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on January 4, 2014
I was so excited about reading this book when it came out. I wanted to love this book, I really did. I mean I have a huge obsession with all things Sarah Rees Brennan and vampires, so what was the problem?

Still unsure at this point if I enjoyed this book or not.

The humor was alright, storyline was great, the characters eh, I do love the cover though.

Kit was my favorite character. He was so cute, and so funny. I think he had the most personal growth.

No love triangles so if you have an obsession with love triangles I would not suggest this book.

Mel as a character was just not likeable to me. I mean I completely understood why she would be protective over her best friend Cathy, but after a while her personality became annoying to me.

My favorite character was definitely Kit. I loved his personality, and how funny he was. I kind of wish he had been the main character.

Team Humans take on vampires was very true to origin. The can't eat, they're cold, sounds like they don't reproduce or have...the sex, can't go out in sunlight, etc. They aren't blood sucking fiends, but you get the idea. Oh and I just love how this book mocks vampire human relationships. It's so very true that in most books the character who falls in live with the vampire, ditches her friends, and wants to become a creature of the night right away.

However, despite all this I really loved the story line, and plot. There was so much going on with trying to get Cathy to stop seeing her vampire boyfriend, to reading about zombies. The mystery surrounding the characters lives was absolutely amazing, and kept me reading until all hours of the night. I also loved how all the characters were different for the most part. The main character wasn't white for once (I have nothing against white people just most books are set in a white world). And there was even an African- American in the book which was very exciting. Like I said nothing wrong with white people: half of my family is white, my boyfriend is white, many of my friends are white, you get the picture. I just enjoyed the change up!

Favorite Quote: So true, except it would be peanut butter for me!
"Also, vampires don't eat food. You never get to eat chocolate again. Ever. I'd rather die.

Many many many people loved this book, it just wasn't one of my personal favorites. I hope you do pick up a copy for yourselves so you can decide for yourselves whether you like it or not.
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on May 12, 2013
Like many reviewers here, I bought this book after reading the first chapter from Justine Larbalestier's blog. True confessions time: I'm a writer and a reader, and the multiple vampire-story references hooked me, as well as the fact that Larbalestier and her co-author Sarah Rees Brennan stood on opposite sides of the Vampire Question. I wanted to see how all of this would play out, especially I'd just finished writing a story with a similar premise. In short: skeptical best friend of vampire-obsessed girl tries to do something about her friend's apparently unhealthy relationship.

Take the same premise and two writers, and you'll get fifteen variations. I adored this novel, and as a snarky sort myself, I felt like Mel was my long-lost baby sister. One thing I should note about Larbalestier (having since read a number of her other stories) is that she writes multicultural characters, and not in a token way either. For once, the publisher didn't white-wash a main character who isn't European-descended, and the choice of models really worked well; I actually pictured these folks in the movie that unrolled in my head as I read.

(Oh yeah, and I'd totally pay money to go see the movie, if they didn't butcher the casting by making everybody white.)

Hilarious dialogue, and really skillful interweaving of the dark, the comedic, and the heart-breaking. One thing I particularly liked in the world-building here was the subjective experience of vampires, who live in a sort of half-world (yes, I'm trying to avoid the word 'twilight,' even though that's what first comes to mind). The transition to vampire is not risk-free either, so even though vampires have become part of mainstream society, there are very strict discussions of the consent involved. One either becomes a vampire or goes zombie; this cranks the horror aspect a notch higher. It's unconstitutional to write vampires without reference to horror, and this story does not disappoint.

Reader-self had a marvelous time, did not regret buying the hardback edition, and has been word-of-mouth recommending this one to anybody who likes vampires, comedy, vampire comedy, stories with snarky hilarious romance, or well, just good stories.

Writer-self walked away with a whole pile of shiny new ideas, including what sort of people would enjoy 'life' ('unlife'? 'undeath'?) as a vampire.

Twilight was a game-changer for the vampire genre, and this novel stands out as an example of how to deal with the aftermath of The Sparkly Ones, while tipping the hat to all the vamps that went before and what makes the undead so freaking scary.
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on July 28, 2013
Mel is an American-born Chinese high school student who lives in the fictional city, New Whitby; a fairly unique city in that it is host to a large vampire population. Although vampires live in a segregated area (the Shade), it is a fairly peaceful co-existence and there is a fair degree of integration. That doesn't mean everyone likes them or accepts them, most notably, our protagonist Mel.

It's not that Mel doesn't know any vampires or understand much about them. It's not that she wants them out of her school, or does not want any to date her best friend. Except, yes to all of that.

One day, a vampire by the name of Francis arrives at her school, and Cathy, Mel's best friend since "forever", is immediately besotted, even if Francis is topped head to tail in a hazmat uniform.

