It’s very possible that I’m a bit of an F.T. Lukens fangirl. Seriously. I mean… you’ve probably already noticed this. But there’s good reason for it! For one, I’m in love with her Broken Moon series. For two, now we have new incredible characters in a new world to fall in love with! I was given the chance to be an early reader for her new book–The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myth & Magic–and I absolutely jumped at the chance. Humor, a bisexual main character, and all the fun of cryptids… who can resist?
I got a bit behind in both reading (thank you two weeks worth of stress migraine) and writing this review (thank you semester start), so unfortunately I can’t recommend that you pre-order this book. BUT. It’s this book’s birthday! Today it has released into the wild and YOU can go find it on its very first day alive out there for everyone. And you should. Because it is keysmashingly AWESOME.
Desperate to pay for college, Bridger Whitt is willing to overlook the peculiarities of his new job–entering via the roof, the weird stacks of old books and even older scrolls, the seemingly incorporeal voices he hears from time to time–but it’s pretty hard to ignore being pulled under Lake Michigan by… mermaids? Worse yet, this happens in front of his new crush, Leo, the dreamy football star who just moved to town.
When he discovers his eccentric employer Pavel Chudinov is an intermediary between the human world and its myths, Bridger is plunged into a world of pixies, werewolves, and Sasquatch. The realm of myths and magic is growing increasingly unstable, and it is up to Bridger to ascertain the cause of the chaos, eliminate the problem, and help his boss keep the real world from finding the world of myths.
Can I just start by saying how much I love the cover for this book? Many, many kudos to the artist, because the cover just captures the energy and humor, right off the bat.
The book begins with Bridger climbing up the side of a building because he needs a job. And the ad says that he has to enter through a particular door–and that door isn’t at ground level, nor are there stairs to get there. He has second thoughts (as one does, while clinging to the side of a building), but he makes it through, and from that point on, Bridger’s life is a rollercoaster. He finds himself in the midst of a world that he knew nothing about, but at the same time, he’s still a high school senior who just wants to get through that last year and move on, so he can go to a new place and start fresh.
And yes, this book is funny. It is literally laugh out loud, clap a hand over your mouth and check to see if anyone noticed your outburst levels of funny.
But at the same time, this book made me ache in ways that I’ve forgotten since high school. It made me feel (ALL THE FEELS!) and it made me hurt and it made me want to wrap Bridger up in a blanket burrito and cuddle him so hard. Because it sucks to be that age, and it sucks to try to figure yourself out while not losing track of everyone else. It’s HARD. And Bridger, like most teens, screws it up about as often as he gets it right.
You see, Bridger has a lot going on. Not only does he have his new job, which is confusing and time consuming, but he also has college coming up, and he wants to move away to somewhere brand new. He has a single mom, and sometimes they are like two ships passing notes in the night. He has a best friend, who has been there for everything, and is the only one who knows about his new crush. And of course, there’s Leo, the Big Crush, who is everything Bridger absolutely wants but isn’t exactly ready to let himself have.
And there’s conflict. There was one part that absolutely ripped my heart out, between Bridger and Astrid (his best friend). I’ve been there. I’ve done exactly what Bridger did, probably multiple times throughout my life (I’m not so great at friendship). And as Bridger tried to figure out how to go forward, how to heal his life and his relationship with Astrid, while still moving on into the new parts of his life… I ached with him. I may have cried, because OW.
I want to talk about so many things in this book, but I don’t want to spoil anyone. So I’m going to leave you with this: my favorite part of this book is the relationships. It’s a found family story. Yes, there are actual family members (like Bridger’s mom). But it’s about the way Bridger and his boss, Pavel, become friends. It’s about the pixies (who need to care for their family), and Astrid, and Leo, and even Mindy. It’s about how they come together and need each other, and the different ways each of them becomes a part of that family. And about how they do care for the others in their family. For all the humor, it’s really a story of love. And I don’t mean romance, although there is certainly that as well. I mean love: between family, between friends. And in the end, that’s what made me want to cuddle this book and keep it and read it all over again (and recommend it to everyone I know).
It’s fun. It’s heartwarming. It’ll take you on an amazing rollercoaster ride that’ll leave you breathless and laughing (and possibly crying, just a little). And you’ll have a smile on your face when it’s done because sometimes things get to turn up happy. And that’s a good thing.