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.
Why I Read This Book
I had been reading so many good things about this book, that it was an urban fantasy, but FUNNY! I wanted something that would make me laugh, but something that also included vampires in it. It was due time that I read this one.
Unfortunately, while this book was indeed funny in parts, I just didn’t find myself wanting to rave about it once I finished. I think this was due to the main character, Mel.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
I actually really liked how this book started out. I loved how society was one where vampires were accepted. It was kind of funny how they could go out in the daytime, so long as they wore these crazy suits that blocked out the sun — and they could go into buildings with lots of windows because the windows blocked out the harmful rays of the sun.
I even really liked the characters when I started reading. It was fun to read Mel being snarky, or Francis being the weirdly proper vampire, or even Cathy, mooning over Francis. But after a while, this all wore thin.
Mel got to be too snarky and I found myself unable to relate to her because of her shitty attitude. In a way the book made me think about all the people who are different in the world, but in reality we’re all the same. The world that Larbalestier and Brennan created is similar to ours, but it included vampires. I hated Mel’s attitude towards them because her outward hatred made her borderline racist. I know, I know — it’s a VAMPIRE! A blood-sucker! But still, it’s like anyone with differences who’s accepted in society – it just didn’t make sense to me that her attitude would be so welcome.
I was also kind of annoyed with the fact that Cathy let Mel stick by with her attitude towards Francis — if it were me, I would have ditched her until her attitude changed. In a same sense, Cathy acting all moony over Francis got to be tiring after a while. I wanted her to have a bit of a backbone, but it’s like she turned to jelly whenever he was around.
I also really didn’t understand the vampires. Part of me thought it was quite unique that once a person is turned into a vampire, they have no feelings whatsoever. They can’t laugh and they don’t tell jokes. Another part of me thought it was just unrealistic having the vampires act like this. Why would a vampire suddenly turn proper once they’re turned? That I couldn’t understand. Or, why would they suddenly not get jokes?
BUT, one thing I really liked about this society was the fact that a person had to go through a whole PROCESS to turn into a vampire. There was also major consequences if your body rejected the vampire venom. THAT was cool. I felt like the whole novel could have been less satirical and a bit darker with the way that this world was created. Instead, I felt like the authors were trying to just create something totally opposite of what’s already been written, for no other purpose than that. I wanted something deeper and more meaningful.
Another thing that I liked, though it was crazy weird, was how humans could live with vampires. Kit was a very unique character and I really liked him. I also liked how he introduced a second romance to the book. Dual romances is something I’m seeing in books lately and I can’t say whether it’s welcome or not — in a way, it makes things tie up just a little too nicely (you have your guy, I’ll have mine). There’s an element of drama that’s taken out of a novel when — dare I say it — a love triangle isn’t involved. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
I hate to admit it — though you can probably already tell from my review — but I finished this novel with a bit of an annoyed look on my face. I really wanted to like this! I wanted to finish it and share it with my friends! Instead, this book went into my donation pile. If you’re looking for a read that’s a little more parody and a little less serious, then you might like this one — I’m definitely in the minority in disliking this book. When read with the right frame of mind, it could be a great, fun read!
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