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.
OPINION: 4 STARS
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.
Reading level: Ages 13 and up
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publication Date: July 3, 2012