So I’m a quarter way through Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan’s Team Human, the story of a girl, Mel, whose best friend Cathy falls in love with a vampire (Francis) and our heroine must ACT.
To be upfront, I think Larbalestier and Brennan intended for us to be thinking very hard about Mel’s reaction to Cathy & Francis’ relationship. I don’t think we’re absolutely supposed to agree with everything she does or says. Great characters don’t work like that.
Still, I found myself this morning thinking about how I felt about Mel. I was warming to her, but I definitely spent a lot of the first quarter of the book thinking she was being possessive and rude and mean. I read a lot of vampire fiction and romance, so its not surprising that I (rightly or wrongly) identify with Cathy more in the beginning, and I think the writers are trying to make us look at these types of romances from the outside. Mel’s heart is in the right place, and she’s funny and proactive.
Then this conversation happened (in my head) because I’ve been following Sarah Rees Brennan long enough for some things to stick:
Holly1: So, Holly, how would you feel about the things Mel said if she were a cute boy and not a lady?
Holly1: Yep. You fell into that trap.
See, I’m pro-awesome ladies. I take a lot of pride in being in favor of equality in my media and sticking it to the patriarchy, etc. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t fall into the double standard black hole sometimes. Its important to recognize that this happens and that you can take a step back, realize what you’re doing, and look at the character in a different way.
I know I will be through the other 3/4 of Team Human.