Author: Sarah Rees Brennan & Justine Larbalestier
Publication Date: 3 July 2012
Rating: 4 Stars
Readers who love vampire romances will be thrilled to devour Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan. Team Human celebrates and parodies the Twilight books, as well as other classics in the paranormal romance genre.
Mel is horrified when Francis Duvarney, arrogant, gorgeous, and undead, starts at her high school. Mel’s best friend, Cathy, immediately falls for the vampire. Cathy is determined to be with him forever, even if having him turn her could inadvertently make her a zombie.
And Mel is equally determined to prove to her BFF that Francis is no good, braving the city’s vampire district and kissing a cute boy raised by vampires as she searches evidence in this touching and comic novel. - Summary from Goodreads
When I first heard about Team Human the first thing I thought was that it was a parody. Our society has been through a few years of the vampire craze (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I like a good vampire story too) and has moved onto a love/hate relationship. But the authors make it clear that they are not vampire haters, without the vampire novels out there Team Human wouldn’t even exist. I like to think of Team Human not as a parody, but as a different perspective on the vampire/human romance stories out there.
The book has a lot of typical YA vampire tropes: a vampire in high school, a vampire dating a teenager, the cafeteria scene… All of these familiar scenes are shown through Mel’s perspective and she doesn’t think it is cool or romantic, she just finds it all creepy and she doesn’t want her best friend getting mixed up with a vampire. Basically, Mel has the opposite reaction towards Francis than the average MC in a vampire novel. She has very strong opinions about vampires and tries to do everything to get Cathy see things her way. She’s kind of obnoxious about it to the point where I just want to tell her to lay off of it, but at the same time I understand that she’s doing all this to protect her friend. She just doesn’t want Cathy to get hurt.
Throughout the book we see a lot of different opinions on vampires from all different people. It isn’t just Mel’s view that we are shown, a lot of characters weigh-in on the topic in a very realistic way and make us question how we would see it if we lived in this world. This book is surprisingly serious and I was in tears at the end of it.
Team Human offers a variety of different perspective on the classic teen vampire romance stories out there. It manages to be funny while still bringing up serious topics that the main character has to consider. It is definitely worth reading whether or not you’re a fan of vampires because, either way, there will be characters inside these pages who share your perspective.