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Perfect Cover (The Squad #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  5,495 ratings  ·  265 reviews
Bayport High operates like any other high school--jocks at the top, outsiders at the bottom, and everyone else in between. Enter Toby Klein, a sophomore computer hacker who doesn't play well with others. She has zero school spirit, a black belt in karate, and what her guidance counselor calls an attitude problem. She's the last person you'd expect to be invited to join the ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 275 pages
Published February 12th 2008 by Laurel-Leaf (first published January 1st 2008)
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I've just found out I almost died today.

From Wikipedia:

Death from laughter refers to a rare instance of death, usually resulting from cardiac arrest or asphyxiation, caused by a fit of laughter. Instances of death by laughter have been recorded from Ancient Greece to the modern day. The first recorded use of the alternative term fatal hilarity is from 1956.
Death may result from several pathologies that deviate from benign laughter. Infarction of the pons and medulla oblongata in the b
Veronica Morfi
Rating: 3/5

Pretty solid book. It was fun and entertaining. I mean...cheerleaders working as government spies! Very good to pass the time and the audiobook narrator did a great job.

Full review to come...
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Toby hates cheerleaders. She could care less about the God Squad, the most popular girls in school.

Then she finds two coded messages in her locker inviting her to try out for the squad. At first she thinks these messages are a joke, but then curiosity gets the better of her.

The first meeting is just an introduction to the squad, without practicing. At 5:30 the next morning, she attends her first practice. Toby is not a morning person -- her snark
Perhaps I would have liked this book more if I hadn't read the Gallagher Girls series (Ally Carter.)

Similar idea - high school girls training to be secret agents. Except that in this book, it's all about perfection. Perfect hair, perfect accessories, perfect make up, perfect wardrobe. Complete makeovers and everything pink. Pulling off missions by flaunting their bodies and flirting. Cheerleaders are untouchable - head of the social hierarchy, vice principal obeying their every whim, homework co
Mimi Valentine

I'm in daze of re-reading a bunch of books I previously enjoyed, and after going through the many JLB books I've already read, I decided to get on this series -- and it. Was. Awesome!

Basically, at Toby's school, the cheerleaders rule with their perky happiness and sociable intuitiveness, being called the "God Squad" for a reason -- which is why Toby is so surprised when she gets an invite to join. In code. Multiple codes, actually which the hacker in her automa

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
Priya (the literary harlot)
I really tried with this one. I kept thinking, if I just got through a few more cliches, stereotypes, horrendous world building, repetitive snark, and self-righteous brats, a kick ass plot would make up for it. I was wrong.

And Toby, I kept hoping for the badass computer geek I was promised, but all I got was this bratty brat face who thought she was the shit because...
a) she didn't know her bra size
b) she was almost ubiquitously disliked
c) she's never worn makeup
d) she finds happiness and being
I was surprised by how hilarious I thought this book was. Very witty and sarcastic, but usually not overtly so. I'm not sure how that will translate into the second book (if I'll get tired of the voice), but it worked well here.

There were some parts that I felt were rushed or not explained too well, but I was willing to go along with the ride. Toby's attitude and voice literally made me laugh out loud more than once. It's not as "young" as some other spy novels like the Gallagher Girls series (
Y. C.
"Cheerleaders and secret agents have more in common than you might think."

If you want to read a book about a group of kick ass high school girls that are secret spies as well as beautiful cheerleaders that can keep their clothes, nails and hair perfect after a mission then this is your book.

High school sophomore Toby Klein is not exactly cheerleader material. She wears combat boots, is a third degree black belt, and spends her spare time hacking into very secure computer systems. So when “the God squad,” as they are frequently referred to, sends her coded notes inviting her to try out, Toby is bewildered and curious, but has no intention of wearing a short skirt and sporting pom-poms. Then she learns that The Squad is a top-secret government program that trains and uses the girls a ...more
This book was a TEN on the twists and turns scale. The ending was so unexpected. I thought I knew what was going to happen but I was wrong.

I couldn't help but notice it's kind of similar to The Specialists Series. In both books, each person on the team has a special skill. And it's kind of ironic how both series are in the perspective of a computer whiz.

I loved the characterization of Toby. She's sassy, sarcastic, and smart. But the zero to hero thing is a little unrealistic. In reality, someone
Caitlín (Ink Mage)
At first this book was fun, but then the characters' constant predictable comments and reactions became rather tiresome. All of them had a personality difference from the others to make them distinct, but the author must think we have five-second memory and so must remind us that fact every time a character spoke. For instance, there's Brooke, the Squad leader, who is in charge all the time; Zee, an extremely-early high school grad with a PhD who can analyze anything; Chloe, who is second in com ...more
I liked The Squad and I guess I have to -begrudgingly- agree with the people out there saying it was shallow, because it was (a little but it was obvious by the summary that is was going to be at least a little shallow.

But whatever, I though it was good!

I liked the different look on cheerleaders; I mean, think about it.. when was the last time you read a YA book when the cheerleader wasn't the evil-(ahem)-witch? I personally can't remember.

So yeah, this was a nice refreshing book that really pro
Jade West
Solid 4 Stars
I finished a while ago, but I remember I freaked. The plot is nice, I can relate to having to change but I wouldn't no matter the black mail. They have good points and funny times. I like the emphasis on the training cheerleaders have to go through and how people would find them stupid because they are 'pretty'. Real cheerleaders are from all grades, they are of all diversity, they actually EAT, and they have lots of training to do. They had a better concept of real cheerleaders fak
Ayanami Faerudo
If I could put a video here, I'd put in the title sequence of Totally Spies.

The whole "cheerleader is the best spy" idea is so ridiculous that was rolling my eyes and couldn't believe it. And Toby was with me on this one.

