Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
In the sequel to F.T. Lukens’ The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic, spring semester of Bridger Whitt’s senior year of high school is looking great. He has the perfect boyfriend, a stellar best friend, and an acceptance letter to college. Oh, he also has this incredible job: assistant to Pavel Chudinov, an intermediary tasked with helping cryptids navigate the modern world. His days are filled with kisses, laughs, pixies, and the occasional unicorn. Life is awesome.
But as graduation draws near, Bridger’s perfect life begins to unravel. Uncertainties about his future surface, his estranged dad shows up out of nowhere, and, perhaps worst of all, a monster-hunting television show arrives in town to investigate the series of strange events from last fall. The show’s intrepid host will not be deterred, and Bridger finds himself trapped in a game of cat and mouse that could very well put the myth world at risk. Again.
In F. T. Lukens’ novel, Monster of the Week, it’s the end of the senior year of high school for Bridger Whitt with all the anxiety, stress, and sheer anticipation that time of year brings to kids everywhere. For Bridger that means being in a new relationship with the popular sports star boyfriend, finishing his finals, dealing with prom and the yearbook quotes! But that’s not enough, because for Bridger, it’s also about daily tasks like gathering unicorn poop for pixies. All part of his job as a assistant to Pavel Chudinov, intermediary extraordinary to the non human realm that Bridger is now a part of.
That realm and it’s beings actually form an unconventional “family” for Bridger, along with his boyfriend Leo, and bestie Astrid,a support system Bridger will need if he’s to graduate and make it through to attend college next year.
I adore this story. It’s a sequel to The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic but if you haven’t read that one, the author does a great job in giving the reader all the pertinent information here so you don’t feel like you have missed too much. Except for all the joyful and scary goings on that is but that’s another story.
Here we are dealing with the end of senior year and that plenty scary enough. Bridger is full of senioritis! All the “what ifs” are filling his brain and making him crazy. The leaving behind, the fear of the future, the new boyfriend, the what will happens, ….everything! And Lukens makes us remember ours while bringing Bridger’s freakout front and center in funny and heartbreaking ways.
Plus there’s his job and there is always something wonderful and fundamentally hairraising going on there. This time it’s a cable TV show headed to town for an expose to film the residents about the events that happened in the previous story. Things Bridger was in the middle of and no one wants exposed!
The pace is fast. The writing is excellent and the characters amazing. Lukens has gifted the readers with a story that resonates with genuine teenage feelings, sharp, sparking dialog, and in some truly heartrending moments, recognizable angst and family drama to empty many a tissue box. Those scenes with his returned absentee dad? Felt so authentic and sadly real.
As this is a true YA, the sex scenes are non existent or left to the mild kissing. Everything else happens “stage left” as it were. And that’s perfect.
I’m hoping this isn’t the end for this gang and couple. I would hate to see the end of Pavel, and Elena, the pixies, and the Unicorn. More of Astrid and Luke, and even Bridger’s mom. She’s hilarious. And most definitely more of Bridger and Leo.
Because this ends on a HFN, as it should. They are, afterall, teenagers.
But wouldn’t you like to know what comes next? I certainly would. Here’s hoping Lukens is listening.
Until then I highly recommend both stories in The Rules series. Read them both. They are quite remarkable!
Cover art is sassy and fun. Love it.