Killer Spirit (The Squad Series)

Killer Spirit (The Squad Series)

4.4 51
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

View All Available Formats & Editions

Saying Toby Klein is an unlikely cheerleader is like saying Paris Hilton might be into guys–understatement of the year. But as a Bayport High cheerleader and an undercover government operative, she’s living a life that’s anything but typical. Being on the Squad has its benefits, but just as Toby is getting the hang of protocol and pep rallies, fate…  See more details below


Saying Toby Klein is an unlikely cheerleader is like saying Paris Hilton might be into guys–understatement of the year. But as a Bayport High cheerleader and an undercover government operative, she’s living a life that’s anything but typical. Being on the Squad has its benefits, but just as Toby is getting the hang of protocol and pep rallies, fate kicks things up a notch.

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jennifer Wood
In the second book of "The Squad" series, Toby Klein returns with Captain Brooke Camden, partner Tara, and the other members of Bayport's (secretly) deadly cheerleading squad known collectively as The God Squad. The Squad's covert connection with a formerly widespread CIA training program again leads to trouble for Toby and the others when a trio of terrorist-connected petty criminals arrives in Bayport. The announcement of the ten nominees for homecoming court, which conveniently are also the ten members of The Squad, adds yet another layer of tension, as Toby quickly becomes the dark horse favorite (in large part due to the efforts of her younger brother and his freshmen classmates). The situation quickly deteriorates at a much faster and more violent pace than in the first novel and leads to explosions, hospitalizations, and even deaths. Along the way several of the characters who may have seemed to be mere stock figures in the first book, including Brooke, are revealed in more depth and seem more realistic in this title, which is a marked improvement. Toby's inner conflicts over the balance of her identity and newfound duties, over her confusing attraction to Jack Peyton, and over the strange connection between Jack's father, head of the dangerous Peyton, Kauffman, and Gray law firm, and Jack's uncle, whose voice Toby has recognizes as one of the Big Guys who gives The Squad their orders, also increases the narrative's appeal. New readers may wish to consult the first book for background on these sources of inner turmoil, but familiarity with Perfect Cover is by no means necessary. Although some adults may object to the increased violence, Barnes' series is poised to prove ateen favorite and a vast improvement over teen fiction like the "Sweet Valley High" series. Reviewer: Jennifer Wood

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Squad Series
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
430 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Code Word: Body Glitter

Once upon a time, I thought that the cheerleaders at my high school were no more capable of intelligent thought or true athleticism than the average dachshund. Suffice to say that unless the wiener dogs of the world have been holding out on me—big-time—I was very, very wrong.

“Amelia Juarez. Jacob Kann. Anthony Connors-Wright. Hector Hassan.” Brooke set the files down one by one, careful to avoid any undue wear and tear on her French manicure. “That’s four TCIs arriving in Bayport in the past two days. The question is why.”

Personally, I could think of a few other questions, starting with “what’s a TCI and why are cheerleading spies so fond of acronyms?” and running straight through to “do you have any idea how incredibly uncomfortable this godforsaken polyester uniform is?”

To my credit, though, I somehow managed to remain remarkably quiet. Experience had taught me that if I waited long enough, someone would answer at least one of my unasked questions. Experience had also taught me that the fashionistas among us got, for lack of a better word, cranky when you criticized their fabric choices.

“What level threat are we talking about here?” Tara asked from my right. It wasn’t exactly one of my questions, but close enough.

“Nothing higher than third or fourth tier,” Brooke said. She arched an eyebrow at Zee in silent command, and our resident profiler obligingly picked up where Brooke had left off.

“According to our data, their connections to known terrorists and/or terrorist organizations are weak, but the links are there, and in each case, there have been enough person-to-person interactions with suspected terrorists to warrant full profiling and a place on the watch list.” Zee tucked a strand of jet-black hair behind her ear, a gesture I associated more with her ability to dispense gossip than her skills as a profiler. “All four are ambitious, and they all feel that they have something to prove. Amelia Juarez and Jacob Kann are terrorist-connected through their parents—lots of money, lots of power, long, drawn-out history of high-level crimes in both families. Hector Hassan is a businessman—again, young, smooth, very ambitious. And Anthony’s father is an independent operative working primarily for the U.S. and U.K. governments.”

Tara rolled her eyes. “Teenage rebellion?” she inferred, as if the children of operatives often rebelled by going over to the dark side and becoming wannabe evil masterminds.

“Try midtwenties rebellion,” Zee said, “but, yeah, more or less. Anthony’s driven by his father’s career choices as much as Amelia and Jacob are by theirs, but in a different direction.”

So far, we had a crime prince, a crime princess, an intelligence brat, and a young businessman, all with some kind of vague-ish connections to terrorist groups. The part of my brain that’s tuned in to patterns and codes played back everything that had been said in the debriefing so far, and zeroed in on the combination of words most likely to fit the acronym.

“Terrorist-Connected Individuals,” I guessed out loud. “TCIs.”

At the head of the table, Brooke rolled her eyes. “Very good, Toby,” she said, her voice syrupy sweet. “Do you want a cookie?”

As a matter of fact, I would have loved one, but somehow, I didn’t think Brooke’s offer was anywhere near the ballpark of sincere. She was our Squad captain. In operative terms, that meant she was technically my commanding officer. In cheerleading terms, it meant she was a bitch.

