06 July 2016

Perfect Cover

Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: The Squad #1
Rating: 3 / 5 stars
Verdict: Borrow

Late June/early July has been a rather slow period for me with books, so I decided to dive into another one of Barnes's series since I just inhaled the new Fixer novel and am eagerly awaiting the next installment in The Naturals series.

Perfect Cover, the first novel in The Squad series, isn't quite up to par with Barnes's more recent novels.  The plot was kind of bland.  Toby gets a few mysterious and coded messages left for her, telling her to go meet the Bayport cheer squad members to audition.  Since School Spirit is about the last thing on Toby's mind, she isn't all that excited, but goes anyway since they are inviting her with messages written in invisible ink.  She shows up, isn't all the impressed, then gets another message, and almost at the snap of the cheer squad's leader's fingers, ends up being a government spy whose cover is a high school cheerleader.

Granted, most teenage spy plots have similar eye rolling developments, but everything at the beginning of Perfect Cover happens so quickly I can't help but poke fun at it a little.  In fact, I wish Barnes had as well.  I think Perfect Cover may suffer from taking itself a little too seriously.  It could have used more humor to fluff the plot a little, since the plot is more technology plotting than adventure.  Humor could have helped make up for a lack of excitement.

Still, Toby is likable enough, and her brother adds a little comic relief.  While not a book I would stay up under the covers all night reading obsessively, it's probably a nice light summer read perfect for a day at the beach or a long ride on a plane.

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