Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book Review: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

SUMMARY: 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.


Funny and witty, yet having quite a bit of depth to it and tackling some great concepts, Team Human will appeal to both fans and haters of vampires. This one takes a different approach to the entire thing, and puts friendship and love first and foremost, while still leaving plenty of room for the characters to work things through on their own. Smooth in pacing, and alluring from the start, Team Human is a quick but highly enjoyable read.

Mel is, in a lot of ways, headstrong and brash, but her intentions behind it are nothing but honest. Protective of her best friend who generally has her head in the clouds, and seemingly more realistic when it comes to love and life than Cathy, Mel still has quite a few strides of her own to go through, which are tackled beautifully in this book. Keeping her dislike of vampires upfront, but also not being simply an inbred dislike, Mel is a multifaceted, flawed, but likeable character. She has some great views and takes on things, and there is a big emotional component to her that completely works.

With a relatively small, but very strongly developed cast, readers will fall in love with more than just Mel. Though Cathy certainly tests Mel, and some readers might feel an inherent dislike towards her for that, and the fact that she is that girl who falls totally, hopelessly in love almost instantly, there is still something driving and real behind her. Her relationship with Francis is fun to watch, even through Mel’s eyes, and okay, I admit it, I love watching Mel make Francis squirm. Then there’s Kit, who throws in a few challenges of his own, and definitely brings plenty to the table. He is downright hilarious, and the banter and fun between him and Mel is my favorite thing about this book.

Having a touch of mystery, a pretty fun and awesome world that is easy to fall into and has all the right elements of being both straight up and toying, and with the right amount of romance and friendship, Team Human is the kind of book you pick up when you need a laugh but don’t want pure cheese. Wonderfully writing, with a spunky narrator and some stellar descriptions, this one should definitely be put on your list.

Source: TLA
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages 
 Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 3, 2012


  1. I am very much Team Human so I identified very much with Mel's perspective. Why would you want to give up laughter, food, sunshine, etc.? I can never understand people who would find that worthwhile. Loved how Mel challenged Francis and made me squirm too!

  2. I liked this one too. I think Kit was my favorite character, partially because he played so well off of Mel!

  3. Oooh it looks like such a good read, and I love the cover as well - the girl in the middle is so gorgeous! x

  4. Agreed- I loved this one so much :) It was such a great concept, and it worked SO Well. Plus the secondary cahracters were outstanding, just like you said!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After