Pretty Little Liars meets Teen Wolf in this fast-paced, sharply funny, and patriarchy-smashing graphic novel from author Maggie Tokuda-Hall and artist Lisa Sterle. When the new girl is invited to join her high school’s most popular clique, she can’t believe her luck—and she can’t believe their secret, either: they’re werewolves. Fans of Mariko Tamaki and Elana K. Arnold will devour the snappy dialogue, vivid artwork, and timely social commentary. When Becca transfers to a high school in an elite San Francisco suburb, she’s worried she’s not going to fit in. To her surprise, she’s immediately adopted by the most popular girls in school. At first glance, Marley, Arianna, and Mandy are perfect. But at a party under a full moon, Becca learns that they also have a big secret. Becca’s new friends are werewolves. Their prey? Slimy boys who take advantage of unsuspecting girls. Eager to be accepted, Becca allows her friends to turn her into a werewolf, and finally, for the first time in her life, she feels like she truly belongs. But things get complicated when Arianna’s predatory boyfriend is killed, and the cops begin searching for a serial killer. As their pack begins to buckle under the pressure—and their moral high ground gets muddier and muddier—Becca realizes that she might have feelings for one of her new best friends. Lisa Sterle’s stylish illustrations paired with Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sharp writing make Squad a fun, haunting, and fast-paced thriller that will resonate with fans of Riverdale, and with readers of This Savage Song, Lumberjanes, and Paper Girls.
3 reasons to read SQUAD:
1.) The theme of staying true to yourself (and your own morality lines): When Becca starts her new school, she almost immediately has to start deciding which parts of herself she's willing to keep and which she's willing to toss aside (like her jacket) in order to fit in. While it starts off small with things like clothing choices, it turns much darker and more serious when she joins the pack as a werewolf. She has to decide if being part of a pack means pushing aside what she considers right and wrong or if she's willing to lock her own morality lines in.
2.) The illustration: Lisa Sterle blew my mind with SQUAD's illustrations. It perfectly blends the classic colorful, bright teen girl palette with the dark, edgier supernatural tones. On top of that, the fashion designs are absolutely adorable. I loved Becca's clothes in particular, but all of them were so cute. Sterle also astounds with clear facial expressions that speak volumes, even when the character isn't saying anything.
3.) The romance- I won't give spoilers to who Becca develops a crush on, but I shipped them from the first time they met. Their romance is very sweet, gentle, and grows stronger and stronger. If you like wlw friends to lovers romances, this is absolutely for you!
While completely different than THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA, Maggie Tokuda Hall once again wowed me with SQUAD.