Perfect Cover (The Squad, 1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, January 1, 2008. 275 pages. Published by Laurel-Leaf. Source: Own.
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 varsity cheerleading squad.First Sentence
But things are different at Bayport.
Bayport'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. Athletically, they're unmatchable, though they make it all look easy on the field. Mentally, they're exceptional--but with one flash of their gorgeous smiles, you'll completely forget that. Socially, they're gifted so they can command and manipulate any situation. And above all, they have the perfect cover, because, beyond herkies and highlights, no one expects anything from a cheerleader.
Toby Klein might not seem like the most likely recruit, but she's never been one to turn down a challenge. If she can handle the makeover, Bayport Hight may just have found its newest cheerleader.
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.
Perfect Cover has been out for nine years...I've owned a copy for four years now...yeah, I'm thinking it was high time to "dust" it out and see what Jennifer Lynn Barnes cooked up with her cheerleaders/secret agents story!! Are you ready?
- I don't really know why it took me so long to read Perfect Cover! There were definitely things I liked, and things I disliked about this book. Yet overall, it was a fairly good read and amusing enough to make up for the book the put me in a slight reading slump. There was a nice mixture of cheesy, lightheartedness and action to make it worth my time.
- Even though I quite enjoyed reading it, there were a few things I did not enjoy. I'll be honest here, I did not like Toby. I know, I know, she was supposed to be "cool" with her "antisocial/I'm so different from the other girls-ness", but she annoyed the daylights out of me. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy characters that are different and not confined to a mold, yet her character seemed to be trying too hard to, you know, not be like her squad mates. I don't know, it could have just been the way the author wrote Toby's personality, or maybe just that she was, well, irritating.
- Toby aside, I really liked the premise of the book, that of cheerleaders being secret agents for the government, it was fascinating. Fascinating because she took how cheerleaders, and of we're honest women/girls, are underestimated and used it to conceal the Squads true purpose. While I did have my problems with some of the characters, I really enjoyed the tension amongst the squad and how not everyone got along as it gave the story more to draw from when they were not saving the world (or you know cheering).
- Writing-wise, it was okay. Though you can definitely tell that it was written almost a decade ago as it is beginning to show it's age. Even though it was so 2008, I still found it enjoyable because who doesn't enjoy a good spy book during the summer. While predictable at times, I am still willing to give Jennifer Lynn Barnes another shot; maybe one of her newer books will be even more enjoyable.
Final Verdict: Perfect Cover- Interesting premise and some very (scary) dangerous girls that were deadly and snarky. It had its good and bad points, but overall an enjoyable read.
Perfect Cover earns
A copy of this book was purchased by me. All thoughts are my own.