Friday 6 July 2012

188. Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Published July 2012 Allen & Unwin

From the publisher:
Mel and Cathy and Anna have passed vampires on the street, and sat near them in cinemas, but they don't know any. Vampires stick to their own kind, and Mel and her friends hang out with other humans - until a vampire boy in a bizarre sun-proof suit shows up at school and captures Cathy's heart.
Mel is horrified. Can she convince Cathy that life with a vampire is no life at all? Should she? And then all her assumptions about vampires are turned on their head when she meets Kit, a boy who makes her laugh - a boy with a very unusual family history.
Will Mel's staunch anti-vampire stance jeopardise her closest friendships? And where does Kit fit in? In the end, who will choose...Team Human?

So we have had Team Edward and Team Jacob now we can consider Team Human as a preference.  Welcome to New Whitby, where vampires and humans live side by side, well…kind of.  It is no secret that vampires exist, albeit in the slightly less 'sunshiny' parts of town.  Vampires might be living in the same town, but due to their nocturnal habits, it’s a bit unusual for one to enrol at the local high school. Enter Francis Duvarey, 100+ years old, turning up at school with his protective Hazmat suit (so the sun doesn’t kill him).  Mel doesn’t have a problem with vampires in general, but it's another story when her best friend looks like she’s falling in love with one.  When Mel digs a little deeper into what Francis is really doing at school her concern deepens.

Then Mel meets Kit (short for Kitten),  and she is introduced into the private world of vampires.  You see, Kit is human, but has been raised by vampires and has very little contact with the human world.  There are some laugh out loud moments where Kit and Mel get their wires crossed, especially when he and Mel kiss for the first time, and his first reaction is to tell her that he doesn’t want to have sex with her.  He was under the impression that humans want to have sex all of the time and kissing is obviously a lead up to that!

I am sure this book isn’t meant to be too deep and meaningful, but in a way it is.  The book is about friendship.  As a friend, you want what is best for the other person, you don’t want them to make decisions that you can see might be risky or foolish.  This books show that the most difficult aspect of friendship is actually letting go, and allowing our friends to make their own choices and decisions, even if we might not agree with them, and support them in the process.  I am pretty certain that readers of this book will not be faced with the same dilemma as Mel, but the lesson is the same. It's also a book about the frustration you feel when your best friend starts obsessing over their boyfriend, to the exclusion of everything else.  Again, your friend might not be dating a vampire, but the feeling is the same.

Even if you think you are over vampires you should give this book a chance.  It's funny and witty, and puts a slightly different spin on the vampire novels you may have read in the past.  See below for an interview with one of the authors. Justine Larbalestier.

Who will like this book: Girls age 14+
Read it if you like: Vampire stories (with a twist) 

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