Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Squad: Killer Spirit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: The Squad: Killer Spirit (Book 2)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Pages: 336
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Publication Date: February 12, 2008

Saying Toby Klein is an unlikely cheerleader is like saying Paris Hilton might be into guys---understatement of the year. But the varsity squad at Bayport High gives new meaning to the phrase All-American, and Toby's double life as a varsity cheerleader and a government operative means balancing protocol, pep rallies, computer hacking, and handsprings.

Now something's about to go down in Bayport, and the Big Guys Upstairs need to know what. The Squad is on the case, but it looks like this mission could put the 'L' in lethal. And if the spy business doesn't kill Toby, it's starting to look like Brooke, the team's captain, might. The nominations are in for homecoming court, rumor has it that Toby is the unlikely front-runner for queen.

Terrorist threat? Bloody mission gone wrong? Demented squad captain? Bring it on.

Three words: I LOVE TOBY. She is my idol. I admire her strong-willed, sarcastic-snapping, down-to-earth self. The second book in The Squad, for me, is better than the first. I loved all the action and how Barnes made it totally unpredictable. And this is coming from a spy junkie that can usually anticipate what happens next. It was just so capricious and witty at the same time. I loved it. It's cheerleading and espionage put together.

Killer Spirit never got boring. Barnes did a fantastic job keeping it exciting and fast-paced for the entire book. Even when The Squad wasn't on a mission, there was usually some interesting conflict between Toby and Jack, or Toby and a Squad member. I always looked forward to the constant bickering of Jack and Toby.

Although I loved the writing and some of the characters in this book, it still has it's weaker points. For instance, I don't think that this would be a memorable read. It isn't a book I'd remember two months from now. I didn't find it as unique or as significant as the other books I've read. I found some of the characters unoriginal and frustrating. Lots of them were common stereotypes that one would expect from a YA book.

The Bottom Line: Loved the action. Hated the stereotypes. It's Charlie's Angels meet Bring it On. A good action and mystery thriller but not enough to be distinctly significant. B+ :-)


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