Monster of the Week (The Rules #2) by F.T. Lukens
Published: Duet Books (October 15th 2019)
Genre: young adult; contemporary fantasy
Rep: bi mc with anxiety, Latino (half-Puerto Rican) gay li, sapphic side character, Easter European side character
TW: panic attacks, absent parent, homophobia
Rating: 4/5 🍑
ARC provided by the publisher.
First of all, I have to admit I was not aware this is a second part of series, but even so – it was a pleasant read & I don’t feel like my lack of knowledge diminished it in any way. I probably will read the first book, though, because I love those characters now.
Monster of the Week ticks off all the right boxes for me, so I have to go through them one by one before this turns into a three-page long rambling nonsense.
(1) The found family trope! Bridger (the mc) has an excellent group of friends & loved ones who care about him and he come together for him. It’s truly amazing. But I also want to point out that (1.a) it melts into an almost actual family, with Bridger’s boss being a beautiful father figure for him.
(2) The narrative addresses that! More than once, and especially in a scene with Bridger’s biological dad. It was superb! So not only do we get multiple parent characters, be it bio or not, but they also show different ideas on parenting. And the book is very clear on which ones are appreciated. It highlights how important supportive parents are for kids, which is not something we see a lot of in YA lit. The same goes for extended family and this loving environment is shown time and time again.
(3) The book is pretty great in terms of diversity. I really love that Bridger is bisexual and that the word pops out on the page all the time and that there are a few discussions about what it means to be bi. And love even more that he’s in a committed relationship through the whole book. None of that ‘bi people are flaky & inconstant’ bulshit here!
(4) Speaking of Bridger’s relationship, another thing I adored is the importance put on consent! He and his boyfriend have multiple conversations about whether or not they’re ready to have sex & each time they’re framed as totally natural and just the thing that should be happening. They also just generally talk a lot and constantly support each other. It’s incredible to see a healthy relationship that screams it’s based on a friendship.
(5) This book is so funny!! It’s my exact type of humour, which might not work for everyone, but so what. It reminds me of Buffy a bit in that department and has that very distinctive vibe of “Where are you getting your juice? / My mother is doing all the shopping”.
Monster of the Week is a wild ride, with unicorns and pixies, and werewolves, and boyfriends who are baseball stars, and inside jokes between friends. It’s utterly optimistic and gives you so much hope without feeling like it’s trying too hard.
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. He also has this incredible job as an 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.
What’s a fun YA book you have read recently?
Do you generally enjoy fantasy books?