Sunday, January 13, 2013

Which Side Are You On?: Team Human

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
HarperTeen, 2012

I have said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not usually too huge into vampire stories. I was forced to read Twilight by my YA Lit professor in grad school and while I found it to be merely not terrible, I've just never been drawn to the appeal of vampires. Of course, I keep giving them a chance. I liked the few Chronicles of Vladimir Todd books I've read, but still, not quite there for me, yet.

This is probably why I liked Team Human as much as I did. It helps when the narrator is about as un-Bella as possible because she's not exactly the captain of Team Vampire either. Mel lives in the small town of New Whitby, a place where humans and vampires have lived side by side for literally hundreds of years. But the species usually keep to their respective groups, that is, until Francis, a 200 year old 17-year old vampire starts coming to high school and Mel's best friend Cathy falls in love with him. Throw in the threat of zombies, a missing person, and Kit, a gorgeous human boy who has been raised by the vampires Mel can't stand, and you've got an entertaining story on your hands.

One thing that I found to be particularly great about this story is that all of the characters are flawed. It sounds nuts to state this as a positive, but it's true. Mel is incredibly biased against vampires, and she struggles very hard with the fact that Cathy not only loves one, but wants to be turned into one. Is she immature about it at times? Sure, but I would be too. I loved how her feelings towards Kit balanced things out and acted as a way for her to see another side. The incorporation of zombies in a new way was inventive, and the two main plot lines fit together well. Secondary characters could have used a bit more support in my opinion, but they served their purposes well all around.

The thing about this story that I had the hardest time with was Francis - I really couldn't see what was so fantastic about him, why Cathy would be willing to give up life as a human for him, but since the story is told through Mel's eyes, I guess that makes sense.

Plus I have my own prejudices against vampires to overcome. =)

So if you're like me or know someone like me who is sick of the vampire craze, pick up a copy of Team Human. It's a bit of a satire, a bit of a mystery, and a whole lot of human feelings.

Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent review!!! This one has definitely been on my radar for a while now and I'm glad to see a really great review of it. I'll have to pick it up soon! :)