PJV Quickie: I’ll give it to this young adult, paranormal book, they took a tried and true topic, shook it up and set it down backwards for a very off-kilter read that had me laughing out loud and rooting, for the first time ever, Go ‘Team Human!’Title: Team Human
Authors: Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Series: Stand-alone, but hinting at maybe others in “same world”
Type: Young Adult Paranormal Mystery / Romance
Expected publication: July 3rd 2012 by HarperTeen
ARC Review, copy provided by Amazon Vine
The town of New Whitby is the vampire haven of the USA, founded by vampires, they flourish here and apparently so do the humans. The vampires stay to their part of the town, the humans to the other. Mel Kuan hasn’t really been up-close and personal with a vampire before and that is fine by her, ‘monsters’ aren’t meant to be all cuddled up with. The vampire groupies make her sick and the fact that some people turn into zombies instead of vampires just screams “why would they do this?”
Then a vampire decides to start attending Mel’s high school and his sudden interest in her BFF Cathy has Mel freaking out. This has bad news written all over it. For one, why would a centuries old seventeen year old want anything to do with a regular 17 year old? Not to mention, why would one want to attend high-school? Add that to the fact, the principal, Mel’s other BFFs mom, looks absolutely terrified of the fanged Francis. Mel knows there is something going on and she has to find out what it is. Cathy is her BFF and Mel will not let her get hurt by some poetry spouting, Hazmat suit wearing, non-laughing, pretty boy.
This book was full of original ideas, funny one-liners and deeper underlying messages. I really enjoyed myself through the whole adventure. What I really found charming about the book:
The new take on vampires, that they couldn’t laugh, because their emotions are basically elongated and drawn out. They are not known for their spontaneous and passionate explosions of emotions. Therefor no laughing. They wear these Hazmat suits out in the daylight, basically they look like tinted astronauts. There are restrictions on turning vampires because 2 out of 10 either die or turn into zombies.
I like the underlying prejudice of the whole book, which seems to crop up a lot in vampire/human stories. Even though I always roll my eyes at this. I know authors like to use the civil rights movement in comparison, but really, our darker skinned brethren never once liked to snack on us as appetizers, which in turn led to our hatred of them. I think personally this tends to trivialize human’s nature to be prejudiced. To quote our favorite sparkly variety…”Then ask me the most basic question: What do we eat?” I would rather compare vampires to how humans are prejudiced against serial killers or child pedophiles, not people of other races.
I personally think mosquitos are monsters, so if Vamps popped up on the radar of real life, I might be intrigued but I wouldn’t be pushing for their integration into my kids high school or pushing for my teen to transition into one with a kid she only met a few days ago. These underlying thoughts through the book had me firmly on Mel’s side, which is awesome, because I’m usually like “Hell Yeah Vampire.” This speaks loads about the book in general and the authors abilities to tell a great story. Top these great topics off with Mel’s humor and snarky narrative, the interesting, yet sort of predictable mystery, then sprinkle in a bit of love interest for the cuddly Kit and you have a very good overall book. The only down point being the mystery that I figured out a little bit too early for my liking. But, the ending tied up everything nicely and I think I learned a lesson or two. Bravo ladies, I will now be stalking your book list over at goodreads.com
Heavier topics, but light and fluffy content. I would recommend this for teens 14+ and mom’s you might even enjoy this one if you wanted to read first. Fans of paranormal romance will not be disappointed, even though it is not the main focus of the novel, only a side highlight.