Review Blog

Jul 17 2012

Team human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

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Allen and Unwin, 2012. ISBN 9781742378398.
(Age 13+) Recommended. Vampires. Humour. When this book came across my desk I decided to read it immediately because I like Justine's writing and I thought the premise that friends didn't let friends date vampires sounded really interesting. I was not disappointed. I loved the parody of the vampire book, the fact that the authors take many of the ideas in the vampire genre and got me to laugh out loud about them but then made me think about tolerating difference and respecting others' opinions.
Mel is appalled when her best friend Cathy falls instantly in love with Francis Duvarney, a vampire who has decided to attend their high school. She decides that she has to save Cathy from the worst mistake of her life and in doing so, comes across Kit, a human who lives in a vampire shade, with his vampire cop mother and some zombies. She is also investigating the disappearance of another friend's father, who was supposed to have been seduced away from home by a glamourous vampire.
With two clever authors seamlessly telling this story, the reader is in for a real treat. Mel's tunnel vision about what is right for Cathy, her disdain for vampires and the ties of friendship are all told in a hilarious narrative by Mel, whose one liners and sense of humour pervade the book. Her prejudices about vampires are tested by Kit, a human who has lived all his life with the vampires who took him in when he was abandoned as a baby, and who doesn't believe that being human is better than being a vampire.
I read Team human in a couple of sittings. It was fast paced, the humour sparkled and it was lots of fun. Teens who have enjoyed the Twilight series will have a giggle at this send up of the vampire genre and those who are bored with the genre will also enjoy it. A book trailer is available.
Pat Pledger

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