Rummanah Aasi
  Can't get enough of the paranormal romance genre? Or are you wishing that this genre will disappear and never come back? Both lovers and loathers of teen paranormal romances will love the satricial take on the genre featured in Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan.

Description (from the publisher): 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.

Review: Typical paranormal romance heroines yearn to become immortal like their romantic counterparts, but Mel is not one of them. She loves being human and that's exactly how she would like it to be. While she might not exactly have her own life figured out, she is always available to help her best friends, Cathy and Anna, with their problems. Mel takes comfort in her routine. She even indulges in Cathy's passion for history, ruins and her romantic notions of anything old in general; that is, until Francis Duvarney, a vampire, enrolls in their high school.
  Vampires are not uncommon in Me's town. In fact they are out publicly and regarded as a legally tolerated minority while some may see them as a tourist attractions. Vampires can hold jobs such as teachers, police officiers, etc. Vampires don't bother Mel as long as they stick to their side of the community and are far away from her and her friends. Francis, with his mesmerizing good looks, old fashion manners, arrogance, and British accent is irresistible to an old soul like Cathy. Meanwhile, Anna sees Francis as an unbearable reminder of the collapse of her parents' marriage. Mel is stuck in the middle and determined to help Cathy and Anna. She has a set plan: prove that Francis is up to no good and she thinks she can take on the risk of venturing into the city's terrifying vampire district, the school's rat-infested basement, or even the arms of a cute guy who actually wants to become one of the dark ones.
  The highlight of Team Human is its humor, an affectionate jab of the paranormal romance genre while makes its own niche in the same genre. Humor is not an easy task to accomplish in writing, but it comes across so effortlessly and naturally in Team Human. I laughed out loud in several parts, particularly of the back and forth conversation about Francis between Cathy and Mel.  The prose is also sprinkled with clever allusions and snark, while highlighting some of the reasons why characters and readers are attracted to paranormal romance. In addition to the laughs, the book also celebrates love on a much broader scale as it features crushes and spouses, parents and children, brothers and sisters, families born and created, and, above all, friends tested and true. There is also a sad side of the story as Anna's family story unravels. I'm also extremely grateful to find an Asian American heroine who isn't regulated to the flat, secondary character but rather a headstrong protagonist that you can't help but root for. If you are looking for a story filled with heart, humor, and can stand the sight of vampires in yet another teen book, be sure to pick up Team Human.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and disturbing images. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Paranormalcy by Kirstein White, Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst, Vladmir Chronicles series by Heather Brewer, Fat Vampire by Adam Rex
5 Responses
  1. Ahh! I have been interested in this book for a while, and your review just makes me even more excited to get my hands on a copy. Great review! :)

  2. I read Brennan's Unspoken recently and it too features an Asian heroine (or quarter at least) and is full of humour. If this one is even a little bit like that, I'm sure I'm going to at least enjoy it.

  3. Candace Says:

    I really like this one too! The humor was fantastic, I enjoyed the giggles I got. Fantastic review!

  4. I've read that this is a funny book. Reading it from you too just confirms to me that it definitely must be a good read. Onto the TBR pile it goes! Great review!


  5. Rubita Says:

    I loved Team Human! Like you, I chuckled aloud at many parts, and ended up including some of my favorite quotes in my review--which I never do. I also loved how the book played up the importance of humor. I feel the way Mel does about it! I couldn't live without it.

    In addition to the fact that the MC was Asian-American, I thought it was interesting that neither of the authors were even from the States. They really stepped out of their comfort zones, in a way.

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