Team Human (Hardback)
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Short Description for Team Human Residing in New Whitby, Maine, a town founded by vampires trying to escape persecution, Mel finds her negative attitudes challenged when her best friend falls in love with one, another friend's father runs off with one, and she herself is attracted to someone who tries to pass himself off as one.
- Published: 03 July 2012
- Format: Hardback 352 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780062089649 ISBN 10: 0062089641
- Sales rank: 48,291
Reviews for Team Human
A Story to Remember
Team Human made me laugh-a lot. It was exactly what I needed to get out of a mild reading slump I had, but moreover, it definitely deserves bonus points for being a great read filled with laughs at every page and a novel that's much, much more than just a vampire book.
If someone read a plot summary to me without getting me to read the actual book, I would have been disinterested. It's not my kind of plot. I am an action girl. I'm all for punches and epic battles and roundhouse kicks and war between good and evil. I'm just dramatic that way. But Team Human didn't focus on action whatsoever. (No vampires out to drink your blood either.) There's a running theme of friendship and love-there's so much more than vampires in this book. It's a mystery/contemporary disguised as a paranormal comedy.
Larbalestier and Brennan had me laughing every minute I read this book. The book is chock full of witty jokes and hilarious moments, and never once did Mel disappoint in humor. The romance was subdued but nevertheless adorable-both in Cathy and Francis's "getting-lost-in-the-other's-eyes" relationship and in Mel and Kit's "trying-hard-to-make-you-laugh" relationship. I never felt overwhelmed with "oh-my-gosh-he's-so-hot-how-can-I-talk-to-him-without-making-a-fool-of-myself" or with steamy romantic scenes that might go a little too far (in my opinion). Things just clicked for both couples. It was just natural.
This book was probably the most original vampire novel I've ever read. I'm glad that Larbalestier and Brennan decided to make vampires already a known existence to everyone in their world-it would have been a pain to go through the finding-out-what-species-that-mysterious-guy-is trend again. And though there were a ton of clues pointing out the solution to the mystery, I never caught it until the page before it was revealed! Larbalestier and Brennan were masterful at diverting my attention until the last second.
Mel is the best protagonist. Ever. I can relate to her on so many levels-mostly because she's an ABC (American Born Chinese) like me. We deal with the same problems-trying to decide what to do when we're set loose into the world, trying to please our parents (though she rebels more often than I do), and trying to solve other people's problems.
But not only is she relatable, she is the funniest protagonist I've ever encountered in my entire reading life. Her jokes cracked me up every single time, and never once did I get bored of her. She's not a Mary Sue, and she's got her own problems just like a normal teenage girl.
I didn't find many grammatical errors, and Larbalestier and Brennan kept the description to a minimum-no flowery language and no ambiguous settings or characters. I powered through this book in three days (though I totally think that if I didn't have massive loads of homework, I could have read this in one sitting).
Team Human is not a vampire novel. Even though the entire plot revolves around the existence of vampires, this mystery/comedy could be suitable to anyone-both vampire lovers and vampire haters. Themes of friendship and love with amusing characters and a curious mystery would definitely hook anyone in. Larbalestier and Brennan have created a story to remember.
source: ARC received from Uniquely Moi Books via ARCycling by Lindaunder review
Review from Esther's Ever After
If you're looking for a different kind of book to read (and you're a tad tired from the same type of paranormals), Team Human is a perfect pick for you.
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.
Reasons to Read:
1.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.
2.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.
3.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.
My one problem with this is that I think the overall message came on a little too strong and while I definitely appreciate it and think we can learn a lot from it as a principle, I still can't help but wonder if it's a case where we can go too far. It's a delicate balance to show Mel as a caring friend, yet one that is a tad too controlling and pushy about HER ideas; but I still couldn't help but feel that to a large extent she was being fairly honest and reasonable. If my friend was risking herself (and acting VERY focused on one youthful, new romantic relationship) and putting herself in danger I'd probably react in the same way. But I couldn't help but wonder exactly how far the book suggested we should go with this, and where we draw the line. Needless to say, I didn't LOVE that and I had some questions regarding it. I just wasn't left wholly satisfied.
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.
ARC received from HarperCollins Canada for review. by Brenna Staats