Review: Team Human

Team Human - Justine Larbalestier, Sarah Rees Brennan, Julia Whelan

"A vampire who wants to go to high school? That's the stupidest thing I ever heard."

Parodies of popular books tend to be thin, existing primarily for the purpose of the joke. As you might guess, Team Human satirizes Twilight. Yet it's also a complete story in itself, with strong themes about friendship, love, and overcoming prejudice. Ultimately, it's less satire and more reboot.

Our narrator is Mel,  the girl who would be the sidekick in another story. She's not white. (Identifying as ABC - American Born Chinese.) She's opinionated and hot-headed. And she's utterly aghast at the way her gentle best friend is mooning over a vampire.  Although she lives in a vampire town -- and is certainly not bigoted towards vampires, of course not! -- Mel deeply distrusts her new vampire schoolmate Francis, and is certain he'll hurt Cathy.  Mel takes on the task of saving Cathy from herself, as well as trying to solve the mystery of her friend Anna's missing dad. And along the way she meets Kit, a human boy adopted by vampires, and has everything she believed turned upside down. It's funny, sweet, and painfully sad in parts.

The audio narration is strong, although the male voices are on the overly gruff side.