Heathers + Pretty Little Liars + Werewolves = Squad!
Becca is nervous about starting a new high school after her parent’s divorce, but she is unexpectedly friended by Marley, one of a trio of popular girls. The other two, Amanda and RiRi, also accept her and soon they are a quartet. Becca endures a lot of peer pressure and veiled jabs from the group but is thrilled to belong. A shocking secret is revealed when the girls save Becca from a possible sexual assault at a beach party- they are werewolves! Becca with few qualms joins the squad, even knowing they need to kill once a month.
The group tries to spread out their killings to avoid detection and only prey upon creeps, but they don’t always succeed. Things come to a head when Becca accidentally kills Thatcher, RiRi’s boyfriend and a prominent athlete, and the girls end up leaving clues behind. The school population thinks the girls had something to do with it, yet they have no idea the true nature of the crime. Eventually, they cover their tracks to the public but now are on the radar of Allyson, a college student and former Alpha of the group who realizes the high school group of wolves are getting sloppy. In the midst of all this chaos, Becca and Mandy begin a sweet romance, with juxtaposes against the gore of the killings.
The art is bright and bold, with somewhat of a retro vibe. When the squad becomes werewolves the colors shift to a darker jewel-tone palette with black borders. Each girl stands out, with a nice variety of types found in the student body. Fashionistas will appreciate all the clothing changes and hairstyles of the girls.
This tale of fighting back against toxic masculinity is imperfectly told and requires a huge suspension of disbelief, yet was a fun read. Its chosen YA audience will eat it up (pun intended)!