Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Review: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan

Authors: Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Release Date: Already out!
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (AUS) | HarperTeen (US)
Add it: Goodreads
Mel and Cathy and Anna have passed vampires on the street, and sat near them in cinemas, but they don’t know any. Vampires stick to their own kind, and Mel and her friends hang out with other humans—until a vampire boy in a bizarre sun-proof suit shows up at school and captures Cathy’s heart.

Mel is horrified. Can she convince Cathy that life with a vampire is no life at all? Should she? And then all her assumptions about vampires are turned on their head when she meets Kit, a boy who makes her laugh—a boy with a very unusual family history.

Will Mel’s staunch anti-vampire stance jeopardise her closest friendships? And where does Kit fit in? In the end, who will choose... Team Human?

...team human
Mel is adamantly, 150%, she'd-tattoo-it-to-her-forehead-just-to-prove-a-point TEAM HUMAN. So when her best friend suddenly falls for the handsome, but irritating (and ever so boring) new vampire in school, Mel is FAR from happy. Catherine is all aflutter when Francis enters her stratosphere, but what sets this apart from your standard issue insta-love is that you're meant to roll your eyes and slap your forehead in exasperation over how moony-eyed Cathy is. Team Human takes elements we see in popular vampire fiction and shines them in a humourous, entertaining and at times, touching light.

Mel is snarky, combative and can often be downright rude. She doesn't possess much tact and while at times her abrasiveness could be annoying, there's no denying this girl's got fiyah. It's so interesting to read from the best friend's perspective, rather than the girl who's swooning over the brooding new guy. She provided a refreshing perspective and I could totally understand her fierce need to protect her friend. I mean, Cathy had barely known Francis for... TWO WEEKS?! And she was making some preeeettty dumb choices big decisions.
...team vampire
Becoming a vampire is a greatly-coveted honour for many humans, but it's certainly not without it's risks. That's why there are plenty of strict measures in place to make sure the human is absolutely certain of their decision, because if the transition is not successful? BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINNNNNSSSS! More commonly referred to as: zombification. Or death. Or not adapting well to vampirism and going craaaazy. If Francis were the celebrity-immortal promoting Vampirism, I think the number of humans lining up for the change would be greatly reduced.

Francis is annoyingly pompous with zero sense of humour and steadfastly holds onto his 18th century views. He also has a rather pointy stick up his butt. Mel is a bit of an amateur detective and so offers to help her friend, Anna, in finding clues regarding her father's disappearance. But what happens when Mel begins to connect dots between the real reason Francis has enrolled in high school and Anna's mystery? Could she possibly hit the jackpot and not only solve the case for her friend, but treat Cathy to the I-TOLD-YOU-HE'S-A-CREEPY-FREAKISH-VAMPIRE-BEAST victory dance?

...team kit
Kit was probably my favourite character in the book! His origins were the most intriguing; he grew up entirely amongst vampires, which gave him a tainted view on his human origins. He was so adorably clueless in all things relating to Human Socialisation. There were some moments shared between him and Mel that made me laugh, because his warped view on humanity is primarily thanks to his weird vampire family and some ever so reliable tv soap drama. Kit needed some human-world experience and he got that with Mel. In return, he gave her some food for thought regarding her vampy prejudices. I like how they both enabled one another to see past their preconceptions about humans and vampires and maybe even show Mel (and the reader) that ol' Francis ain't so bad. Maybe.

Theirs was far from the Cathy/Francis romance. They developed a really sweet, endearing bond that hinted at something more and felt far more believable in it's growth.

...team vamun/humpire?
Team Human cleverly manages to maintain elements of parody throughout the novel, while still firmly carving out it's own unique story with surprising emotional depth. Sure, I wasn't always cracking up laughing at the humour, but that really depends on your own sense of what's funny. I found Team Human a thoroughly enjoyable and fresh vampire-themed novel, perfect if you're looking for something fun, fiesty and engaging to shake up your TBR. The only thing left to ponder now is: Are you Team Human or Team Vampire?

humans FTW!!!
3.5/5 Golden Apples!

