3.29 (471 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 trying to live their lives and do a perfect toe touch. But that all changed after Raejean stopped talking to Jenna and started hanging out with Meghan Finnegan. Jenna stopped getting invited out with the rest of the squad and she couldn't tell if it was on purpose or if it was all in her head.

At times heartbreaking, at others hilarious, Squad follows Jenna through her attempts to get revenge on Raejean and invent a new post-cheer life for herself through LARPING (live action role-playing) and a relationship with a trans guy that feels like love - but isn't. In the, end Jenna discovers that who she is is not defined by which squad she's in.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 143 x 218 x 24mm | 338g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0374307504
  • 9780374307509
  • 2,705,242

Review quote

*A Washington Blade Springs Arts 2019 Book List Pick*

"Jenna may not get everything she wants by the end of the book, but what she does get, she works for, and that makes for a satisfying journey. Squad is a short, highly concentrated blast of a book that revels in all the best and worst feelings of high school and offers the reader a charismatic and imperfect character to fall in love with. Jenna certainly won me over, and so did Squad." --NPR

"An openhearted debut that, like Jenna herself, has wonderfully surprising depth." --Booklist

"Plenty of books for young readers take on the subject of overt, aggressive bullying; this novel follows a less traveled and surprisingly substantive theme of a girl whose sense of self, forged in a pressure cooker of high expectations, is challenged in ways that cause her to misread situations and transform, momentarily, into a bully herself." --Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"An authentic, relatable voice . . . debut novelist MacCarthy pulls off this concoction of topics with aplomb, matter-of-factly introducing Jenna's feelings for James and treating cheer and LARP with equal earnestness. The resolution is satisfyingly realistic . . . an affirming story." --Horn Book

"Upon finishing this book, I realized it was the first cheerleader narrative I have read that shows their lives beyond the glamour, as the featured cheerleaders create meaningful ties with Live Action Role Players (LARPers) and queer culture."--Lithium Magazine
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About Mariah Maccarthy

Mariah MacCarthy is an award-winning writer. She's written for BuzzFeed, Yes! Magazine, LOOK Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, and others. Her award-winning plays have been performed all over the world, and the New York Times said her work was "a lot of fun." Squad is her first novel. mariahmaccarthy.com
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Rating details

471 ratings
3.29 out of 5 stars
5 12% (55)
4 29% (135)
3 41% (191)
2 15% (71)
1 4% (19)
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