Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Review: Team Human

Team Human
By Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Expected publication July 3, 2012 by HarperTeen

Mel lives in New Whitby, Maine, a.k.a. Vampire Capital of the Country. But that doesn't mean everything is copacetic with her and the vamps - one of her friends' lives was devastated by a vampire. So when a vampire named Francis enrolls in her school and proceeds to sweep Mel's very best BFF off her feet, she is having none of it. Mel will do anything to keep Cathy on Team Human.

This book...I don't know how to begin. Let me start by saying that this book was rumored for a long time before anyone actually knew it was a real thing. In fact, I didn't believe it was actually going to happen until I had an ARC in my hands. But, let me tell you something, I am so glad this book is real. Because it is fantastic. This is how I want all my teen books to be - funny and smart and full of character and still able to make me cry (YES, I CRIED) at the drop of a perfectly phrased sentence - hell, this is how I want all my books, regardless of intended audience, to be. This was on my list of most anticipated reads for 2012 despite having only read one book between the two authors - that's how talked about this book was. And sometimes, the hype will kill a book for me (I hate to bring it up, but my disappointment in Katniss is the best recent example of this). It's definitely not the case with this book. Team Human is basically everything I expected it to be and more. Larbalestier and Brennan (Rees Brennan? I'm not sure, so I apologize) have created a witty and delightful novel that pokes fun at paranormal romance while also managing to be romantic and paranormal. Mel is a wonderfully complex narrator (and person of color - hoorary!); I absolutely loved the voice created for her. I don't know how the two authors collaborated so seamlessly - this is a one-person narrative with no obvious hiccups where the authors distinguish themselves from each other or the narrator. Everything flows beautifully and nicely. The pacing is great as well; I didn't find any bits that dragged. There are multiple storylines to keep readers interested in the variety of action occurring but it doesn't feel gimmicky or frustrating or underdeveloped. And, I have to admit - this book made me cry. More than once. Not full-out sobs or ugly crying (leave that to The Fault in Our Stars) but still teary-eyed. Because, in the end, Larbalestier and Brennan have written a book about friendship and how to be a good person and the struggle we all go through while we figure out what it means to be human. No doubt, this book is going to be hugely popular, and I couldn't be happier about that. This is a surprising and wonderful book, and I really need to go read more by these authors (and hope they collaborate again!).

Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

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