Author: Aiden Thomas
Genre: Fantasy | YA | LGBT |
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: September 1st 2020
Buy the Book (affiliate links): Amazon UK | Book Depository | Waterstones |
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true 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 off 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.
*warnings: death (parental), gender dysphoria, homophobia, misgendering of a trans character, transphobia*
I am so grateful for these buddy reads because I am finding some truly wonderful books every month. Cemetery Boys isn’t a book I would have normally picked up but I fell in love with the story, the characters, the culture, just everything really.
I really love the story, it’s very intriguing, fast-paced and beautifully written. The Latinx community is fascinating and I loved learning all about their culture, traditions and how much they rely on family. It is very easy to get mesmerised by it as everything is described in such detail. The food sounded delicious and I could imagine the brightly coloured decorations for Día de Muertos. It sounded wonderful and I wish I could be there! But as they are heavy on tradition, a lot of them won’t accept or understand that Yadriel is transgender and is a brujo too.
Determination floods through Yadriel as he tries to find his cousin Miguel. With help from Maritza, his best friend and cousin, they will finally be able to prove to everyone and himself that he is in fact a brujo. Instead, they summon the spirit of Julian and I am glad that he did (Sorry Miguel)! The story had me hooked from the start but as this was a buddy read, I couldn’t just fly through it. I definitely would have sat there and finished it in one go otherwise!!
I did get a bit worried towards the end when I didn’t have a lot left to read and it still felt there was more to happen. In the end, this didn’t bother me at all. I was really happy with the ending, I feel like everything wrapped up nicely. Although I wasn’t surprised by what happened, I was still an emotional wreck, smiling my way through the tears!
Thomas has created such unique characters that you can’t help but love and care for. Yadriel is an amazing main character and has great development. It is clear the struggles he has with being misgendered by his family a lot and it does have a big effect on him. However, this definitely drives Yadriel to become the brujo he wants to be and then he can finally show the others who he truly is, hoping they understand. He really is a truly inspiring character.
Maritza was another one of my favourites because she is incredibly strong-willed, sassy and supports Yadriel unconditionally. Her loyalty to Yadriel is heartwarming and there just isn’t a lot to not like about her.
Now Julian. He is by far my absolute favourite character, I couldn’t get enough of him. He’s confident, cheeky, reckless and always getting himself into mischief. It’s never boring when he’s around. The book is very much focused on Yadriel and Julian. Still, I loved watching their relationship grow as they learn more about each other to then becoming an important support for one another. Their back and forth bickering just warms my heart and the phrases that Julian came out with sometimes just made me laugh. This is a romance I didn’t know I needed.
Cemetery Boys is an incredible, uplifting story but also heartbreaking. I couldn’t help but laugh at the witty humour and I definitely couldn’t hold back the tears that escaped at the end! I can’t recommend this book enough if you’re looking for an amazing heartfelt LGBTQ romance!
Meet the Author
Aiden Thomas is a New York Times Bestselling Author with an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, OR. As a queer, trans-Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, useless trivia, Jenga, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies and organizes their bookshelves by colour.