I don’t know that I would have picked up THE SQUAD, a book about a cheerleading squad who are also secret agents, had I not already loved what I’ve read by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (TATTOO and GOLDEN). However, that said, I’m glad I did read this fun book!

Toby Klein is so not a cheerleading type of girl. Toby wears combat boots. Toby has a black belt and beats up football players. In her opinion, cheerleaders are a bunch of morons jumping around in short skirts.

So Toby’s as surprised as anyone when she’s picked to join the varsity cheer squad, aka the God Squad. Of course, then she finds out that she actually fits the profile a lot better than people think. Because Bayport’s cheerleaders aren’t just cheerleaders–they’re secret agent cheerleaders.

Yes, you read that right. Secret agent cheerleaders. Behind the glitter and the highlights, there is a crack team of undercover cheerleaders, working for the CIA. And Toby, being a black belt as well as an accomplished hacker, might actually be a pretty good secret agent. She’s not so sure about the cheerleading part, but Toby Klein has never been one to back down from a challenge, and she’s not about to start now.

THE SQUAD is a quick, very fun read that will leave readers waiting impatiently for the series’ next installment, THE SQUAD: KILLER SPIRIT (updated: coming out the same day as book one, so no impatient waiting!). Jennifer Lynn Barnes once again shows herself to be a talented author in this book, though I didn’t really love Toby at first. I was still quite engaged into the story, but it was more about the fast-paced, action-packed plot than Toby or any of the other characters. The characters grew more real as the book went on, but they didn’t seem very interesting (or likeable) at first.

THE SQUAD is a fun-filled, funny, light read perfect for relaxing after a stressful day at school (now that many of us are now back to the routine of sitting in classrooms all day). This is one that readers will love–even those of us who are, like Toby, so not cheerleader types.

Four Stars