Mel is determined to not let Cathy and Francis develop a relationship. However, it rapidly becomes clear that Mel is fighting a losing battle: Cathy is walking around like a love-zombie, in too deep, and gentlemanly Francis, who is a century and a half her senior, seems to care quite a bit about Cathy too.

If this book contained an early hook, I must have missed it. Nothing drew me in. The same after 20 pages, 30 pages, 40 pages, 50 pages... When I hit 100 pages I was beginning to wonder if anyone could write a book and get it published--don't agents usually talk about the first 30 pages as being key? If this was a first manuscript, I doubt many agents would have progressed past the first 3 pages. (For the record, I'm glad they did)

Yes, it is a parody, but not a delicious one. The commentary is slow, obvious, and repeated ad nauseum; it does get better, smarter, but the smartest of it doesn't come until towards the end. (I note the 5-day diary comments)

Parody aside, the characters were bland, and the initial conflict felt weak--I didn't care that a vampire had commenced attending her school, I didn't really care that Mel didn't like him or his kind, and I most especially didn't care that Cathy was infatuated. Most of all, I didn't buy Mel's concern for love-struck Cathy's well-being and thus I didn't buy it as a good enough reason to commit to the book and push past the first 100 pages.

I think all of this could have been solved if Mel had been made more likeable early on. As it was, she came off as uninteresting, bigoted, and rude. All of her 'comedic' one-liners fell flat for me (I have read a lot of Rees Brennan, so perhaps it's that I'm coming to expect her brand of one-liners, which are excellent in and of themselves; it's just that I find they fit in some characters' mouths, not in others). Mel repeated her concerns for her friend over and over again and took very unimpressive steps to address them. Very little, with the exception of minor verbal drama, occurred for a very long time. It was like reading Sweet Valley High.

Then, suddenly, something actually happened... At nearly the half-way mark, we meet a new character--several new characters--and the book comes to life. Even better, Mel becomes likeable: it took Mel being liked by someone very likeable to be, you know, likeable as well. They had a lovely on-page chemistry: the effect Mel had on this person was intriguing. This particular character (who shall go unnamed lest I spoil the story) was the single most interesting part of the book: the authors considered an entirely new spin on the vampire/human experience. I liked it. It was fascinating, far more compelling than any parodying.

From that point on, the book quickly grew on me, and I started to care about almost everyone. Characters began to show more personality (I note here the scene with Cathy and Mel in which Cathy makes something very clear to Mel and reveals she holds more than one expression and also possesses a backbone). The 'mystery' started to become fairly obvious and certain major decisions to be made by Cathy and That Certain Someone were also easy to guess, but in spite of all of that, I didn't care as I was finally emotionally invested. And Mel's unpredictable lack of tact actually starts to shine -- a spark of attitude that keeps you on your toes in what could have been a typical romance. I finally "got" what the authors always wanted her to be, and what they were hoping the book would gain from her personality: not just the voice of the parody, but someone true, bold, and unrelenting, and yet vulnerable in many ways as well. Someone who really did care for her friend, something I was told countless times, but it felt like lip-service and didn't feel authentic or significant until the end.

Apparently, there is a sequel. I'm looking forward to it now.
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on July 27, 2012
Hilarious, adventurous, and heartbreaking - all perfect words to describe this book! It is a book about love and friendship, with an extra emphasis on friendship! The plot is a simple mystery that builds up slowly until the gut-punching conclusion, and it would spoilery to say anymore.

The main draw of this book, aside from the witty humor, is the characters. Mel is great as the brash, snarky protagonist, and her struggles are easy to relate to. She is somewhat abrasive, and, refreshingly, she does not always get everything right. Still, her heart is in the right place, and she loves all her friends deeply.

Cathy is a lovely stand-in for every person who knows what it's like to be lost in her own fantasy world, and a person who loves a good book! She may seem flighty to some people, but she never makes a decision without doing all the research she can! All in all, she is a delightful portrayal of the girl gone gaga for a vampire.

Francis, the main vampire stud, is hilariously posh and pretentious. He is not given as much depth as the other characters, but he has enough personality to be entertaining. He and Cathy do share many interests (poetry being a big one), and the relationship actually seems believable and sweet.

Kit, a boy raised by vampires, is also a hilarious character who offers Mel an alternative look at the fanged bloodsuckers.

The book also contains a host of lgbt minor characters, which is always nice to see.

This book will make you both laugh and cry, possibly at the same time! I hope every person who reads it enjoys it as much as I did!
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My sister recommended this book as we are both huge fans of Sarah Rees Brennan's The Demon Lexicon trilogy. I read the first chapter on Justine Larbalestier's blog and was hooked.

