The Squad: Perfect Cover

The Squad: Perfect Cover

4.4 52
by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
     
 

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Bayport High’s Varsity cheer squad is made up of the hottest of the hot. But this A-list is dangerous in more ways than one. The Squad is actually a cover for the most highly trained group of underage government operatives the United States has ever assembled. They have the perfect cover, because, beyond herkeys and highlights, no one expects anything from a

Overview

Bayport High’s Varsity cheer squad is made up of the hottest of the hot. But this A-list is dangerous in more ways than one. The Squad is actually a cover for the most highly trained group of underage government operatives the United States has ever assembled. They have the perfect cover, because, beyond herkeys and highlights, no one expects anything from a cheerleader.


From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Barnes launches a teen spy series with this campy and thoroughly addictive read. Sixteen-year-old Toby Klein, a tough-girl loner who'd rather sit in detention than pump up a game-day crowd, is appalled but intrigued when she receives an invitation to join the super-popular varsity cheerleading squad at Bayport High. Then she learns the squad is a cover for a top-secret group of teen girl government operatives whose mission is to protect America at all costs. Readers will easily suspend their disbelief to follow the exploits of these party girls whose picture-perfect appearances conceal their skills as brilliant profilers, linguists, weapons experts and computer hackers. Barnes (Platinum) handily blends scenes of mundane high school life with espionage as the girls sport necklaces with built-in microphones and bulletproof push-up bras. This over-the-top tale never takes itself too seriously, much like Charlie's Angels(to which Toby occasionally dryly refers). Despite a prolonged lead-up to the girls' first mission and an annoying younger brother who pops up too often, this is a terrific guilty pleasure. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature
AGERANGE: Ages 14 up.

In this introductory book to "The Squad" series, punky Toby Klein joins forces with Bayport High's perky cheerleaders, also known as The God Squad. Led by their captain, Brooke, The Squad is actually a covert group of underage CIA operatives, and Toby's potent mix of hacking and kickboxing skills is just what the girls need to fill out their ranks. Toby reluctantly attends their meetings--mostly to get out of her afternoon detention, but also to determine which of the apparent airheads is capable of masterminding the coded invitations she keeps finding in her locker. Toby soon learns there is more behind The Squad's plastic images than meets the eye, from bubbly Lucy's love for all things explosive to second-in-command Chloe's technological prowess. After receiving a Stage Six makeover from twins (and resident style gurus) Tiffany and Brittany, then tagging a target at the local mall, Toby officially earns her spot on The Squad. The girls debrief her on the unit's history and main target--Peyton, Kaufman, and Gray, a local law firm with a questionable past and clientele list. The Squad needs to infiltrate Infotech, a local Internet security company suspected of hacking the CIA's databases and uncovering the classified locations of foreign agents. The girls need to assess how much information has been leaked and ensure it does not happen again. They must also prevent any further information from reaching the international black market and somehow plant a bug in the law firm's offices to monitor future activity. Toby plays a central role in each of these operations, which are planned and executed within a week's time and lead to Toby's first kiss. The book is afun, superficial read with no objectionable content aside from rare obscenities. Reviewer: Jennifer Wood

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375849152
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/12/2008
Series:
Squad Series
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
205,704
File size:
454 KB
Age Range:
12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1 Code Word: Pom-pom

If you’d told me at the beginning of sophomore year that I was going to end up a government operative, I would have thought you were crazy, but if you’d told me I was destined to become a cheerleader, I would have had you committed, no questions asked. At that point in time, there were three things in life that I knew for certain: (1) I was a girl who’d never met a site she couldn’t hack or a code she couldn’t break, (2) I had a roundhouse that could put a grown man in the hospital, and (3) I would without question chop off my own hands before I’d come within five feet of a pom-pom.

I liked to fly below the radar. I was the girl slouched in the back of your geometry class, not the one shaking my booty on the field. In fact, in the year and a half since we’d moved to Bayport, I’d spent more time in detention than at pep rallies and considered myself lucky; unless school spirit referred to a school-board-sanctioned wine, I had no intention of buying.

And then, one day out of the blue, the note appeared in my locker.

Toby Klein—

You are cordially invited to an information session on the Bayport High Varsity Spirit Squad today at four in room 117. Go Lions (and Lionesses)!

The year before, a bunch of angry feminist mothers had sued the district for having a male mascot, so now we were officially the Bayport Lion(esse)s. I kid you not. That’s just one of the many reasons I couldn’t fathom the idea of actually supporting the school in any way, shape, or form. That and the fact that I’d had to forcibly remove a football player’s hand from my brother’s arm three times in the last month. Emphasis on the word forcibly. If they touched Noah again, someone was going to lose an arm. Go Lions!

