Book Review: Team Human

Title/Author:  Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Genre:  Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Satire

Published:  July 3rd, 2012 by HarperTeen

Hardcover, 352 pages

How I Got This Book:  Checked it out from the library

Why I Picked It Up?:  Honestly, I had heard about this book for a while before I decided to pick it up.  But a few positive reviews convinced me to read it.

Book Jacket Blurb:  “Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn’t mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It’s up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.

Acclaimed authors Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan team up to create a witty and poignant story of cool vampires, warm friendships, and the changes that test the bonds of love.”

My Review of this Work:

Are you a lover of vampire literature but realize that vampires are, in fact, scary?  Do you sometimes wonder what these girls are thinking, falling in love with those sexy vamps?

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Vampire Diaries as much as the next enthusiast, but sometimes I do find myself wondering why Elena and Matt never worked out, or why Bella just didn’t go for Mike and make things easier.  I mean, common sense says that one should stay away from scary things that drink human blood (or transform under moonlight, or eat brains, etc etc).  Together, Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan create a story that have answered my “why not a nice human boy” wonderings in their Paranormal Parody Team Human!

This book has two stories: the “Stop Cathy from throwing her life away” story and the “find out what happened to Anna’s dad” story.  Mel’s BFF Cathy has fallen in love with a vampire named Francis after knowing him for about 12 seconds.  After spending a week with him, Cathy has decided to officially be turned into a vampire by the government.  Now it is up to Mel to convince her not to “throw her life away.”  On the flip side, Anna (Mel’s school friend) is upset because her father apparently ran away with a vampire client.  So Mel helps Anna try to piece together the clues that maybe he didn’t run away…  Both of these subplots meld together nicely and cohesively to form this awesome satirical novel about the pros of humanism and the lives of vampires.

What I loved about Mel:  she is a girl in a vampire story that is finally super rational about vampires!  Yippee!! Most heroines in vampire novels fall in love with them and think it is romantic or something to turn into one.  But Mel thinks it’s stupid.  Thank you Mel, for being a girl that thinks rationally about the world of vampires!

I love looking at the different mythologies behind paranormal elements in different novels and worlds.  In the Team Human world, there is a paperwork process you must go through to become a vampire (very structured and very allowable).  But if the turn is not successful, you end up as a brain-eating zombie.  I thought this was a very interesting way to tie these two creatures together into one world, and it was very convincing and easy to accept!  This is the first novel that actually fuses vampires with zombies, and I kind of liked it!

Kit is my favorite character because he is so interesting on a developmental level.  He was raised by a coven of vampires and kind of brought up like one would raise a puppy.  But these emotion-devoid vampires loved him as their own.  He has had very few human interactions, so when he meets Mel he begins to really learn what it truly means to be human.  To see him be so defensive of his “vamily” (get it, a family of vampires heehee) and yet so inquisitive of his humanism creates this great dichotomy of the vampire world and the human world.  And yet through him, we get to see the fusion of these two separate worlds.  Plus, he is just super cute!
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While Team Human was written as a parody to all the romantic vampire stories out there, I do think that it has solidly earned a spot up there in great vampire stories!  This novel is cleverly written and has some really great characters.  Thank you, Justine and Sarah, for bringing the world a vampire novel that makes sense!

My Bookshelf Rating: 

A Fourth Shelf Book!

From beginning to end, this books was pure joy!  Not only did I like the story and the characters, but I loved the satire!  What a great way to combine all of the crazy aspects of vampire romance and place them in one book!  No, but seriously, I really did enjoy the story (and vampire philosophy) that these two ladies told!  A humorous and exciting read full of interesting characters and, of course, a leading lady that has common sense when it comes to Vampires haha!

Love and Secret Santas!,
Jennifer

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