Team Human co-written by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan is a very unique vampire book. It pokes fun at all the books and movies that have come before, but in an endearing way (somewhat like Enchanted the movie did for fairy tales). We are introduced to a fun protagonist, Mel, whose best friend, Cathy, falls in love with a vampire. Mel is completely against this union, but other sinister happenings come to light with their other friend Anna and her missing father. While this book pays homage to all things vampire, it is not only that-- it is a complete novel in its own right.

I laughed so hard through the first few chapters-- and I don't normally do that. Mel is such a fun character-- and yet, she is also flawed, and has to come to an understanding by the end. This makes it a good YA book. I loved the character of Kit, and that of the police vampire woman Camilla. Some of the plot lines were obvious, but I welcomed these twists and enjoyed reading every page.

Terrifically funny, moving, and enlightening YA novel. A must read for vampire lover and hater alike.
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on September 10, 2012
***SPOILERS AT MID/END OF THIS REVIEW!!!*****

I wanted to like this book SO much more than I did. At first, I LOVED it. I thought (based on the title) that it was going to be a kind of Twilight parody, and in a way it is, until the end.

Mel is a human girl. She has a best friend, Cathy, who is also human. In the world they live in, vampires have been outed though they generally segregate from humans. Mel and Cathy live in a town that was originally founded by vampires hundreds of years ago as a safe haven against vamp persecution or something.

Francis is a vampire. He, for some reason, starts going to school with Mel and Cathy. Cathy is Bella Swan - "old soul" who loves reading Jane Austen and sitting around in meadows full of wildflowers reading poetry. Cathy and Francis immediately fall in looooove.

Mel hates vampires and has a huge problem with this - so the majority of the book is Mel trying to get Cathy out of this relationship. At some point, Cathy decides to become a vampire as well, and Mel struggled to try and change Cathy's mind.

I loved Kit. Kit is a human who was raised by vampires and lives in the same "Shade" (er, Coven, nest, whatever) as Francis. Mel meets him while she's trying to investigate Francis and some other stuff and the two connect. I liked the dynamic between them and all of their interactions were awesome.

Where this book fell apart for me was the whole Cathy becoming a vampire thing. The authors try to make it seem like she's doing the right thing and Cathy's mom even agrees to it. Cathy has known Francis for a matter of WEEKS when she decides to become a vamp for him. And in this world, becoming a vampire has a 20% chance of either DYING or becoming a ZOMBIE. Of course, Cathy becomes a vamp successfully and she lives happily ever after with Francis.... but I think that was an awful thing to have happen. Especially in a book called TEAM HUMAN. A HUGE portion of the book is Mel trying to save her friend's life, and she fails... for insta-Bella/Edward-love that is completely unrealistic and stupid.

Cathy is SEVENTEEN! I had a boyfriend at 17. I thought we were in loooove and would be together forever and ever. We aren't anymore. I know some high school couples make it, but the VAST majority do not! I can't believe Cathy's mom would go long with this as well. I'm sorry, it's just not cool that this book makes it seem okay that a 17 year old girl gave up her life for a boy she had only been dating a few weeks.

(sigh)

Anyways.

Some reviewers did not like the LGBT characters in the book and I kind of get why. I didn't mind that Mel's older sister was a lesbian. That didn't bug me at all. What bugged me was Ty suddenly becoming bi-sexual at the end. There was absolutely NO lead-up to this and it seemed thrown in just to add another LGBT character to the mix. I wouldn't care if he was bi... if there was some indication of this earlier. He's portrayed as a straight male for the entire book, only to be "Hey, I like dudes too!" at the end, which is strange to me. There's no rhyme or reason to it, it just is tossed in and forgotten about.
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on March 3, 2013
A fantastic, fun, witty novel with a wonderful, relatable, incredibly human protagonist, Team Human is a must-read. Mel Duan is funny, smart, and seventeen; unsure of her own future and constantly caught up in the high intensity vampire-themed drama supplied by her friends in order to find her way in the world. It is difficult not to see oneself in Mel -- both as the oft sidelined common-sensical observer in vampire romance novels and as the girl in high school who worried more about her friends than her own future -- and I can't think of a better role model for young women her age: brave, sassy, self-reliant and compassionate. Chalk up a win for this book.
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on November 5, 2012
This book was fantastic. I hope these two authors write more of this series. The book is about what happens in the lives of what would normally be back up characters - ie Bella's best friend and whatsisname's (the vamapire)'s foster (sort of) nephew.

Very funny, very clever with great characters and sophisticated world building.
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on January 4, 2013
This is a fun book! If you are tired of the typical 'high school girl falls in love with an immortal" story, this book is for you!

Mel's best friend Cathy is infatuated with a vampire named Francis. Mel is determined that Cathy won't fall under his spell. Mel is sweetly, hilariously Team Human!
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on June 28, 2014
It's nice to see a vampire story where the girl doesn't fall in love with a. Vampire and kit was awesome
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