Friday, July 13, 2012

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Publisher: HarperTeen
Age: Young Adult
Rating: 5/5
Species: Vampires/Humans/Zombies
Interest: Vampires/Sarah Rees Brennan/ Recommendation/Comedy
Source: Bought on Kindle

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.(summary from

Spoilers for Team Human are throughout this review, read at your own risk.

I love the book cover for Team Human, it perfectly depicts the relationship between Mel, Cathy and Francis.   Which is a hot-pot-mess-o'-crazy. I'm sorry, I don't care how well behaved and impeccably un-bloodthirsty your vampire boyfriend is. He's still a vampire. He's still capable of breaking your neck. I'm iffy about normal human boys with my friends, forget super powered boyfriends sweeping them off their feet. I was completely on Mel's side the entire novel. I loathed Francis and I wanted to smack some sense into Cathy. I don't care if he's "the one", "your soul-mate", or "the lord and savior of all humanity" you don't make a permanent life decision that lasts ETERNITY after knowing a guy for two weeks. That is completely mental! Agh! Cathy just made me want to punch something. She was so completely selfish. She didn't seem to listen or even care about all the bad things that could have happened with becoming a vampire, like dying or becoming a zombie. Worst of all, it seemed like she wasn't even aware of the fact that she was practically killing Mel over this. What is going to be her position on vampirism when Mel dies huh? Oh wait! She'll have precious Francis and her Shade to comfort her. *RAGE FACE* She pretty much dropped her friend after getting a boyfriend, decided she wanted to die (and expected her friend to be over joyed by this), then got into fights with Mel because she couldn't understand why her friend was pissed. I just, don't get my wrong, I had a certain soft spot for Cathy when she wasn't being an idiot (since she reminds me of two friends) but all her googly eyes and sweet endearments to Francis made me physically ill. Francis, I just wanted to mess with until he acted a teensy bit more like a freaking vampire instead of a gentleman with a stick up his ass. I can't even contain my feelings for them. I could right a magnum opus just on how much I hate their relationships and choices, take that Mr. Duvarney!

Mel and Kit were fantastic. Kit made me happy, because well, anytime a guy is called Kitten, it's adorable. Also, I loved him because even though Mel had more than enough ammo to hate vampires for the rest of her life, Kit made her question her prejudices. He made her look at the vampire lifestyle and see that it really wasn't as awful as she imagined. In turn, Mel made him see a little bit of life, and learn that there was more to it than vampires. I cannot tell you how much I love healthy give and take relationships. Good examples of relationships win over every thing, every time. Plus, they made each other laugh, which is extremely important to me. (I didn't realize how much until Mel mentioned that New Whitby vampires can't laugh. It's physically impossible. That is not something I could live with, I love to laugh.)

I was happy that Mel and Cathy came to terms with each other's lives and choices. I'm also happy that they tried to make compromises. Even so, when Cathy chose to change, it still felt like Mel was not okay, that she shouldn't have accepted it and she was giving up. I don't care how much research Cathy did beforehand, nothing prepares you for the real thing. Kit really shined in comforting Mel though, that was awesome.

In spite of the tired vampire plot, Team Human was really fantastic and enjoyable novel. I think the addition of zombies as a consequence of bad vampire transition was what made this book stand out for me. That, and snark so thick you could swim through it. There were many times I highlighted a passage because it was funny, or outright laughed at what Mel had said. I giggled, I raged, had my heart broken (seriously, Anna, baby let me love you.) and enjoyed the novelty of a girl trying to fight against vampires instead of jumping in bed with them. Oh, and the friendship, I cannot forget the best friends since you were born, know everything about each other relationship. Now, that is something to live for. (Except to Cathy.)

Go out and read this book, please! It is very good. The vampires may turn you off, but they mystery, witty comebacks and strong relationships will have you keep reading this late into the night.

Teaser Line #1: "He could be a vampire."
"Yeah, I can see it," I said. "He moves with predatory grace of a penguin."

Teaser Line #2: "How many days do you give it until someone accidentally on purpose cuts themselves to get his attention?"
"Ah, spilled blood, the vampire lover's low cut top," I said. "Personally, I'd prefer a guy who wants to see my boobs."
"You're all class, Mel."

Happy Reading,

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