Saturday, January 19, 2013

**REVIEW** Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

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.

Release Date: July 3, 2012
Published By: Harper Teen
Review Copy: Hardcover, 352 pages


  This is a difficult review for me.  I had been so excited about this book when it first came out and really wanted it.  As it is with life I got busy and the "to buy" list piled up an this one got lost amongst a sea of others.  Needless to say when I finally picked it up, I basically started reading it.  Then the magic just didn't happen.  I mean the want was there but my need just wasn't being filled.  Sadly I put it down only a few chapters in.  Then one day fate intervened and I left my kindle with the book I was reading at home and like a beacon Team Human sat on the seat in my car.

  Mel was a well written and determined main character.  She was very stuck on her own ideas of right and wrong, loves her friends and isn't vampire crazy either.  To be honest she went a little above and beyond with the not liking vampires.  I know you are all saying that this book is called "Team Human" and I expected her to not be for the entire dating a different species (for lack of a better word) but Mel went beyond that.  What started out as wanting to protect her friend from the possibility of being hurt became a mission to keep her simply away from the vampire that her friend was completely besotted with.  I admired her determination to stay alive and keep her friends this way but she also overlooked a few details because of her ways.  Despite all of this she learns a lot on her adventure throughout this book and though her views stay the same on the people/vamp relations I believe she grew.

  Cathy and Anna, Mel's friends were both interesting but I was far more drawn to Cathy than Anna.  Cathy had been Mel's best friend since as long as either of them could remember but they were both impossibly different.  Love was something Cathy believed just happened and not all the time.  She was a once you meet the love of your life you know it and that's just the way it is kind of girl.  She didn't go around dating everyone to find out if they were "the one" but it seemed when she met Francis that there was an immediate connection.  Anna was touch and go with me.  I understood her hesitation towards vampires and why she didn't want Cathy with one but then it was like the next moment she would support her.  I guess that's what a good friend does but the fact that only moments before she was saying how it wasn't right just kind of picked at me.

Francis and Kit, I'm not sure really where to begin with these two.  Francis was interesting and boring at the same time.  In this book vampires can't laugh(can you imagine never laughing again) so I guess that's why the guy didn't have a sense of humour but the laughs that I got at his expense were priceless.  He wasn't a bad guy but he was bland and even the way he went about asking questions was just so... Well so blah that I personally would have had to poke fun at him because honestly I'm not sure how else you would deal with him.  Kit was kind of like a ward.  A human raised by vampires and wanted to be a vampire when he grew up.  Though this was because he didn't know any other way.  I like to believe that he is the reason Mel started to come around and began to deal a little better with the relationship between Cathy and Francis.

  The story is witty and cleverly written.  I enjoyed the change in pace with someone that didn't just drool all over vampires as the main character.  The fact that everyone was playing at such a different level and with such different ideas the entire book through was fun as well.  Another fun bit was that the vampires had their own little twist too, not being able to laugh and that a bite didn't automatically turn you.  Things could go wrong, very wrong actually and you may end up being a mindless zombie!  Loved it, gave a minor twist that tied in two different things I love.  The ending also tied everything up in such a way that I was entirely happy.

  So as you can see this book and I had our ups and downs but I did enjoy it in the end.  I'm glad that fate had me pick this one back up and give it the chance that I probably wouldn't have given it as soon as I did.  Though people have stated that this is a parody on vampire books I found that it could be more than just vampire book but many YA types that are out right now.  I would suggest picking this up if you want a few laughs and a change from the girls that would jump and vampire that walks through the doors!

"Does anyone else think it's a bit ridiculous that he came to lunch when he doesn't eat?" I asked."To be fair, neither does half of the cheerleading team," Ty said.

I don't spend all my time being obnoxious to vampires.  Mostly what I'm good at  is what Anna said I was: taking care of my friends.

I mercifully stopped myself from adding the words to play at the  end of that sentence.  Apparently all I have to do is feel a little uneasy, and I revert to kindergarten.

"In very, very different ways.  Cathy dreams longingly of being locked in his ardentbelow-room temperature embrace; I dream longingly of beating his head in with a deck chair."

"I said I was going to call because I was going to call.  Why would anyone say that if they weren't going to?  That's completely insane!  How do humans even function as a society?..."


  1. I haven't read this one yet, but probably will soon. Glad you enjoyed despite the issues.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. Love parodies! Happy you liked it...mostly. :)

  3. Haven't read this yet but I appreciate your thoughts! I'm glad to hear it has an unique take on the vampire story:)

  4. When I brought this home from the library, I honestly didn't have the highest hopes for it. I knew that some reviewers that I follow closely loved it, and then the others hated it. So I definitely had mixed feelings. When I first started reading it, like you, I put it down after a couple of chapters. But I decided to keep on going and see what happened, and I am so glad that I did! I actually ended up loving it. All of the characters were very well written, with very unique and sometimes quirky characteristics. The plot was so different from anything else that I have ever read. I just really enjoyed it. And I love that it is so seamless, that you can't tell where Justine begins and Sarah ends.


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