Add it: Goodreads

17 comments:

  1. TEAM HUMPIRE!
    *is giggling uncontrollably*

    Oh goodness, I never really got how damn FUNNY this one was until now! I'm loving the idea of Cathy/Frances being a pardoy of the typical infatuated silly human/controlling 'romantic' vampire and that Mel's a bit of a brat and EVERYTHING! Oh goodness... it sounds like that kind of perfect, fun, light-hearted read you just need need sometimes, and it ALSO kind of *slightly* reminds me (in premise) of one of my favoritest growed-up series about vampires and peoples and... no, really, they have nothing in common, except... Hehehe! OK, I'm really REALLY excited to read this one now... I *think* it's next on my list! *dances*

    BRODIE. HAS I MENTIONED I LOVE YOUR REVIEWS? Also: I love you headings :D

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  2. Umm....LOL?? This review's making me laugh too soon after waking up ^__^ Glad you enjoyed this. Heehee...

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  3. Everyone has to be on Team Humpire! >_< *snickers*

    Fab review, Brodie. I wasn't a huge fan of this book but it did have its fun parts.

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  4. EEEEEEEEE! So glad you enjoyed Team Human, Brodie! I AM TEAM HUMPIRE TOO! ;) I love vampires but I love my 'own' species too XD

    Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brenna's collaboration in this book was great!

    Awesome review, Brodie! ♥

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  5. I love that you thought that the author took elements of a typical vampire book and turned them into something engaging and funny. I think the reason that I haven't been reading many vampire books lately is because they don't stand out. Another awesome review, Brodie! :)

    -Aa'Ishah

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  6. Awesome review, Brodie! It's probably just my mind, but I read Team Humpire, and I think of orgies. So I'm kind of not Team Humpire. Though the name is incredibly funny! :D

    This sounds like a fun read, and one I'd give a go if I had one, yet not one I'd go out of my way to buy. It sounds good, but not exciting - despite your positive review. Thanks!

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  7. Lovely review, Brodie! I can't wait to read this! It sounds like a lot of fun and I hope my sense of humour is compatible with this story. ;) I'm hoping for laugh-out-loud moments. This definitely sounds like a refreshing read, and I'm glad to hear there's emotional depth too. :)

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  8. Kit was probably my favourite character too! I loved the humour in this book, it was such a fun read. Great review! <3

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  9. This one sounds really fun and hilarious! I'm definitely intrigued by Kit and why he gets a whole team to himself :P Glad you enjoyed this one, I'll have to keep an eye out for it! Fab review :).

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  10. At first I was like, oh a cleverly dressed up Twilight-parody, no thanks. Then I read your little section about Kit and I may havebeenwonover to give this one a chance. I really like the idea of the human brought up by vampires cluelessly trying to fit into the human world!

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  11. I love this review! I love the comparisons of teams that led to describing the characters. Would definitely read this book to see if I'm team kit too. Wonderful review!

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  12. This sounds like one that I should read when I'm getting jaded by all the stereotypes in paranormal lit. As much as I love the genre, I do get tired of it sometimes, and watching someone poke fun at it would be entertaining. Lol.

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  13. Oohers, I like the sound of this! The humour sounds good and while Mel sounds a tad annoying, sometimes those characters are the best and I would be all cranky and annoyed if my bf was getting all googoo over a vamp after only 2 weeks!

    I loved the format for this review, too!

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  14. LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!! Team Humpire? Oh my goodness, I LOVE THAT! x) There are days when I just think you must be the most brilliant person ever, Brodie -- I don't think there has ever been a day when I've come to your blog and not smiled at something you wrote! And your super make-Mimi-smile ability is what makes me want to read every book you recommend, whether it's perfect or not! :')

    Sometimes I wonder how a girl could be willing to give up everything for a guy she's only known for like two weeks. Cathy, I don't think I'd get along with... Mel, on the other hand, sounds amazing! :D (Side note: That's my sister's name so it kinda sounds funny LOL <3)

    EPIC REVIEW, BRODIE! <3

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  15. I bought this one on impulse when I saw it in Big W but haven't read it yet! Been reading a few different reviews to see what others think first and this is a fantastic review! So thanks for sharing Brodie :D

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  16. I absolutely love your review! Looks quite perfect when looking at the set-up in the book too. ;) Gosh, I LOVE the sound of Kit and aah. See, I was kind of curious about this one before, but now I need to read it. I definitely want a humorous team vampire/human book!

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  17. I like the idea of a more funny look at the insta-love that happens in novels. It also sounds like a great novel about overcoming misconceptions about people. It sounds like the satire is there, and that the characters are ok. I might pick this one up eventually now. Great review!

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