Bad Blood (The Naturals #4)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication: November 1st, 2016
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Format: Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Thriller, Espionage
Read: December 2016
When Cassie Hobbes joined the FBI’s Naturals program, she had one goal: uncover the truth about her mother’s murder. But now, everything Cassie thought she knew about what happened that night has been called into question. Her mother is alive, and the people holding her captive are more powerful—and dangerous—than anything the Naturals have faced so far. As Cassie and the team work to uncover the secrets of a group that has been killing in secret for generations, they find themselves racing a ticking clock. New victims. New betrayals. New secrets. When the bodies begin piling up, it soon becomes apparent that this time, the Naturals aren’t just hunting serial killers. They’re being hunted.
Plot – 5 out of 5 stars
I don’t know how to rave about these series anymore. The plots of these books are so intense, emotional and powerful. This book in particular was completely and totally nerve wracking for me, I was dying while reading! It deals with violence, death, family, friendship and grief. As always, it’s a little creepy but I think the ending, while sad, is also really hopeful.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
One of the best things about this series is how well the writing style works with it. It makes it so easy to fall into the story and get addicted to it. It’s intense and powerful and emotional and it’s really easy to read. The sentences are short and to the point which really drives home the anxiety inducing plot haha. It’s descriptive and creepy, but don’t worry you can handle it!
Characters – 5 out of 5 stars
It took four books but I can finally say that I LOVE these characters! Slowly but surely, they’ve gotten me under their spell and I just adore the way they look out for each other. Cassie in this book finally caught my attention. In general, I haven’t been sold on her as a character. I felt like there was a lot more I could get from her and that I didn’t really know her. But boy oh boy, she really stepped it up in this book! Which might be bad to say because she’s pretty distraught and obsessive in this book which isn’t very healthy but it was just so much easier to get to know her. I felt like she finally let her walls down, with the rest of the group as well as with the reader. She’s anxious and feels very vulnerable and a bit unstable emotionally but she’s so determined and smart. She keeps moving forward toward her goal and I really loved her tenacity. Besides the regular plot line, each book focuses deeper into the pasts of some of the side characters and this one takes a look at Michael and Lila. It’s pretty safe to say that they’ve been my least favorite members of this series but I’ve grown to like them after awhile. They both have very volatile and sort of dangerous personalities and it was really interesting to see how they became those kind of people.
This book took me completely and totally off guard, I did not expect so many freaking crazy things to happen!
The plot is mind blowing. We follow Cassie, who has always wanted to uncover the truth about her mom’s murder and at the end of the third book, she learns something that sends her and the Naturals team deeper into her past in this book. I honestly thought that this series could not get any wilder, any crazier, any creepier… and then it did! In this freaking book! Honestly, I still can’t wrap my head around everything twist and turn this story took. This book wasn’t as action packed as the previous but it makes up for it by being, in my opinion, the most personal because of the kind of case they are dealing with. The last two books sort of connect, plot wise, which didn’t happen in the first book but in this one, we get a lot of answers that I’ve been wondering about since the very beginning. It’s a very intense book and I know I say that about all of them but I really mean it this time! There’s so much more emotional connecting to this case, from the main character and narrator and it pushes her to confront so much about her past and what she thought that was that it makes it a very emotional read. There are so many different things going on all at once, all these different leads and possibilities that kept me on the edge of my seat and is one of my favorite parts of this series and this book. Obviously, like I said above, there’s a lot of focus on Cassie in this book, but we also learn a lot more about Michael and Lila. I loved being able to see where Michael grew up and to see how he managed to survive there, besides his Natural ability. It gave me a lot more insight into his character and made me like him a lot more. Lila has always been a thorn in my side but she really hit me in this book. For such a tough personality, she showed a lot of vulnerability and emotion in this book which I really appreciated. I could never in my life have guessed how this book was going to go down. I had a lot of theories but none of them compare to the craziness and the fucking twists that happen in this book. I still don’t know how I feel about some things. I am angry at some, I am shocked beyond believe about others and then there are some where I’m just completely devastated over. I really wish there were more books in this series because while the ending is extremely sad, there is a hopeful tone to it, and I wish I could see the beyond this point you know? There’s so much pain and heartache in the lives of the characters in this series, every single one of them, that I wish I could see them happy and safe and just kicking criminal butt!
Cassie is a pillar of strength, she really, really is. I’ve felt very okay about her personality throughout the series. I didn’t particularly dislike her but I also didn’t love her and she was definitely not my favorite character in the series. But her in this book deserves my love. Honestly, the girl deserves all the love in the world. Besides the fact that her character development between the first and fourth book is outstanding, just what she goes through and learns from in this book is completely mind blowing. Her story fucking hurts guys. The story of her life and of these first few months I believe in this program are riddled with pain and horror and just sucky shit. But she keeps going, she moves forward, she grows and she soldiers on and I really admire her for that. She’s determined and smart and fierce. She’s definitely a great narrator and I wish I could see more from her.
I have to say though that the side characters in this series really make it as great as I think it is. The dynamic between the group and the different personalities and experiences together really give it that extra umph for me to fall in love with it. Sloane is my favorite character in this series. She’s the sweetest, kindest, most socially naive out of all of them and I just want to hug her all the time. She tries so hard to fit in and to understand the world around her but every else makes her feel so welcome as who she is. There are some really comical scenes from her and her interaction with a new character in this book that was just so cute and adorable! Another reason why I wish there was more to read about after this book. I love Dean! Honestly, he might upgrade to my very small book boyfriend list because he’s just so great. He has a really quiet part in this book which is amazing. His sole purpose here is to be supportive of Cassie. To be there for her when she needs him and to push her when she doesn’t want to be but has to be. He’s there to lay his life on the line for her if need be and I just think they make a great twosome. Michael and Lila have the weirdest relationship but it seems to work for them haha. I’m glad we got to know them a lot more in this book and to see them express vulnerability. That’s what I’ve been waiting for from those two characters and it definitely made me like them a lot more. There are quite a few adults in this series which I don’t mention a lot though I should. There presence is very much prevalent and important not only to the plot but also to the development of the characters. It would not be the same series without them and I really like them as well. Finally, I just want to mention that there’s a character that I instantly loved that was newly introduced in this book. I wish she would’ve shown up a lot earlier because she brings a fresh look and feel to the group and she brings some VERY NEEDED diversity to this series, which is something that it lacks a lot. I love her interactions and her scenes in this book and her potential relationship with another one of the girls in the group is another reason why I really want more books from this series.
Overall, I think this was an amazing series finale! The plot isn’t as action packed but doesn’t lack in that nerve wracking, anxiety inducing feeling that I’ve come to know from these books. There’s so many surprises, so many twists and turns and so many heartbreaking moments that I still can’t quite wrap my mind around everything that happened. The characters have grown so much, as a team and as individuals, not only in this book but in the entire series. I wish there was more diversity included in the series, though this book does have a little bit of it, because that would make it even greater in my book but I honestly really love this series because it’s so entertaining and I’m recommending it to all of you!
So that’s it for this post! I’ve been literally working on it all day. It was supposed to be up by 10 am and that’s the time I woke up today… and it took me quite awhile to buckle down and get it done. Honestly, we’re so close to the end of the year that I’m just super lazy and procrastinating all over the place. My apologies guys! Anyway, thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!