Contemporary Conversations, Reviews, YA Mystery, YA Thriller

ContempConvos: Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Killer Instinct (Naturals Series #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Paperback |  Barnes & Noble®

Goodreads Summary:

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?


Oh my gosh.

I am dead. No pun intended.

I was a huge fan of The Naturals, but Barnes just went ahead and blew me away with the sequel.

Killer Instinct is everything you’ve wanted. It’s dark, it’s gritty, and addicting. You have the action, the sick twisted mindset of the killer, and the relationships between the naturals. I wish this were a tv show.

In Killer Instinct we have the gang in the aftermath of what happened with Cassie and “agent” Locke. As Cassie deals with the aftermath, a copycat shows up, but it’s not just any killer he is copying, but Dean’s dad. MO right to the t. The entire time we are dealing with the team trying to solve who is the copycat, if the naturals program will be dismantled with Agent Sterlings presence now in the mix, and Cassie’s inner turmoil of Michael or Dean.

Now don’t be turned away because we have love in the mix. Ms. Barnes does it in a very tasteful way which actually adds to the story and doesn’t take away from it.

At the end of the day, if you haven’t read Killer Instinct (or The Naturals) please do so. You will not regret that decision.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Special Review, YA Thriller

Book Review: The Twisted Window by Lois Duncan


I received a ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review

Goodreads Summary:

The new guy at Tracy’s school is handsome, intense, and desperately needs her help—but there’s something about him that isn’t quite right 

High school junior Tracy Lloyd is unsure about the new guy in school. Brad Johnson is attractive, smart, and polite, but Tracy can’t help but feel he watches her too closely. Then one day Brad confides in Tracy a horrible secret: His little sister Mindy has been kidnapped by his stepfather, and he needs Tracy’s help to get her back. But even as Tracy commits to a plan to help her vulnerable new friend, details emerge that suggest nothing is what it seems.
The Twisted Window is a zigzagging thriller that keeps readers guessing up until the final page. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Lois Duncan including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author’s personal collection


When I saw this book on NetGalley I was super excited because I remember reading books by Lois Duncan in middle school and high school. I had even read this book about 8 years ago, and I remember loving it. I decided to take this opportunity and re-read it. Boy, was I in for some blasts from the past.

The re-marketing of this book was to make it more relevant to present times, which is why we have a cover change, and a few lines were added to the book to make it more in with nowadays. First thing I will be commenting on are the few cellphone references that appeared here and there, which overall made the novel feel weird. The novel was like a blast from the 80s from the way they talked, the way teenagers acted, and references that were mentioned through the novel, and those additional cellphone references were out of place. They didn’t belong in the story.

Now, onto the plt. I was actually a little disappointed in myself. I remember loving this novel when I was so young but now… it didn’t have the same appeal and made me second guess my love not only for this novel, but other Lois Duncan novels too. The suspense was ok, but I was so preoccupied with how Tracy was behaving and her logic behind things that I was just baffled by it all.

Overall, the novel is creepy, but not something I would read anymore. It isn’t the worse novel I’ve read, but it also isn’t the  best.

Rating : 3/5