Review: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Hardcover, 344 pgs
Expected Publication: July 3rd, 2012 by HarperTeen
Source: Amazon Vine
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.

A delightful read with a mix of hilarity and serious with characters that will send you into fits of giggles while still touching your heart as you feel for them and the struggles they face.   
I went into Team Human without expectations other than I thought it would be funny.  And funny it was!  Trust me, I did my share of snorting.  But I wasn’t expecting the more serious tone that was there as well.  They managed to mix the two so it was still a light hearted and fun read, but with a fantastic story that you can take somewhat seriously (not too much though ;). Have you read either of these authors?  Or maybe chatted with them online a bit?  Well, I had a decent idea for their personalities, and this book was so them!  They made what is a bit over the top and slightly ridiculous and turned into a real story, a real interesting story at that!
I devoured this book quite quickly, it kept me pulled in and moved at a fast pace.  There wasn’t any slow parts, but things never got too busy either.  Mel is a fantastic character with a hilarious inner voice and is the queen of snark.  She says what’s on her mind and doesn’t give it a whole lot of thought.  She’s Team Human, and that’s THAT, and she just thinks everyone should accept that.  My issues with Mel were minor but there were a few.  I didn’t fully understand her aversion to vampires.  There’s an explanation with her friend and her father and all this junk, but I didn’t think it was a good enough reason for her to have such strong feelings about it.  However, I can chalk it all up to being that she’s just not fond of them because they’re creepy, and dead and they drink blood from people.  I also felt like she overreacted to things a lot.  Now that’s kind of a point in this story, and so I can’t really find fault with it too much.  
Another minor issue is that Cathy and Francis ‘fall in love’ in like no time at all!  Now they are secondary characters, but they are vitally important to the story.  I didn’t love that they fell in love so quickly and I didn’t quite get how it happened, but once again, it’s just how this story works, it’s a bit slightly ridiculous so the over the top scenario’s like that one aren’t as much of an issue as they normally would be.
I loved Kit.  He has this fantastic personality that really pops.  He’s really a great side kick for Mel as their personalities just go together well.  There’s just a slight problem with Kit (for Mel) and it makes her attraction to him something she just wants to deny.  I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I had to point out Kit and his awesome personality.  His and Mel’s banter had me in fits of giggles.  Fits, I tell you!
The best part of the book (and the funniest) is the characters and their banter.  They love and they hate and they just have so many darn strong feelings about everything and they turn everything into a slightly ridiculous but highly hilarious situation.  I really loved reading about them even when they were annoying.  This is one book where annoying was kind of okay.  
I most definitely recommend this to those who want a book that they don’t need to take too seriously.  One with plenty of laughs that still provides a somewhat deep and compelling story.  This was a hoot from page one and I hope you’ll give it a chance yourself!

Disclosure:  I received this book for review purposes, all opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.
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  1. Oh, yay! I got this one from Vine, too, because I do like both of these authors. I’m kind of surprised about the more serious tone in some parts but I like that it blends with the humor.

  2. Interesting! Although I saw the book around I never made an effort to read the synopsis or think about this book. When I saw your review now I was excited to see what’s this book about!

    I didn’t expect humor!!!! But that’s awesome! Now, I’m excited for this book and so going to check these authors on twitter!

  3. I love stories where there is a lot of banter between some great sarcastic characters! I have met Sarah before and she is so funny and just easy to be around and talk to. I’m sure if this book is anything like her personality I will love it.

    Thanks for the awesome review, so glad you got a fun book out of this one.

  4. Oh good I’m so glad you loved this one too Candace! I wasn’t sure what to expect either, but it had me laughing the whole way through. I really enjoyed the more serious tone to certain things as well, and the story was just easy to read and fun:)

  5. Imwouldn’t have guessed that this one was humorous! Even though I am totally burned out on the vampires I really want to read someting funny. I love strong ridiculous banter!

  6. I really like the title of this book. Generally in a PRN book, being human is so bland so I’m glad we’re rooting for being…well, us. :) Glad to know this was funny and serious.

  7. I LOVE funny books! It’s weird, though, since most of the time, when a book is known to be funny, I don’t find it all that hilarious. I hope that isn’t the case with this book! Team Human looks so fun and humorous. Oh, and I love snark and banter! :) I’m glad you liked it Candace, despite a few problems! Awesome review!

  8. Oh Danny, you would LOVE Sarah Rees Brennan! She is SO your people! I don’t really know Justine at all, but I do enjoy her writing.

    Heidi, this one is good for those a little burnt out on paranormal because it’s so funny and slightly ‘out there’. It’s one you just can’t take too serious and for me that made the paranormal okay.

    Sophia, This is a bit more balanced on the funny. It’s hard to describe, but it’s a careful balance of a real story we can take serious and a story that is slightly ridiculous. I don’t know, but I hope you do read it and enjoy it!

  9. I’m so excited for this one-the humor is definitely the part I’m most anticipating based on the authors’ web personalities. As someone who is firmly Team Human, I am sure I will find a lot to love!

  10. I’m SO ready for the funny (that’s the main reason I wanted to read this book too!), but I don’t think I expected the serious at all and that’s actually a refreshing surprise! :) And I’m especially wiping my forehead with relief at the awesome pacing. Lately I’ve found that a lot of the books I read are either too fast or too slow, but it sounds like these fun two authors know how to nail it! 😉

    Amazing review, Candace! I’m totally ready for a giggle fit :) <3

  11. I have wanted to read this since I first heard of it a few months back. See I like vampire books (still) but I also can appreciate it when they are made fun of:) And that clever banter and dialogue? Definitely something I look for and love in books I read! So I’m glad you reviewed this and liked it Candace, it’s reaffirmed my decision to read it first chance I get:)

  12. I’ve been kind of going back and forth on whether or not I should read this book. I honestly haven’t seen very many reviews for it yet, and I’m just not sure it’s my thing. Still, I haven’t sworn it off or anything. Just deciding! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Candace! They’re always a help! :)

  13. I really want to read this! I haven’t read anything by Justine but I do enjoy Sarah…she’s quite amusing.

    I think the insta-love would be okay in this book because it seems to be commentating on that type of thing, like in Twilight and whatnot, and how it’s not really realistic. Or I think at least.

    I don’t know, but I like funny books, so I’m stoked to read this!!


  14. Muzz05, I plan to have a birthday giveaway next week and this book will be included. You can sure try to win it that way!

    Melissa, yes, it’s definitely funny! I guess I expected it to be funny so I figured everyone would think that. But I’m seeing that apparently that’s not the case!

    Mimi, I agree that books tend to be so slow I struggle through or are so full of action that it just makes me dizzy and confused. This one was just right!

    Heather, it sounds like your kind of book then!

    Natalie, I’m unsure whether this is one you’d enjoy or not. I guess I haven’t seen any similar books reviewed on your blog so it’s hard for me to say. I hope you give it a try, but reading a few more reviews might make the decision easier.

    Lauren, Yep, the insta love was okay because it’s just like you said- it’s kind of like they are making fun of it. Kind of. I think you’d like this one.

  15. I’ve been a little hesitant about this one because I thought it was just a funny book. So I’m happy to hear that it has a serious side!

  16. Maybe insta love would be more bearable for us if authors took a different approach and addressed it as insta lust?! LOL

    I’ve been so curious about this book, and I’d probably want to know more about why Mel is strongly against vampires, but the creepy factor does seem like the most likely.

    Sounds like a super fun book. I’ve been curious about it, so I’m glad you liked it. Now I’m more likely to try it myself. :)

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