Review: The Squad: Perfect Cover

image source: Penguin Random House

Armed and dangerous, the cheerleaders of Bayport High School in Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ novel The Squad: Perfect Cover are more than they appear to be. By day, they are the queen bees of their high school hierarchy; by night, they are covert operation spies for the U.S. government. The Squad follows the ever edgy Toby Klein who, despite her total lack of school spirit, is recruited for the Varsity Cheer Squad, setting her up for an adventure full of pom-poms and ammunition.

While the premise of the novel promises a phenomenal tale of action and high school drama, the execution leaves much to be desired. Toby is not given any character growth and, despite becoming a master spy, is constantly complaining and judging her fellow Squad members. The side characters are given more detail and nuance than her, and are much more relatable and likable. The banter is often cringe-inducing, but at times redeems itself and actually bears a resemblance to comedy.

While in no way revolutionary, The Squad: Perfect Cover is a fun binge-read that is ideal for any reader’s summer reading list.