Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Review: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan

What do you do if your best friend falls head-over-heels in forever love with a vampire?  Break them up, obviously.

I mean, come on - sure, you're immortal, but an eternity of wearing haz-mat suits in the sunlight, drinking blood (ew), and never being able to laugh again (seriously, it's actually physically impossible for vampires to laugh)?  Uh, yeah, no thanks.  So when Mel's BFF since kindergarten, Cathy, starts dating Francis, the new vampire in school, Mel is determined to save Cathy from herself - and the romantic Cathy-inspired love ballads and sonnets that Francis keeps writing (and singing while accompanying himself on the lute.  Yup.  The lute.).  Mel knows vampires are only up to no good - especially after what happened to their other best friend Anna's dad over the summer.

Mel is thrilled when she (slightly illegally) discovers a note in Francis's school file that he's writing a book about human love and romance.  Clearly, Francis is only using Cathy as a research subject.  Mel is even more thrilled when she lets Francis know she's on to his sneaky ulterior motives, and he reluctantly agrees with Mel that it's best for Cathy if he disappears from her life forever.  Excellent.  Cathy will cry, eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's, and be back to normal in no time.

But that's not what happens.

When Cathy sets out after Francis, determined to get some answers out of him, Mel knows it's her job to find Cathy and bring her back to the human side of town - the Shade is no place for a human after dark.  But, by the time Mel tracks Cathy down, it's too late.  Cathy has already broken into the basement of Francis's home, and while Francis fortunately isn't home, his roommates are.  One of whom is a cop.  A vampire cop.  The vampire cop who, coincidentally, is on the case of what went down with Anna's dad.  And since Mel agreed to help Anna figure out what happened to her dad (in the time she's not using to break Cathy and Francis up), plus the fact that it's kind of her fault that Cathy broke into Francis's house, Mel finds herself tangled up with not just one irritating vampire, but a whole bunch of them.  Including the vampire cop, Camille's, human son, Kit.  Who just so happens to be cute and funny and love making snarky Francis jokes.  In other words, perfect for Mel - except for the part where he plans to transition as soon as he turns 18.  Which is maybe not so great.

If you are seriously sick of vampires, or maybe just don't get why your BFF can't get enough of Edward's old-fashioned courtship of Bella, you'll love amateur sleuth and well-meaning (if a tiny bit interfering) best friend Mel!  This one is a great mash-up of mystery, friendship, suspense, hilarious snark, and swoony vampires - with a couple of zombie vamps thrown in just for fun.  Check out this light, fun read before the required reading starts for school!

(who is completely engrossed in Seraphina by Rachel Hartman!)