Either way, I wasn’t getting a cookie.

“No offense, Brooke, but it doesn’t seem that complicated to me.” I was completely unwilling to back down from the challenge in Brooke’s eyes or the condescension in her voice. “An influx of TCIs to Bayport can’t be a good thing, even if they’re only fourth tier. We need to know why they’re here.”

Before Brooke could roll her eyes again, I plowed on.

“It sounds like we’re looking at some pretty basic surveillance maneuvers—minimal interaction, bugs in their hotel rooms . . .”

“Trackers on their rental cars,” Tara volunteered.

Brooke didn’t acknowledge the fact that I’d actually come up with a decent (albeit obvious) plan. Instead, she turned to Chloe, the original “gadget girl in Gucci.” “Can you get the necessaries by this afternoon?”

Chloe nodded. “I’ll have the bugs and tracking chips in the guidepost by the time the pep rally’s over this afternoon.”

Tracking chips and pep rallies—par for course.

Without a word, Brooke picked the folders up off the table, and began handing them out. “Chloe, you and April take Amelia Juarez, Zee and I will tail Connors-Wright, Lucy and Bubbles, you’ve got Hassan.”

There was only one folder left and two teams. In the split second before Brooke made her decision, I swore to myself that if she put the twins on active duty and left Tara and me at the school to clean up after the pep rally, someone was going to die. Painfully, and without so much as a single “Go Lions!”

“Jacob Kann is all yours, Tare.” Brooke handed the last folder to Tara, and by the transitive property, she handed it to me.

“We’ll tag the TCIs tonight and report back here afterward to debrief,” Brooke said. “No matter what, with the bugs up and running, we should have some major intel by this time tomorrow afternoon.” She smiled then, a tight, broad smile that took up most of her face, and with that relatively small change, el capitan went from Squad mode to squad mode, from agent to cheerleader. “Next order of business: What color body glitter should we wear today? Blue or gold? Thoughts?”

From TCIs to body glitter in less than three seconds. Confused? Join the club.

I’d been a member of the Squad for less than a month, and I still woke up most mornings thinking it was all just some crazy Twinkie-induced dream. Then I looked in the mirror, noted my perfectly sculpted eyebrows and artificially tanned face, and the truth sank in.

This wasn’t a dream. I, Toby Anti-Social Klein, had really been recruited to the varsity cheerleading squad, only to discover that said squad was actually a cover for an elite team of government operatives. The most popular girls at my high school were actually secret agents affiliated with a top-secret branch of the government somehow related to the CIA.

Yeah. Try to wrap your mind around that one.

From the Paperback edition.

Read More

Meet the Author

Jennifer Lynn Barnes wrote her first book when she was still a teenager, and she is currently hard at work on her next. Visit her online at She lives in Oklahoma.

From the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Killer Spirit (The Squad Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Please please please write more books to this series. I love the humor and characters. Its one of my favorites and there are only two books in it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book was fun but the story was predictable. but is is a good read if your just looking for something fun.
BookwormKD More than 1 year ago
this was an amazing series and i recommend it to everyone! Toby has no school spirit whatsoever. which is why she more then a little confused when she gets a note to attend the cheerleading meeting. Then she see's that it is in code. so she goes to the meeting. but they are not your average cheerleaders -- they are top secret governments agents. cheerleading is just their cover - this is the second book in the sqaud series and it was great. This is fun and unforgettable!
loving_the_book001 More than 1 year ago
this was such a good book i cant imagine why someone wouldnt want to read it!! is there a next one?????? i hope so !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
In the second book of the THE SQUAD cheerleading spy series, Toby ¿Anti-Social¿ Klein is still learning the ropes and trying to wrap her head around the whole ridiculousness of becoming a cheerleader.

The Big Guys have noticed some activity in Bayport that sparks their interest. Soon the squad is going undercover tracking these individuals to place bugs on them. However, something goes terribly wrong and one team comes close to dying. Now the squad must deal with a possible compromise.

In their ¿normal¿ lives, the school¿s choosing the Homecoming Queen. Half the squad is nominated and Toby just happens to be in the running, much to her dismay. Her little brother, Noah, is doing all that he can to win her the votes, but what he doesn¿t realize is that the seniors on the squad are not amused by his antics. He¿s causing Toby some major embarrassment and cold shoulders from the squad.

KILLER SPIRIT picks up right where the first book , PERFECT COVER, ends. If you cross Ally Carter¿s spy books with Meg Cabot¿s THE MEDIATOR series, you¿ve got your smart-aleck anti-social heroine kicking butt and taking names¿in a cheerleader outfit.

If you haven¿t discovered this series yet, you¿re really missing out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Squad Series is one of 'those' books but with an extremely original and needed anarchist-ish twist. Jennifer Lynn Barnes writes with humor, sarcasm and suspense. First hearing of the plot I believed the book to be something typical and unintelligent. However, this book was a thrilling and overall captivating novel that I found to be one of my favorites.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Eay but fun read...even though it is awesome they r sadly not making a new one....u can see on her website
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the funniest, awesomest books i have ever read...jennifer lynn barnes is a genius!! Pls pls pls make a new one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow... jusr wow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liliana Anon More than 1 year ago
This book is totally amazing and i cant wait till #3 if there is one :)