Team Human – Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan

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Author: Justine Larbalestier, Sarah Rees Brennan
Rating: 2/5 Stars

Synopsis

Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn’t mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It’s up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.

Acclaimed authors Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan team up to create a witty and poignant story of cool vampires, warm friendships, and the changes that test the bonds of love.

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. IN THE IMMORTAL WORDS OF RIVER SONG, “SPOILERS!”

So this is the second book I’ve rated only two stars (out of three books!). I feel kind of bad. Honest, I’m not this judgy when it comes to books, not usually.

It’s just…

The characters.

Mel is violent and rude. She punched her best guy friend so hard he almost retaliated by punching her back. She knocked the wind out of some beach volleyball player she’d never met. She randomly starts screaming at people. And no one calls her out on it. She hates vampires with her obvious prejudice against them, but insists she has no problem with them – as long as they stay away from her human side of town.

Not to mention, Mel is outrageously clingy. Half the book she moans and gripes about her best friend Cathy (who I will get to later) becoming a vampire. I can understand being upset, but her level of “NO CATHY WILL NOT BECOME A VAMPIRE ILL MAKE SURE OF IT” was a bit too Buffy with no bite.

Mel’s BFFL Cathy insists in one passage that Mel is always doing what Cathy does, including signing up for all the same classes. Mel insists to herself a bit later that she “doesnt care about school” but still makes a lot of reference to her nearly perfect SAT scores and which college she wants to go to and what to do with her life.

Blah, moving on.

Cathy. Who I keep spelling Catchy and having to go back and redo it. Cathy falls in love with a regal sounding vampire who talks like he stepped out of an Austen novel (quote from the book, not from me). I can get being a romantic. My best friend believes in soulmates and all that jazz, and it’s cool. But Cathy has a death wish, so compassionate she’d let a zombie munch on her if it told her it was hungry. And deciding to become a vampire two weeks after meeting some guy, even though if the transition didn’t work (a possibility), she could either end up a flesh eating zombie or dead. Sorry, dude, I don’t care if you have the abs of Ryan Gosling, it’s not worth turning into the walking undead for.

I don’t know if it was just me missing very, very subtle clues, but Ty turning out to be gay/bi on the very last page? A bit off. I have nothing wrong with gay/lesbian/alien-vampire-hybrids, but that wasn’t much a needed passage. It was more of a random afterthought to fork in at the very end of the book.

All in all, it wasn’t my favorite, and I couldn’t really identify with any of the characters. In the slightest. You could’ve killed every last one in some gruesome vampire/zombie rage, and it wouldn’t have made any difference to me.

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