Release Date ~ July 3, 2012
HarperTeen ~ HarperCollins
ARC received from HarperCollins Canada for review
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.
I knew this was one book that wouldn't take itself too seriously, and would have some witty comments about the vampire genre in general; but what I wasn't expecting was such a deeply stimulating response to ideas of tolerance and discrimination. Team Human is much more than just another YA paranormal, but an excellent example of well-developed satire.
- A vampire book- with a twist:
I know the cover/description hint that this may be just another YA paranormal romance featuring vampires and a love triangle but it's NOT. There are vampires, and there is romance, and there's sort of a love triangle off to the side (but not in an annoying way at all- it's part of the plot for some secondary characters, I guess you could say). But there's also MYSTERY and HUMOUR and some real character growth and self-discovery. Vampires aren't complete monsters, but they aren't completely glorified either.
- A real theme dealing with tolerance and discrimination:
It's not secret that Mel doesn't trust vampires. And it's perfectly understandable why she's so hesitant to support her best friend Cathy in her romantic relationship with a vampire. But at the same time, she begins to realize how little she actually knows about vampires, and even that her own personal preferences and ideas may not be universally shared - an important lesson for everyone to recognize at some poin in their life.
- A mystery/teen detective element:
Mel ends up taking it upon herself to solve her friend Anna's mysterious disappearance of her father leaving, and her mother's strange reaction. I always find that it's a fun thing to add to a book, and it was handled really well in Team Human. I actually found this to be the best part of the book, and in particular the most exciting and suspensful. And also poignant.
But overall, Team Human is a smart read, one that is an absolute breath of fresh air among YA paranormal books which are now dime a dozen.