Title: Cemetery Boys
Author: Aiden Thomas
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Genres: YA PNR/Fantasy/LGBT
Blurb: Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.
However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
It’s been a little while since I’ve written a review, but I found that every time that I went to write just a line or two about this book I couldn’t. A line or two quickly became a paragraph or two. There’s just so much I loved about this book.
I don’t want to repeat the synopsis here. You can read that for yourself. And that alone was enough to make me super anxious to pick up this book. However, it doesn’t tell you that Yadriel and Maritza are doing the ritual at this point and time because it’s almost Dia de Muertos. He’s looking to prove himself and be presented to the family with the other new brujx.
Y’all! The descriptions surrounding this Latinx family in their preparations for Dia de Muertos were fantastic!! I will warn you now that if you are on a diet with little self control, don’t read this book right now. The food!! There’s soooo much food. I loved hearing about the different foods and the purpose behind certain foods being prepared. You get to hear about some of the processes, too. And the different decorations used and how some were made. Different rituals are discussed and the setting up of the ofrendas. You are so completely immersed into the culture that you’ll feel like you’re there!
I also really loved the family dynamics. Yadriel’s family is a close, tightly knitted family, but him and his uncle, who doesn’t have any powers, are on the outskirts and a bit neglected. You feel for Yadriel and his sweet heart immensely. His mother was very supportive but she died. You get the feeling his father loves him, but just doesn’t know how to offer the support he needs. Yadriel wants nothing more than to be a brujo, but his father is scared to let Yadriel go through that ceremony with him being trans. He doesn’t believe the ceremony will work. I felt for Yads and his father. Did his father always do the right thing? No. But, you felt the love regardless.
Okay, so I haven’t really talked about Julian. Julian is a blast. He has no qualms about being a ghost. He just wants to make sure that his friends are okay and that they weren’t hurt when he was. He has a seriously bad reputation, but you quickly see that he’s a fun-loving guy with a big heart for others. And his antics will have you cracking up!
There’s also the whole mystery behind what happened to Julian and what happened to Yads’ cousin taking place throughout the book. As far as that went, it certainly added an interesting plot to the story though I was able to figure out the “who done it” and “why” early on. But with it all taking place as Dia de Muertos was being prepped for, it was still all so very intriguing. The only thing that detracted from the story for me were a few logic issues that popped in at different points in the story.
I would recommend this book for those interested in Dia de Muertos, trans characters, ghost stories, and love stories. This book was fantastic because it had all of those!! 4.5 Strong Stars!!!
This book was absolutely perfect for this fall season as Halloween is approaching! Do you have any recommendations for books that are perfect for the season??