Wednesday, July 4, 2012

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

Team Human
Authors: Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Publication: HarperTeen (July 3, 2012)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: Team Human was a refreshing vampire novel filled with humor and wonderful dialog. The narrator is Mel who is American Born Chinese and the person in the group who is the problem solver. (She is the problem solver whether or not her friends think they have problems.) Her best friend Cathy is smart, interested in history and literature, and shy. When Francis, a vampire, comes to their high school, Cathy is fascinated and falls in love with him. This is a problem for Mel. She has a lot of prejudice against vampires even though they no longer prey on humans. When Cathy says that she has accepted Francis's offer to turn her to vampire, Mel is determined to make her friend change her mind. 

Meanwhile, Mel's friend Anna is hurting too. Her father, a vampire therapist, has abandoned his family to run away with one of his vampire patients. Both Anna and her mother are very changed by this experience and Mel wants to find a way to help. But something about Dr. Saunders' leaving seems very odd to Mel. How can a caring father leave his family and not communicate with his daughter except by sending a few text messages? Why is Mrs. Saunders afraid of Francis? Is Mel making up difficulties or is something really going on?

And then there is Kit, a young human raised by vampires, who challenges most of Mel's assumptions about vampires. Together they try to find out what happened to Dr. Saunders and have lively discussions about whether or not Cathy should go through transition and become a vampire. Kit, who had assumed that he would go through transition and become a vampire as soon as he could, has some decisions to make too after spending time with Mel.

This was a great story about friendship and choices and about growing and changing. I laughed and I cried. I can't wait to add this one to my high school media center collection and share it with my teen readers. I also look forward to anything else Ms. Larbalestier and Ms. Brennan write together.

Favorite Quote:
Cathy and I walked to school the next morning. Cathy couldn't stop smiling and exclaiming on the beauty of everything. You'd think she was on drugs. Maybe she was. Lots of people are convinced that love is a drug. 

If so, Cathy was mainlining.
I received this ARC through the Amazon Vine program. You can buy a copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I just added this one to my order for the high school. Thanks for the rec...great review.


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