Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just Finished Reading ... Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Team Human
by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Published by Harper Teen
on July 3, 2012

Source: ARC from my collection






My summary: Mel lives in New Whitby, Maine, a town where vampires and humans live in relative peace. Mel's not crazy about vampires, but at least they keep to their own part of town, the Shade quarter. When Francis, the new kid at school, turns out to be one of the undead, Mel's not thrilled. When her best friend Cathy seems to be falling in love with him, Mel's alarmed. And when Mel becomes convinced that there's some kind of sinister explanation behind Francis' sudden appearance, she's determined to get to the bottom of the mystery.

My take: Having read Liar by Justine Larbalestier and The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, I was surprised that Team Human was so ... sweet. I was expecting something that tended toward the dark and twisted, but this book is a gently humorous satire of vampire fiction interwoven with an absorbing mystery.  


I haven't read tons of vampire fiction, just Twilight, Vampire Academy, and Vampire Diaries, so some of the finer points of the parody may have escaped me. But I chuckled as the new boy in school turned out to be a vampire, and as Cathy and Francis are struck hard by insta-love. Mel is completely appalled by all of this, but also distracted by suspicious goings-on around the school and by an intriguing guy she can't get out of her mind.

The world building in Team Human is clever and interesting and the story uses vampire-human relations to make subtle points about prejudice and tolerance, about mutual respect and freedom of choice. The romance in the book is sweet rather than steamy and the violence level also falls firmly on the PG side -- imagine Mel as a 21st century Nancy Drew, New Whitby as River Heights, and Bess madly in love with a vampire.

I thought Team Human was a refreshingly different take on vampires -- and YA mystery -- that will appeal to vampire fans and non-fans alike. 

24 comments:

  1. I've also read the Demon books by Brennan and Liar by Larbalestier and wasn't a huge fan of their darkness so I ended up being surprised by how much I enjoyed this lighter book-the humor was definitely my favorite book and I devoured this book.

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    1. Completely agree! I put off reading this because I thought it was going to be some sort of epic human/vampire battle.

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  2. I have had this one sitting on my shelf for months and just couldn't seem to motivate myself to read it. I'm not a vampire fan, but I like that this is a lighter take on it, and I love that there is a mystery woven in. You just convinced me Jen! :) I hope your enjoying your vacation!!!

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    1. Read it!
      The vacation is great -- reading lots of books and spending time with my family :)

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  3. I really want to read this one and it sounds like it was really good. Awesome review hon!!

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  4. This book sounds awesome!!! I really wanna read it:)
    -JennyC

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    1. It will be up for grabs next Friday on Freebie Friday!

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  5. I've heard people talking about this book, but I haven't read it yet. Sounds interesting though! :)

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  6. This one is definitely on my TBR! The reviews I've read have been very positive. Glad you liked it too Jen! :-)

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    1. I had no idea what to expect, but I really liked it!

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  7. I need to read this one soon! Love your review of it; I haven't read anything by these two authors, but Team Human sounds like it'd be a fantastic book to spend the afternoon with. :)

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    1. Both authors are fantastic, and I love that together they came up with something completely original!

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  8. I wasn't really sure what this book was at first...I guess I thought it was going to be a collection of short stories or something, so I wasn't that interested. But it's Sarah Rees Brennan. LOVE her. And then your review is awesome, so I think I'll have to pick this one up now. :) Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. I thought it was going to be some gory vampire/human battle, and I was pleasantly surprised!

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  9. I'm so glad I read your review before getting this. I was really hoping for dark, but now I know to pick it up when I want sweet. :)

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    1. Sorry -- not dark, but really different and funny.

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  10. Different & funny work for me.

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  11. While not necessarily a book I would read, it definitely sounds cute and funny. I like that the author approached the whole vampire romance thing from a different point of view, WITH a different point of view!

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  12. I like funny books, I might have to give this one a shot now that I know what it's about, sometimes I feel like there are too many vampire novels out there now :P

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  13. I can't wait to read this one, I have heard all the poking fun at the vampire trend in lit is a HOOT:)

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  14. I'll be picking it up. I think the cover kind of throws me on this one. It looked like it might be a little cheesy, so I'm glad you liked it.

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  15. Oh, I didn't realize it was kind of a parody! That's really cool! I mean, I'm used to the movie parodies but I don't know if I've read any novel parodies yet... Although I know there are a couple out there that are on my TBR list (like Bumped and Beauty Queens--those are sorta kinda parodies, right?). This one sounds really funny and cute. Great review, Jen!

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