Team Human

LARBALESTIER, Justine & . 348p. CIP. HarperCollinsHeather Miller Cover/HarperTeen. 2012. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-06-208964-9; ebook $9.99. ISBN 978-0-06-208966-3. LC 2011026149.
Gr 9 Up—When Mel's best friend, Cathy, begins to fall in love with a centuries-old vampire who starts attending their high school, Mel does everything she can to prevent them from becoming a couple. Afraid of losing Cathy forever, and forced to face her own prejudices against vampires, she begins an adventure that results in mystery and romance. The story is set in a town famous for being founded by vampires escaping persecution; the cast of characters deals with typical teen issues while also living in a world with vampires and zombies. What really happened to their friend's dad, a vampire psychologist said to have run off with a patient? What does it mean to be human when you've been raised in a community of vampires? Is the chance of becoming a zombie worth the risk in order to follow your dreams and heart? Larbalestier and Brennan have created a witty story of friendship that takes place in a realistic fantasy world in which people can choose to become vampires as long as they follow the official government protocol. Not your typical vampire novel, this entry into the genre has a poignancy that is rare, coupled with a dry humor that is truly laugh-out-loud funny.Sharon McKellar, Oakland Public Library, CA
Mel does not like vampires. They're cold, they hate sunlight, and, worst of all, they have no sense of humor. Though most vampires in New Whitby are law-abiding citizens, Mel firmly believes they belong in the vampire quarter of town, the Shade, not mixing with humans. When Francis, a particularly irritating vampire with a stuffy English accent, arrives at her school, Mel is horrified to see her best friend Cathy falling for him. After all, their other best friend, Anna, is still grieving over her doctor father's recent disappearance with a beautiful vampire patient. Determined to stop Cathy from making a tragic mistake, Mel follows her to Francis's house in the Shade, where she is surprised to meet a human boy who was raised there -- a very hot human boy, in fact. Kit makes her laugh and also causes her to question her preconceptions about vampires. Creating an original vampire story among the plethora of recent offerings is a challenge, but these two authors team up successfully with a new twist that retains all the essential elements -- romance, suspense, and danger -- as Mel investigates the increasingly suspicious disappearance of Dr. Saunders. Stamped with Mel's distinct brand of sarcastic humor, Team Human is both fearsome and funny, a fresh entry in the popular genre. lauren adams

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