in love with it again.

If you can't stand love triangles, then this won't be the book for you. But if you're looking for a fun, really well-plotted teens-stalking-serial-killers book, definitely check these out.  If you live in the US, you can enter to win the first book here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I have a severe aversion to love triangles, so this book disappointed me to no end. I was a big fan of Natural Instincts; and now, I don't know if I would be continuing. :/

    1. I don't have a complete aversion to triangles, but this is not the kind of love triangle I like. Girl enters new situation and IMMEDIATELY two gorgeous guys fall head over heels in love with her and then she pretends oh no, she's not going to choose and .... argh. It got even worse in this book, with angst and brooding, and... blah.

      And yet I keep reading!!

  2. I am someone who doesn't mind love triangles, but only if they are executed well? Reading the synopsis I thought the idea of teens in a mystery intrigued me, but now I am not so sure. I have mixed feelings on this book, and am not sure if I will pick up number one. But great review anyway!

    1. If you are okay with angsty, broody and somewhat implausible love triangles -- and not judging if you do -- then you'll be fine. But the triangle was my least favorite part. I wish it had been better developed. In book one it was like Insta-Love Triangle and that did not improve :(

  3. Replies
    1. I do too -- even with the triangle. There is a lot of other good stuff. I just try to ignore the triangle/romance aspect.

  4. Ummm I don't know... It just doesn't sound like my cup of coffee! I've had my fair share of love triangles and I don't want to read about one any time soon! I'm glad you loved it though :) Nice review, Jen :)

  5. I really really, really do not like love triangles! They make me crazy!

  6. this book sound complicated it to me, but i'm happy you like it , awesome review

  7. Love the review! Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Oigh! I have the first book in my Kindle library and I still need to read it and I'm happy to hear you ended up loving this one BUT I AM SO NOT A FAN OF LOVE TRIANGLEEES!! WHYYYY!?!?

  9. It's the love triangle from hell! Can you still call it a love triangle if nothing actually happens? Anyways... I'm glad the focus of the story is on the mystery and not the romance. I read this recently and I really like the way the story is progressing. They'll all be turning 18 soon, so I wonder what will happen to them after that?

  10. Yep, I agree. I enjoyed the story and mystery but that love triangle, grrr. Hopefully it'll be less prominent in the next book.


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