Assisting an intermediary between the worlds of myths and humans is easier than asking the football hero to homecoming.
High school senior Bridger Whitt is determined to escape humdrum Midden, Michigan, so he can finally be himself (read: determine his hetero-, homo-, or bisexuality far from familiar faces). When he is accepted by a Florida college, he realizes the only way he and his single mom can afford it is to fatten his coffers via part-time employment. Answering a very peculiar ad, he’s hired to assist the terminally tackily attired Pavel Chudinov, who is charged with ensuring humans don’t mix with cryptids. And the sudden abnormal influx of creatures in Midden (troll, unicorn, mermaids, etc.) has them burning the mythic candle at both ends. As if dodging toxic troll spit while maintaining his GPA wasn’t challenge enough, Bridger must also contend with his burgeoning feelings for dreamy Puerto Rican neighbor Leo, who just might also be into him. Bridger, gal pal Astrid, and Pavel are white. The strength of the content, pace, and character cast outweigh intermittent and repetitive pronouncement of clichés or reminders of a character’s weirdness. Bridger’s inner turmoil over his sexuality is delivered as confusion not self-deprecation, and on the periphery, he gradually realizes that he’s making a bigger deal out of it than any of his contemporaries.
Creatures, comedy, and coming out: check. (Fantasy. 13-17)