Review: Team Human by @sarahreesbrennan

Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy turns out to be vampire. Girl ends up turned. They live — and, in some cases, sparkle — forever.

But what about those left behind? The best friend and the ex-boyfriend and the people with whom said vampire girl grew up? These characters, in the vampire book genre, begin as kind of important characters, but end up relegated to the background, maybe showing up at a high school graduation or at a moment when vampire girl, before becoming a vampire, is struggling with deciding to go team vampire or not.

Not so in Team Human, the collaboration between Sarah Rees Brennan and Justine Larbalestier that focuses on the best friend, though vampire girl gets plenty of page time. Said best friend, Mel (short for … well, that would be spoiling it), knows from the moment she and Cathy meet the vampire, Francis, that he will be trouble.

Not that she is racist or anything. Vampires deserve the rights they get, especially in New Whitby (kind of the North American vampire capitol) just not at the cost of her best friend’s humanity.

But Cathy has other ideas, and soon is head over heels for the vampire and his lifestyle, and despite Mel’s best efforts, is hellbent on transitioning, even if 20% of all bitten end up dead or zombified.

Adding to Mel’s already full course load is her investigation into what really happened to her friend, Anna’s, dad, as well as a surprising relationship with a boy who also plans to transition, once he’s old enough.

If you’re tired of vampire stories, then Team Human may be the book for you. If you’re not tired of vampire stories and looking for one, then Team Human may be the book for you. If you’re just looking for a compelling narrator, well-rounded characters, and a twisty and turny mystery, then Team Human may be the book for you.

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