Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Writer's View: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan



From Goodreads: Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.

Acclaimed authors Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan team up to create a witty and poignant story of cool vampires, warm friendships, and the changes that test the bonds of love




The Writer's View
 
This book was recommended by Felicia at Livin' Life Through Books. As soon as I found out the MC was a Chinese-American, I rushed out and bought this book. I was not disappointed.

Have any of your ever found a character that you relate to on an insane level? This was how it was for me as I read Team Human, and the Chinese-American bit was the smallest part of it. I related to Mel, the MC, in so many ways! 1) She doesn't wear make-up because she just can't be bothered. 2) She's got a non-stop inner dialogue that comes out of her mouth at all the wrong times. (Foot in mouth, anyone? Though at least this annoying habit has gotten better as I've aged.) 3) She doesn't want to be a vampire. She doesn't even think vampires are all that cool. In Mel's world, vampires = people who can't eat chocolate. I've never really connected with the whole teen vamp romance thing, and it was refreshing to meet a character who was as skeptical about it as I am. So yeah, I totally loved this book.
 
Best Supporting Actors
 
One of the things that really stood out for me in this book were the "best supporting actors" -- those characters who made a few cameo appearances, but left such an impression that I found them impossible to forget.
The gems of this novel were Mel's family. They have very little page time, but they were so incredibly rendered in those few pages that I felt like I knew them. There were some wonderful little details that made each of them seem like living, breathing people. Mel's little brother always gets his homework done at least a week in advance. Her mother is a messy cook and punishes her children by making them clean up after her. Her dad feels guilty that his kids don't have much connection to their Chinese heritage, and every few weeks cooks traditional Chinese meals for them.

While reading this book, I learned a lot about the importance of making an impression, even with only minor characters.
It's all in the details. Even just a few sentences or detail can elevate a supporting character from background clutter to a three-dimensional character.

4 comments:

  1. Yay! So glad I didn't disappoint you in the recommendation. I related to Mel a lot too. I would definitely love to read a continuance of the story, maybe a sequel to someone else's point of view? Awesome review, glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for mentioning me :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've not heard of this one. I'll have to check it out now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This sounds like such a fun read and I've heard many positive reviews on it. It's amazing when you can connect so much to a character it can make the book epically good! I'll have to check this one out!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am totally reading this one. Memorable minor characters are the mark of a truly great writer. Sometimes I find minor characters that I am more attached to than the main character and that often saves some books for me.

    ReplyDelete