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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Book Review: All In

All In

Written by: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Number of Pages: 376

Average Rating: 4.47/5 stars
My Rating: 5/5 stars 

Published: November 3, 2015
Read in January 2016

Summary according to goodreads

Three casinos. Three bodies. Three days.

After a string of brutal murders in Las Vegas, Cassie Hobbes and the Naturals are called in to investigate. But even with the team’s unique profiling talents, these murders seem baffling: unlike many serial killers, this one uses different methods every time. All of the victims were killed in public, yet the killer does not show up on any tape. And each victim has a string  of numbers tattooed on their wrist. Hidden in the numbers is a code - and the closer the Naturals come to unraveling the mystery, the more perilous the case becomes. 

Meanwhile, Cassie is dealing with an equally dangerous and much more painful mystery. For the first time in years, there’s been a break in mother’s case. As personal issues and tensions between the team mount, Cassie and the Naturals will be faced with impossible odds - and impossible choices. 

My Thoughts

This series is still one of my favourites, even three books in. It is extremely difficult to put these books down, which is why I waited for my winter break before starting this one. 

While reading this novel, I thought I knew where the plot would be going. I WAS SO WRONG. Jennifer Lynn Barnes is an amazing storyteller because she can keep you on your toes for 300 pages, and then do a 180degree turn. This author can somehow answer questions that the reader has had from the first book, while also throwing us off with even more questions!

One of my favourite things about this series is how much character development they bring out. In the first book The Naturals, we learned a lot about the main character, Cassandra Hobbes, while in the second novel we focused more on the past of Michael and Dean. With this third book we learned the history of a side character, Sloane, and how she is crucial to the success of this program - and also how she developed her skills. I am hoping to learn more about Lia in the fourth book, as her character is still a bit of a mystery. 

Regarding the plot, I had no issues whatsoever. In comparison to the previous novels, this one was longer but also more complex. I was never bored, and instead was thinking about the crimes myself as if I was an investigator on the team. While I was reading this book I felt like I finally understood everyone’s skills and how they analyze crime scenes, suspects, etc. It was almost as if they previous two books were just set for world building - and All In was the big climax!

My involvement to these stories could be due to the fact that I am a criminal psychology major, but I do recommend these books to readers. They are engaging, action-packed, and realistic which are some of my favourite things to see in young adult literature. The characters are all very well-rounded and work well together, but also have room to grow and work through their own issues. Sometimes they are put into such mature situations, you can forget that they are only teenagers. It will be very difficult for me to wait until November for the fourth book, I may just have to reread them all.  

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