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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Review: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Posted by Irish in Review1 Comment

Title: Team Human
Publisher: Harper Teen

Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 03 July 2012
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 0061953407
Format: Paperback (ARC)
Pages: 352

The Authors on the Web:

Place(s) Traveled to: New Whitby, Maine
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First Line: I wasn’t feeling very enthused about education the day the vampire came to school.

Dear Reader,

Are you one of those who think that vampire stories are horribly over done? That there is nothing about one that can be fresh and new? After all there has been every iteration of vampires that you can think of. There are the scary, blood suckers who only want to eat humans. There are the blood suckers that are tortured about needed to eat humans. There are the vampires that sparkle and those that can walk in the sun with a special ring. And those are just a few of the hundreds of incarnations that are vampires. Its really very difficult to walk down an aisle of a bookstore and not stumble across some story that involves vampires. I don’t know about you, but I for one, am a but tired of vampires…there is nothing new about their story and so they should be boxed up, put on a shelf and left there for who knows how long.

Or at least, that’s what I thought until I read Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan. Because here is a book that actually does breath new life into a tired old tale. For one, the main character Mel, is not the one to fall head over heals in love with a vampire. No, that ends up being the task of her BFF Cathy though Mel isn’t going to let her fall for a pulseless wraith (who is named Francis of all the very non-vampire sounding names) without a fight. 

I found Team Human to be filled with snark and cleverness. I could see a world like the one found in its pages really existed. I could see how there would need to be special laws involving what glass could be used in public buildings to protect the vampires if they decided to walk about during the day. This is done in special light proof spacesuits mind you because one think that Larbalestier and Brennan keep true with the old myths is that vampires and the sun do not mix. They also drink blood though that is regulated too, naturally. 

This is a book that can definitely appeal to vampire lovers and haters alike and let me tell you that is no easy task to accomplish! Team Human is considered to be a satire. It pokes fun of the vampire stories that are out there while also making them seem very real. Mel is a delightful character and I loved her banter with Kit and Cathy. I loved the shenanigans she found herself in all in the name of protecting her friend. Because friends don’t let friends date vampires. Even if that friend and vampire do seem to have a lot in common. 

Another wonderful thing about this book is how diverse it was. Larbakestier and Brennan don’t shy away from using POC characters in their book and I loved how their main character, Mel, was Asian. So often in books these days the diverse characters are regulated to being the sidekick of that perfect Caucasian specimen of a MC. Hopefully this will soon become the norm in books because the world is not made up of only blonde haired, blue eyed readers.

Team Human is a book that I read mainly because it was written by Sarah Rees Brennan whose Demon Lexicon series I absolutely devoured not too long around. I was a bit wary of the concept because as I said about I was so tired of vampire stories. But this book surprised me in its freshness. I sped through the pages and was finished with the book before I even realized it. There is so much wonderful goodness that fills its pages that you just want to get lost inside it for a time. It also saddens me that this is the only time that we will get to see Mel and Cathy, Kit and Francis and all the other wonderful characters that fill this world. Which is another bit of a miracle because not only am I over vampires but I am so tired that every book seems to be a series of some sort.

If you’ve been waiting to read Team Human because it is another vampire story then I am here to tell you to stop waiting and get reading. If you love vampire books and haven’t read this one yet then you’ll want to add it to your list. This is a book that has something in it for everyone. There are also lots of hidden little gems and surprises contained within its pages as well that are sure to delight no matter which team you find yourself on – Human or Vampire. 

One Response to “Review: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan”

  1. Liyana

    I’m currently reading this, and though it’s full of all the materials I love (witty, snappy banter etc) I’m not fully immersed. Bet it’s going to be better once Kit’s on the scene. 😉