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A lazy small town summer in 1970s Texas turns treacherous when Cal Long’s mother goes missing. Cal and her best friend Rachel, along with sophisticated new friend Jane, use every trick in their teenage arsenal to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Along the way, Cal is drawn to Jane in ways she’s never felt before while Rachel struggles to understand her best friend’s new attraction. From Amarillo to Palo Duro Canyon to Ft. Worth and back, the girls puzzle through the connections surrounding the mystery of Cal’s mother’s disappearance.
But their shocking discoveries are soon eclipsed by the explosive consequences of Cal’s surrender to her feelings for Jane.
Girl Squad is a story of friendship, of betrayal, of passion, of awakening. And ultimately, a story of transformation.
GCLS Goldie Awards
Girl Squad — Finalist, Young Adult.
FROM THE AUTHOR
"Girl Squad was born out of my desire to recreate the landscapes of my childhood in 1970s Texas, including the geography, but also the confines of religious beliefs, gender conformity and heterosexual norms. Taking a look at the special bonds of teenaged girl friendship set against this background is the story I wanted to tell."
Intrigue, romance, and girl power: Hoover's debut novel delivers that and more with small-town Texas charm. In this story set during the 1970s in Dumas, Texas, readers meet Cal on the day she learns to her great distress that her parents are getting separated. But distraction arrives in the form of the new girl, Jane, who recently relocated to the area with her wealthy family after living in big cities. When 15-year-old Cal and her best friend, freckle-faced Rachel, get to know Jane at church camp, Cal develops feelings for Jane, and they soon pursue a romantic relationship. However, Cal is worried about her mother's relationship with a strange man. When her mom goes missing, the trio's amateur sleuthing leads them into trouble. Worried that her mom's involvement with an organized crime leader may have led to her being kidnapped, the girls continue to snoop until they are caught in the center of the action. The drama unfolds at an even pace between the new couple struggling to come to terms with their feelings and social expectations while solving the mysterious affair between Cal's mom and the criminal mastermind. Ultimately Cal comes to understand the complexities both of her mother's situation and her own identity. Major characters are assumed white; Native American characters are referred to generically without recognition of their nations. A mystery/thriller wrapped in a hopeful coming-of-age and coming-out tale.
The Lesbian Review
I loved how fun and original the story was. I had no idea how it would end. It was a satisfying ending with a satisfying story and great characters.