I turned the note over in my hand. Wow, I thought, the God Squad must really be scratching bottom if they’re recruiting me. Maybe they just couldn’t stand it that there were actually a few sophomore and junior girls who weren’t willing to sell their souls for cheerleading immortality. There was a reason the varsity cheerleaders were collectively referred to as the God Squad, and it wasn’t because they were religious; it was because at Bayport High, they were gods: the ultimate social power. Most people did everything short of bowing down to worship them on a regular basis.

I was not most people.

Slamming my locker shut, I moved to throw the note away, but decided to save it for ammunition in case anyone in my carpool got too rowdy. As I moved to jam the invite into my pocket, light caught the letters, and for just a second, a few of them jumped out at me.

“Stupid glitter pens,” I muttered, but automatically, my mind began cataloging the letters I’d noticed. I stuffed the note into my jeans, took four steps down the hallway, and then stopped. My brain does tricky things with letters and numbers: scrambles them and unscrambles them, analyzes their combinations, looks for patterns. When I was little, I loved palindromes and anagrams and any secret language more complicated than Pig Latin. Standing there in the hallway, my letter-savvy mind did its thing, and I pulled the invitation back out of my pocket.

After a quick glance around the hall to make sure no one was watching, I held the small white card in the light again and, one by one, picked out the letters that appeared slightly more sparkly than their counterparts.

Toby Klein—

You are cordially invited to an information session on the Bayport High Varsity Spirit Squad today at four in room 117. Go Lions (and Lionesses)!

There it was in black and white, or, more specifically, in hot pink glitter pen. COME ALONE.

After that, I really did throw the note away, because there was no way it had been written by an actual cheerleader. Most of them probably couldn’t even spell cordially, let alone embed secret instructions in an invite to one of their oh-so-special meetings. Someone was definitely playing a trick on me, and I had a pretty good idea who that someone was. I also had a pretty good idea what I was going to do about it.

Proximity—namely the fact that my brother’s locker was only three down from mine—was on my side.

“Very funny, Einstein.” Since I’d trashed the message and therefore had nothing to throw at him, I settled for flicking my brother on the back of one of his ears.

“Hey!” Noah tried not to lose what little cool he had, but failed miserably. After glaring at me for a second (like that did any good), he changed tactics. “Toby,” he said in a low whisper, “I’m working my magic here.”

And that was why Noah kept getting attacked by football players with no necks and something to prove. No matter how many times I assured him that hot senior girls weren’t under any circumstances interested in scrawny freshman goofballs, he still couldn’t help trying out his “charms” on the older women.

It was a miracle he wasn’t dead, and given the current circumstances, there was a decent chance that I was going to kill him myself.

“Work’s over,” I said. I didn’t even spare a glance at the current object of his affection before literally dragging him to the side of the hall. “You got anything you want to tell me?” I asked. For a girl my size (five three), I can sound pretty mean when I want to.

“Ummm . . . not that I can think of,” Noah said, giving me one of his most “charming” grins.

“Try harder.”

“Well . . . I . . . uhhh . . . did tell Chuck that you’d take him home after school.”

From the Paperback edition.

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 www.jenniferlynnbarnes.com. She lives in Oklahoma.


From the Paperback edition.

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Perfect Cover (The Squad Series) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 52 reviews.
VampArt More than 1 year ago
The book is about an anti-cheerleading girl, you know, sit in the back/invsible type. Then after getting caught in the act of her impulsive computer hacking (which is pretty awesome) the "squad" recruits her and she discovers about the coolest thing ever! read it. My friend and I recently asked her if she was going to write a 3rd one (there's already an amazing 2nd one) and she said she would love to, but her publisher won't let her unless more people buy it. So please help the cause!
akrox101 More than 1 year ago
I love this book! The idea that cheerleaders are just a cover for undercover operatives is genius. Buy this book and the second one "The Squad: Killer Spirit" so that the author can publish a third on and hopefully more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loves
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What you wanna do
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*walks in*
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading the back I really did not expect to like this book I mean cheerleader spies just sounds so chlique.......But this book greatly surprised me and drew me in! The characters will well written and engaging and the main protagonist I was able to connect with! Overall a great story!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great book! i love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has everything Iwould want to read abiut: cheerleading, romance, action (spies), and to top it off hum. or! A MUST read! This is the first in the series, and U I am DEFINITLY buying the next one! :)
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