13 Squads in YA, Definitively Ranked
I’m ranking our favorite friendship squads in YA. Why? Because I can.
13. The Football Team from Throw Like a Girl by Sarah Henning
A literal team of dudes who gather around a female quarterback? YAS, puh-leeze! This football team is less than perfect, but what good team is perfect? As Liv tries to prove herself to the football team and earn her place as quarterback, she gets to know more of the guys. Some become great friends, and most are determined but amiable guys. While the romance between Liv and Grey totally takes centerstage in this book, the football team is definitely a great crew of dudes who stole my heart with their a-dork-able antics.
12. The Crew from Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Okay, so this series is less ‘series’ and so far more like two tightly entwined stand-alones. We were first introduced to this friend group in Simon vs. The homo Sapiens Agenda and then got another glimpse in Leah on the Offbeat. And this crew of high-school buddies totally stole my heart from the beginning. And while the drama gets real, they all can band together and forgive each other for their mistakes.
11. The Sophronia Squad from the Finishing School Series by Gail Carriger
I’m calling this crew the Sophronia squad after their officially unofficial leader, Sophronia. She is “covert recruit” to Mademioselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But this is no normal finishing school in this steampunk version of Victorian Britain. Oh no, this school trains girls in the subtle art of espionage and intelligence. Each member of the team is quirky, funny, and cunning in their own way, and Sophronia leverages their talents, and employs a few of her own, in the subversion of many a dastardly hidden scheme. I would advise keeping this squad of intelligencers on your good side.
10. The Royal Dream Team from The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima
If you’ve not read Cinda Williams Chima’s Seven Realms Series, I pity you. Because that means you haven’t yet seen the charm and the charisma that is Hanson Alister or the amazing queenly badass that is Raisa ana’Marianna. While this dream team doesn’t exactly team up until later in the series, take my word on it that they are AMAZING. Hanson, as leader of the Raggers street gang, has street smarts aplenty and some secrets hidden up his sleeve. And Raisa is a warrior-trained princess-heir to the throne ready to see her country safeguarded. With a few more additions, including a wizard in training, a street thief, and a Queen’s Guard cadet, this crew might just save the world.
9. The Raven Boys from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
The Raven Boys is a term for students at Aglionby, a private school. But these Raven Boys are Gansey, Adam, Ronan, and Noah, four students on a quest to discover a long-dead Welsh king, Glendower. Each of the Raven Boys are souls tortured in their own ways, looking for Glendower for their own reasons. But, be real, what is better than a group of angsty, tortured teen boys in a contemporary fantasy tale of magic, love, and loss?
8. The Upper East Side Squad from the Gossip Girl Series by Cecily von Ziegesar
By now, y’all better know GOSSIP GIRL IS BACK! HBO just signed a new series, and if there was ever a time for a reboot it’s now! Unfortunately, it sounds like the new show won’t be following the antics of Blair, Serena, Chuck, and the rest of the OG gang, who fall on number 9 on this list? Why? Because they’re ICONIC. The Upper East Side Squad is full of back-stabbing mean girls and guys whose main problem is life is whether to get the Gucci or the Fendi. When they’re not constantly undermining each other with scandals and heartache. Look, they’re not very nice or very caring, but gosh if you just can’t help but love ‘em. In the indelible words of Gossip Girl herself, “You know you love me. Xoxo.”
7. The Diviners from The Diviners Series by Libba Bray
I rave about The Diviners a lot, but that’s just because it’s actually incredible. I love this book so, so much. Of course, the eponymous Diviners had to make this list. All the Diviners are fantastic, from Evie O’Neill, flapper extraordinaire, to Sam Lloyd, street thief and charmer, to Memphis, healer and poet, and Theta, girl with a mysterious past and an even more mysterious power. There’s also Ling Chan, who can talk to the dead and Henry Dubois who can walk through dreams, and maybe even more diviners out and about. The crew may not be fully aligned, or even aware of the battles that are about to befall them, but they bumble through 1920’s New York City with charm and alacrity, and goodness are they fun!
6. Squadron 20 from Light Years by Kass Morgan
The literal squad…20. This group of interstellar cadets is paired together at the Quatra Fleet Academy and forced to work together to compete for the top spot. And while they’re not exactly the most cohesive team at first, plagued by competitive tendencies and tension between Vesper and Cormak, pilot and captain. But once the team comes together. Well, sparks (and their test scores) fly up to high heaven. When the very fate of the Quatra system is endangered, what will Squadron 20 do? Well, you’ll have to read to find out!
5. The Trifecta from Trinkets by Kirsten Smith
QUEENS. ALL OF THEM. Get ready for these ladies to steal your hearts and your wallets. When Tabitha, beauty queen, Elodie, wallflower, and Moe, burnout, all end up in the same Shoplifter’s Anonymous meeting, everything changes. The story of this unlikely trio is warm and humorous and gave us the most adorable trifecta of thieves to ever grace the pages of contemporary YA. And the best shoplifting mantra: “Friendship is priceless. Everything else you can steal.”
4. The Shadow Hunters from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
SHADOWHUNTER ARMY, where you at? The Shadowhunter Squad is literally so big, it’s a literal secret international organization dedicated to fighting demons. If thinking of the Shadowhunters as one massive crew is too much, lets break it down to my fave Shadowhunting Squad, the OG team from City of Bones. When Clary and her bff from childhood Simon meet up with Jace and the Lightwoods, the tension is real. But by the end, the crew is tight and ready to fight for the survival of the world itself.
3. The Thief Squad from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
What can I say about my precious crows? They are a thieving band of beautiful babies who deserve the world. What I love about them is the way their different personalities bounce off each other while their skills come together in a beautiful amalgamation of purloining perfection. They’re funny and badass. What else could you ask for from an Ocean’s 11 style crew in a fantasy world attempting to pull off a seemingly impossible feat?
2. The Court of Shadows from Folk of the Air Series
Of course the Court of Shadows is on this list! These spy-king and queens of the Fae Court are the backbone of all Jude’s plans. And what a backbone! They’re conniving killers and plotters, ready to take the courtiers’ feet out from under them. Between the Ghost, the Bomb, and the Roach, let alone all the other secret members, the Court of Shadows is unthwartable. Unless its thwarting itself…
1. The Gryffindor Trio from the Harry Potter Series
I mean, did you think any other dream team would have been able to sit this spot? Look, I know some of you are like, “Excuse me, ma’am. This is a YA list. Harry Potter is a children’s book.” But we all have to realize that by the end of the series, those books could totally qualify as YA. And has there been a more iconic squad than the HP trifecta? I’m not sure there has been or will be again. They’re wizards. They’re warriors. They battled the dark lord multiple times. Like, I think they’ve earned it.