‘Kristin,’ I said to her voicemail yet again. ‘The boy advice, man advice, whatever, it’s not for me. It’s much ore serious than that. Cathy’s gone all moony-eyed over a boy. Not just any boy. This one is an undead pain in the butt, and he won’t go away. Help!’
Seeing a vampire isn’t all that unusual in New Whitby, given that the city was founded by vampires. But although Mel and her friends Cathy and Anna might have seen them before, they haven’t actually met one. Vampires tend to stick to their own kind, and their aversion to light means they tend to be awake and active when humans are asleep. Then a vampire comes to their school, and suddenly everything is different, because Cathy is convinced that he is ‘the one’. Mel is determined to do whatever it takes to make Cathy see that dating a boy like Francis is dumb, but considering becoming a vampire to be with him is just sheer madness.
Her efforts to save Cathy are complicated when she meets Kit, a human boy with an unusual upbrining. Mel’s anti-vampire sentiments are soon trheatening not just her friendship with Cathy, but also her connection with Kit.
Team Human is an interesting take on the vampire book phenomenon. Taken as a parody of the form, it is clever and funny. Taken as a straight read, it also works – there is romance, mystery, suspense and character development. Whether teen readers will consider it a parody will depend on the reader, but because it works either way this is not a problem.
Team Human, by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Allen & Unwin, 2012
This book is available from good bookstores, or online from Fishpond,