Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Squad” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.37  ·  Rating details ·  54 ratings  ·  24 reviews
This darkly comic debut novel by an award-winning playwright is like Mean Girls meets Heathers with a splash of Bring it On.

Jenna Watson is a cheerleader. But it’s not some Hollywood crap. Cheerleaders are not every guy’s fantasy; they are not the “popular girls” or the “mean girls” of Marsen High School. They’re too busy for that. They're literally just some human females
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Squad, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Squad

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  54 ratings  ·  24 reviews

Sort order
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
I really liked parts of this novel and other parts I just totally couldn't relate with. Overall if wound up being not for me. The writing is good, but the plot could use some work. I don't read a lot of contemporaries, but I felt drawn to this one and really enjoyed it for a while, but then it just got too depressing to read. I'm sure plenty of people would love it, but it was just NOT for me.
Mar 08, 2019 marked it as to-read
If you think I want to read this because the author has the same name as me, and it comes out 6 days before my 26th birthday... you would be right.
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
3.5 stars, rounded up

Cheerleading. Best friends. LARPing. Falling in and out of relationships. All in a sophomore year, right?

Holy moly do I have feels about this book. I'm so torn.

For the purposes of talking freely about this book and my feelings, I'm going to put the rest of this review into spoilers.

(view spoiler)
Mar 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I don't know what I was expecting when I requested this book; I think I thought this would be a darker book, but instead we got your classic coming-to-age story. I'm happy I read it, but it's not something I would have picked up on my own. The story followed Jenna who was quickly dropped by her cheerleading group and best friend and had to find herself again. There was a trans romance which I enjoyed, but it was also a by-the-numbers story. Jenna was a "popular" girl so she found herself in a ho ...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rating: 3.5 Stars

When I first saw the cover of this book, I thought this was going to be a story about cheerleading, but it's really a tale of one girl's struggle, when she loses her "squad".

Jenna couldn't figure out when or why it all began, but her teammates were icing her out. Between the in-jokes, the backhanded compliments, and the unanswered text messages, Jenna knew she was now on the outside looking in. All of this was very painful for Jenna, but the worst part was how her long-time best
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I feel like you could easily read either too much or too little into this but I’m taking this at surface value and just want to say that you need to have been a teenage girl to be here for it

I’m sure we’ve all had bouts of vindictiveness and I feel like this story nailed that experience of passive aggressive exclusion without much more melodramatics

the plot and tone abruptly shifted at the “larping and romance” point and again at the end for the quick wrap up umm it was strange

again strange bu
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This was just alright for me. The book felt overly weighed down with cliches and stereotypes despite trying so desperately to be fresh.

A brief summary: Jenna is a cheerleader, but she wants you to know she isn't a stereotypical cheerleader. The story follows her as she has a mini-breakdown after the fallout with her former best friend, Raejean. Jenna has an identity crisis and doesn't even seem to know who she is anymore, but after initially losing herself and her best friend, she begins to find
Belle Ellrich
Jan 20, 2019 rated it liked it

You know, I always thought that my cheerleading days were behind me. That I'd forgotten everything about tuck jumps, and toe touches, and high and low v's. But this book brought aaaalll of those memories back.

I almost felt attacked while reading this book. Mariah MacCarthy really hit the mark with the MC being a teen girl, and it was a little terrifying. They managed to capture the feelings, emotions, and actions of a teen girl perfe
Matt Tynan
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m not usually one for stories about cheerleaders, but MacCarthy’s debut was engaging, authentic, and tender. I finished it in three days and could hardly put it down.

Jenna, a very human cheerleader, starts to feel a growing distance between her and her best friend Raejean. She tries desperately to double down on being besties, only to have it backfire and make things worse and worse. This sense of the friendship being a Sisyphusian boulder of hopelessness grows until Jenna snaps and decides to
Ashley Rogers
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Squad. I think what I enjoyed most about it was McCarthy's ability to create really awesome characters and a plot that made me feel for Jenna, her plight, and how sometimes friends drift apart and the jealousy and lack of understanding we feel when this happens. McCarthy also tackles the anxiety of "Having to find a new friend group," and participating in new experiences (Vampire LARPing) really well.

