Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Team Human by Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier
Title: Team Human
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier
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.
Team Human on Goodreads
Team Human on Amazon
Justine Larbalestier's Website
Sarah Rees Brennan's Website
There are some spoilers near the end of this review.
I wanted to like this book SO much more than I did. At first, I LOVED it. I thought (based on the title) that it was going to be a kind of Twilight parody, and in a way it is, until the end.
Mel is a human girl. She has a best friend, Cathy, who is also human. In the world they live in, vampires have been outed though they generally segregate from humans. Mel and Cathy live in a town that was originally founded by vampires hundreds of years ago as a safe haven against vamp persecution or something.
Francis is a vampire. He, for some reason, starts going to school with Mel and Cathy. Cathy is Bella Swan - "old soul" who loves reading Jane Austen and sitting around in meadows full of wildflowers reading poetry. Cathy and Francis immediately fall in looooove.
Mel hates vampires and has a huge problem with this - so the majority of the book is Mel trying to get Cathy out of this relationship. At some point, Cathy decides to become a vampire as well, and Mel struggled to try and change Cathy's mind.
I loved Kit. Kit is a human who was raised by vampires and lives in the same "Shade" (er, Coven, nest, whatever) as Francis. Mel meets him while she's trying to investigate Francis and some other stuff and the two connect. I liked the dynamic between them and all of their interactions were awesome.
Where this book fell apart for me was the whole Cathy becoming a vampire thing. The authors try to make it seem like she's doing the right thing and Cathy's mom even agrees to it. Cathy has known Francis for a matter of WEEKS when she decides to become a vamp for him. And in this world, becoming a vampire has a 20% chance of either DYING or becoming a ZOMBIE. Of course, Cathy becomes a vamp successfully and she lives happily ever after with Francis.... but I think that was an awful thing to have happen. Especially in a book called TEAM HUMAN. A HUGE portion of the book is Mel trying to save her friend's life, and she fails... for insta-Bella/Edward-love that is completely unrealistic and stupid.
Cathy is SEVENTEEN! I had a boyfriend at 17. I thought we were in loooove and would be together forever and ever. We aren't anymore. I know some high school couples make it, but the VAST majority do not! I can't believe Cathy's mom would go long with this as well. I'm sorry, it's just not cool that this book makes it seem okay that a 17 year old girl gave up her life for a boy she had only been dating a few weeks.
Some reviewers did not like the LGBT characters in the book and I kind of get why. I didn't mind that Mel's older sister was a lesbian. That didn't bug me at all. What bugged me was Ty suddenly becoming bi-sexual at the end. There was absolutely NO lead-up to this and it seemed thrown in just to add another LGBT character to the mix. I wouldn't care if he was bi... if there was some indication of this earlier. He's portrayed as a straight male for the entire book, only to be "Hey, I like dudes too!" at the end, which is strange to me. There's no rhyme or reason to it, it just is tossed in and forgotten about.
3 of 5 stars
Link to Kala's review on Goodreads: