Review: Team Human



authors: Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
release date: July 3, 2012
tagsyoung adult · high fantasy · vampires · contemporary · romance

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.

Team Human made me laugh–a lot. It was exactly what I needed to get out of a mild reading slump I had, but moreover, it definitely deserves bonus points for being a great read filled with laughs at every page and a novel that’s much, much more than just a vampire book.


If someone read a plot summary to me without getting me to read the actual book, I would have been disinterested. It’s not my kind of plot. I am an action girl. I’m all for punches and epic battles and roundhouse kicks and war between good and evil. I’m just dramatic that way. But Team Human didn’t focus on action whatsoever. (No vampires out to drink your blood either.) There’s a running theme of friendship and love–there’s so much more than vampires in this book. It’s a mystery/contemporary disguised as a paranormal comedy.

Larbalestier and Brennan had me laughing every minute I read this book. The book is chock full of witty jokes and hilarious moments, and never once did Mel disappoint in humor. The romance was subdued but nevertheless adorable–both in Cathy and Francis’s “getting-lost-in-the-other’s-eyes” relationship and in Mel and Kit’s “trying-hard-to-make-you-laugh” relationship. I never felt overwhelmed with “oh-my-gosh-he’s-so-hot-how-can-I-talk-to-him-without-making-a-fool-of-myself” or with steamy romantic scenes that might go a little too far (in my opinion). Things just clicked for both couples. It was just natural.

This book was probably the most original vampire novel I’ve ever read. I’m glad that Larbalestier and Brennan decided to make vampires already a known existence to everyone in their world–it would have been a pain to go through the finding-out-what-species-that-mysterious-guy-is trend again. And though there were a ton of clues pointing out the solution to the mystery, I never caught it until the page before it was revealed! Larbalestier and Brennan were masterful at diverting my attention until the last second.


Mel is the best protagonist. Ever. I can relate to her on so many levels–mostly because she’s an ABC (American Born Chinese) like me. We deal with the same problems–trying to decide what to do when we’re set loose into the world, trying to please our parents (though she rebels more often than I do), and trying to solve other people’s problems.

But not only is she relatable, she is the funniest protagonist I’ve ever encountered in my entire reading life. Her jokes cracked me up every single time, and never once did I get bored of her. She’s not a Mary Sue, and she’s got her own problems just like a normal teenage girl.


I didn’t find many grammatical errors, and Larbalestier and Brennan kept the description to a minimum–no flowery language and no ambiguous settings or characters. I powered through this book in three days (though I totally think that if I didn’t have massive loads of homework, I could have read this in one sitting).

Team Human is not a vampire novel. Even though the entire plot revolves around the existence of vampires, this mystery/comedy could be suitable to anyone–both vampire lovers and vampire haters. Themes of friendship and love with amusing characters and a curious mystery would definitely hook anyone in. Larbalestier and Brennan have created a story to remember.


Team Human tweet

I do not claim to own the pictures featured in the avatars of the characters in these tweets (source: Mel · Cathy · Francis). I also don’t own the characters. I do, however, claim to own this picture and its contents (minus the references to Facebook and Twitter).
SOURCE: ARC received from Uniquely Moi Books via ARCycling

13 responses to “Review: Team Human

  1. I’ve read this book before, and as a fellow ABC, I totally agree with you ^__^ I was especially a fan of the authors’ writings style since it was absolutely hilarious too!

    And I wasn’t aware Francis had a Twitter :o I’ll definitely check it out later ^__^

    Great review & blog :D Can’t wait to see what you think of Bewitching ^__^

    ~ Rachael Madison @ Moosubi Reviews!

    • Thanks so much for the kind comments! Francis actually doesn’t have a Twitter (unfortunately). One of my review features is that I create Twitter convos/Facebook posts between characters, so I actually create the convos myself. :)

  2. I was very hesitant about this book, but once I got into it I realized that I was laughing and thoroughly enjoying myself. I ended up loving this book so very much. I really hope Larbalestier and Brennan team up again soon!

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