The squad that reads together, stays together. And that’s why we’ve compiled this list of books featuring ensemble casts that will make you want to hang out with your besties, and host an emergency book club meeting ASAP.
Kids of Appetite by David Arnold
Squad Members: Vic, Mad, Baz, Zuz, and Coco
Why they are Squad Goals: Because this squad has an envy-inducing name (KoA for short) and rock matching wristbands, to start with the obvious. Beyond stellar squad style, the Kids of Appetite are a group to look up to because they value one another’s individuality and quirks. They know that true friendships are the best glue to keep squads together.
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Squad Members: Ponyboy, Johnny, Darry, Sodapop, Dallas, Two-Bit, and Steve
Why they are Squad Goals: Because they’re the OG YA squad. Going 50 years strong, The Outsiders have had no problem staying gold. S.E. Hinton’s classic novel shows that a solid squad can lift you up even in the hardest of times.
Us Kids Know by JJ Strong
Squad Members: Bri, Ray, and Cullen
Why they are Squad Goals: Because there’s nothing more powerful than a group of misfits. But as siblings Bri and Ray get more entwined in Cullen’s antics, and their once-thrilling experiences grow increasingly dangerous, a series of life-changing events threatens to lead the teens down a dark path. Out October 24!
You in Five Acts by Una LaMarche
Squad members: Joy, Diego, Liv, Ethan, and Dave
Why they are Squad Goals: They represent everything a friendship means: heartbreaks, betrayals, inside jokes, and the remember-whens.
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Squad Members: Amani, Jin, Ahmed, Shazad, Imin, Hala, Bahi, and Delila
Why they are Squad Goals: Because this squad has a mission to take back the desert, and they’re just getting started! Each member of this group brings a unique strength, or in some cases special power, to their cause, which makes it easy to see that they’re stronger together. This is the rebellion and squad to join.
The Merciless by Danielle Vega
Squad Members: Sofia, Brooklyn, Riley, Grace, and Alexis
Why they are Squad Goals: Because not all squads are rainbows and butterflies. This group tackles some horrific stuff, like exorcisms, demonic visions, and undeniable evil (casual). When reading The Merciless, ask yourself, can I survive this squad?
Paper Towns by John Green
Squad Members: Quentin, Margo, Ben, Radar, and Lacey
Why they are Squad Goals: Because when a member of their squad goes missing, they are willing to do anything, even if it means skipping out on graduation, to find them. And really, there ain’t no road trip like a squad road trip.
The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour
Squad Members: Colby, Bev, Meg, Alexa
Why they are Squad Goals: Because together they make up The Disenchantments, another great group name for not the greatest band. But no matter the quality of the music, this squad knows how to have a good time—as they hit the road for one last hurrah before college.
City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson
Squad Members: Tiny Girl, Kiki, Boyboy, Bug Eye, Ketchup
Why they are Squad Goals: There is honor among thieves with this crew of break-neck break-in artists. Besides having nicknames to rival The Outsiders, this street smart gang collectively known as the Goondas is set on helping Tiny Girl avenge her mother’s mysterious murder…and steal a little something too.
Looking for more recommendations? Check out these 8 YA Characters Who Will Mess with Your Mind!