However, Toby might have been complaining right from the start, with the woe-is-me attitude but I think she secretly liked being a cheerleader/operative.

The concept was good and way funny - that laugh-out-loud-out-of-nowhere type of funny that if I was reading in a public place,
At first look, Bayport High looks like your typical high school in an affluent neighborhood, with the same social hierarchy and some really stellar athletic facilities. A closer examination proves that the high school is anything but ordinary. Toby Klein is a sophomore computer hacker with zero school spirit and a seriously bad attitude. She’s the last person you’d ever expect to be invited as a walk-on to Bayport High’s premier cheerleading squad, also known as the God Squad. She realizes that ...more
"Hello, angels." "Hello, Charlie." That is pretty much what the Squad does whenever it gets a new assignment. Instead of three girls, there are ten. Each of them are special. All of them can fight and keep a secret. Toby Klein's skills lie in computers. Hacking, specifically. Other girls have skills in putting makeup on perfectly and fighting with knives. Other girls meaning cheerleaders.

Despite what people believe about cheerleaders, I don't think they are really that stupid as the snobbish gir
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bieke {Istyria book blog}

Perfect Cover is filled with over-the-top drama, highly unrealistic scenarios and a ton of stereotypes and I loved every second of it. You just have to read the blurb to know how unrealistic all of this is, but I didn't really care. I knew that when I started this book. It was exactly what I needed and it is why I loved it. If you go into this book expecting the same thing as me, you'll have a blast. Toby is a fun main character, a lot like me. Jennifer knows how to make great characters you wan
I LOVE THIS BOOK. It is hysterically funny. Recommended for: fans I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You
Aug 07, 2008 Allie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Joelle
ooo its FINALLY in the libary... hopefully will get it soon... spies, geeks, and cheerleaders... whats not to love???
Elspeth LaMorte
two words regarding why you should read this book: cheerleading spies
Leigh Hunt
Review to come - awesome YA spy read
Kathy Davie
First in The Squad fictional spy series for Young Adults and revolving around the unsocial Toby Klein, the furthest possible candidate for cheerleading you can imagine.

My Take
This is humorous and pokes fun at and uses our perceptions of cheerleaders as witless, social mean queens for the Perfect Cover. It's the anti-makeover makeover with a Toby who gets "elevated" to cheerleader status, and she moans and groans all the way through. She doesn't want this "honor", and yet she slowly comes to unde
Toby Klein is a sixteen year old girl attending Bayport High. She's a rebel, fierce, brave and a social outcast. She starts to receive some encrypted messages from the popular Varsity Cheerleading Squad about upcoming try-outs. What do the cheerleaders want with her? She just wants to melt into the background and protect her little brother, Noah, from school bullies. Well, after some curiosity that Toby has surrounding the mysterious notes, she decides to go to the try-outs just because it will ...more
Paula  Phillips
A few months ago, I discovered The Squad series from Jennifer Lynn Barnes and I read the 2nd Book and enjoyed it as I love spy novels like this as it reminds me of one of my all-time favourite shows "Veronica Mars" mixed with a bit of the movie "DEBS".
In The Squad , we meet Toby Klein who has just enrolled as a transfer at Baysview High School and loves to be invisible but that won't last for long as somebody or should I say a group of people know who she really is and wants her skills. We disc
originally posted at

The last thing Toby Klein ever wants to be compared to is a cheerleader. She’s nothing like them – they do roundoffs and back flips; she does roundhouses and Jujitsu. Cheerleaders like skirts and body glitter, and Toby is more of a combat boots and black pants kind of a girl. So why is she getting notes in her locker from the cheerleading squad – scribbled in purple glitter ink, no less – demanding she attend a recruiting meeting after school? When Toby, agai
Kami Dodson-Perry
I did not know what to expect from this series but I have read the 1st 2 books of Jennifer Lynn Barnes "Raised by Wolves" series and really loved them.

This series is about cheerleaders who are also government operatives. This peeked my interest. I am not a girly girl and hated the cheerleaders of my high school but that helped me relate to the main character Toby in this series.

Toby is quick witted, stubborn, tough, and all around tom boy. Toby's plan in life to this point (Sophomore year) was t
Funny. Like Oh My Gods, this book was far more original than I expected. This one, on the other hand, was very good, funny, interesting. The characters were good, but will need some real developement real soon. The book should have been longer.
---This series lacks purpose, though. All it is going to be is a series of missions, maybe related, maybe not. It'll be funny and light, and we'll get to know more about the characters, there will be some cheesy romance thing. Not bad, but not good eithe
If you're looking for the book with the perfect combination of cheerleaders and not so ditsy blondes then Perfect Cover is the book for you!

But whose actually looking for that? I certainly wasn't. But Perfect Cover manages to incorporate cheerleaders that know how to kick some serious bad guy butt. In fact these cheerleaders are spies.

I loved how Barnes turned something like cheerleading into an idea that makes them spies and sweet girls who have each other backs. In fact, that was one of the th
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Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has been, in turn, a competitive cheerleader, a volleyball player, a dancer, a debutante, a primate cognition researcher, a teen model, a comic book geek, and a lemur aficionado. She's been writing for as long as she can remember, finished her first full book (which she now refers to as a "practice book" and which none ...more
More about Jennifer Lynn Barnes...

Other Books in the Series

The Squad (2 books)
  • Killer Spirit (The Squad, #2)
Raised by Wolves (Raised by Wolves, #1) Trial by Fire (Raised by Wolves, #2) The Naturals (The Naturals, #1) Taken by Storm (Raised by Wolves, #3) Every Other Day

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“I'd sold my soul to get out of detention.” 11 likes
“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” 11 likes
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