I also just straight up loved James, and how, yeah Jenna is coming
There are some things I liked about this book, and some things that I disliked. You can find out the specifics in my blog review, here, but here is the main gist:


- A portrayal of cheerleading that isn't a total stereotype
- Relatable depictions of common teenage struggles like loneliness and friendship break-ups
- Super interesting exploration of intense friendship
- Inclusion of a unusual hobby that I had never heard of (LARP-ing) that was very interesting to read about


- Some as
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, aty-2018
Squad is an intriguing, if uneven, story of a teen cheerleader named Jenna who tries to navigate a world without her best friend, Raejean. Their relationship had been off since junior year started and, unable to understand why, Jenna proceeds to drive herself a little bit mad in attempts to endear herself to her friend, and feel part of the team of her cheer squad. After an official falling out, Jenna looks for a life outside of cheer and re-connects with her older brother, pursues a new relatio ...more
Sara Grossaint
I'm overflowing with affection for this book. My only complaint is that it wasn't just a little bit longer...but that's something that's wrong with most YA contemporaries.

I just hardcore identified with our main character, Jenna throughout basically this entire book. I've never quite gotten to the point where I (view spoiler) but a similar anger and desire has been there before. I know there are million books, movies, and tv shows that push t
Kelly Tarr
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the first half of the book better than the second half - the first half was "as advertised" about a girl being passive-aggressively mean-girled on her cheerleading squad. It was interesting and well-written, and very believable about how the other girls were acting and the hurt it caused. The second half of the book was unexpectedly about the main character making new friends and having a new romance. This second story was interesting and nuanced, but did not feel related to the original ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Summary sounded interesting but couldn't make myself keep reading after the protagonist thought about suicide (and only didn't because other people's reactions to her death would have been annoying), spent several weeks in a revenge-fueled haze towards the bff she suddenly finds herself out of sync with, and then impulsively cuts off that same (ex?) bff's hair while she sleeps. The protagonist obsesses over her (ex?) bff in a way that is not healthy on either side of the love/hate coin, and whil ...more
Becca Barnett
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
There was a certain amount of trudging through the beginning of this book. I felt like it was a lot of whining and it moved slowly at first. That being said, the character development was amazing. It's very inclusive and informative, as well as setting a good example for emotions and boundaries by the end. Overall I very much enjoyed this and I'll probably read it again, I just have trouble with the beginning part being slow and whiny.
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I rather liked this book. I think it’s really cool how it portrays an ending of an intense female friendship and shows that platonic relationships can be just as important has romantic ones. You don’t really see a lot of books that show “friend breakups,” but they’re such a universal experience!
Sara Gregory
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Charming book about a teen girl that goes from self-absorbed to scrappy.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
I really liked this book, mostly because i found the main character incredibly realistic and easy to emphasize with. Jenna is a cheerleader who in her junior year starts feeling a distance between her and her best friend. She tries so hard to fix it, and nothing works, she just makes it worse. Jenna has to figure out who she is without cheerleading or her old friends. I was confused at times whether it was supposed to be a thriller, romance or just contemporary fiction, the book itself seems a b ...more
rated it really liked it
Mar 17, 2019
rated it liked it
Mar 16, 2019
Elizabeth Drury
rated it really liked it
Mar 17, 2019
Vera Elwood
rated it it was ok
Feb 06, 2019
rated it liked it
Nov 16, 2018
rated it liked it
Mar 15, 2019
Megan Huenemann
rated it liked it
Dec 11, 2018
rated it it was ok
Mar 02, 2019
rated it liked it
Feb 19, 2019
Rachel Reeves
rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2018
Christine Martin
rated it it was ok
Feb 23, 2019
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Small Town Hearts
  • 7 Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes (Gert Garibaldi's Rants and Raves, #2)
  • Last Girl Lied To
  • Earth to Charlie
  • Out of Salem
  • Memory: Stadt der Träume
  • Kiss Number 8
  • Hold My Hand
  • Siege
  • Hearts Made for Breaking
  • Happily and Madly
  • The Pursuit of Miss Heartbreak Hotel
  • The Meaning of Birds
  • Since We Last Spoke
  • Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens
  • How Not to Ask a Boy to Prom
  • Just Say Yes
  • Spies, Lies, and Allies
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »