Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys

Book - 2020 | First edition.
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Yadriel, a trans boy, summons the angry spirit of his high school's bad boy, and agrees to help him learn how he died, thereby proving himself a brujo, not a bruja, to his conservative family.
Publisher: New York : Swoon Reads, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781250250469
1250250463
Characteristics: 344 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm

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AlishaH_KCMO May 14, 2021

Trigger Warnings: Misgendering, deadnaming, death of a loved one, loss of parent, some descriptions of self-harm (for ritualistic purposes), and mention of parental abuse, transphobic parents, and deportation

Even though his traditional Latinx family has trouble accepting his gender, Yadriel i... Read More »

“Yadriel, a trans boy, summons the angry spirit of his high school's bad boy, and agrees to help him learn how he died, thereby proving himself a brujo, not a bruja, to his conservative family.”

After Yadriel’s family doesn’t accept his gender identity, Yadriel sets out to prove he can be a real brujo: by freeing the ghost of his murdered cousin. But when he accidentally summons the ghost of his school's notorious bad boy Julian Diaz, he will not let his death go lightly, prompting Yadri... Read More »

You do not need someone to validate your identity. You know who you are.


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AlishaH_KCMO May 14, 2021

Trigger Warnings: Misgendering, deadnaming, death of a loved one, loss of parent, some descriptions of self-harm (for ritualistic purposes), and mention of parental abuse, transphobic parents, and deportation

Even though his traditional Latinx family has trouble accepting his gender, Yadriel is determined to prove him to be a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend, Maritza, he performs the brujo ritual himself and is blessed by Lady Death.

When he tries to find the ghost of his murdered cousin to set him free, he instead summons Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, who's not about to die without a fight. He's determined to find out what happened and to check on his friends. Without another option, Yadriel agrees to help Julian so they can both get what they want: Julian to tie up loose ends and for Yadriel to set Julian's soul free so he can prove to his family he's a true brujo. But, the more time Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants him to leave.

Reading this book was a joy. Though Yadriel was the main character, I very much enjoyed Maritza (such a badass) and Julian (what a firecracker) - they were all instantly lovable and worked well with each other - even if they did bicker.

The story was very character-driven, which I think is why I enjoyed it as much as I did, especially because I was able to figure out both the villain and the storyline pretty early on. But again, because of the characters and the message behind Yadriel's story, I really enjoyed this novel. Julian's chosen family trope is really well done and cute and I just wanted to hug them all!

I really enjoyed reading a queer fantasy with a trans main character - it's not something you get to read about right now (though times are changing). This novel also portrays a great variety of Latinx cultures. It's a great read for all ages.

HPL_Ari May 03, 2021

I. Love. This. Book.

"Cemetery Boys" is undoubtedly one of the best books of 2020. It follows Yadriel, a trans brujo who accidentally summons a ghost while trying to prove his identity to his family. Of course, a swoon-worthy romance and a mystery ensues.

This book is such a celebration of Latinx culture and trans identity! I adored Yadriel, and the romance was *chef's kiss.* This is an absolute must-read for fans of the "Brooklyn Brujas" series or paranormal romance readers!

s
Sevey13
Apr 23, 2021

It breaks my heart to rate this a three-star book. I’m happy it exists, I’m happy the author is writing, I’m intrigued by the world they built, I’m thrilled that trans youth, especially those with Latin American heritage, will see themselves in the book. But I just don’t think, as a book, it comes together and I think it is quite counterproductive and actually rather insulting to the queer community to not hold our stories to the same standard we’d hold any other book to (heaping praise on a mediocre book just because it has strong representation of traditionally marginalized communities is, to quote a war criminal, “the soft bigotry of low expectations”). Interesting characters never re-appear, the mystery, to which the characters are oblivious, is predictable to the point that by the end of the first few chapters I’d already figured out what the “big bad” was going to be, and by the halfway point I’d additionally figured out exactly whodunit, whytheydunit, howtheydunit, and what the ‘plot twists’ would be. It was all so painfully obvious that the last quarter of the book felt like a tedious exercise where I ended up sort of skimming through page after page which confirmed what I’d predicted 100 pages before was indeed coming to pass. I hope Aiden Thomas continues to write, and continues to explore their culture and their own truth to create fiction. I also hope their future books are just flat out better, because that’s what the queer community and the latino/a/e/x community deserve.

JCLEmilyD Apr 19, 2021

How to make this book better: More kissing. That's it.
Seriously though, excellent story! Captivating, interesting, and queer. <3

g
Greisi
Apr 01, 2021

I was so surprised by how much I enjoyed this. I loved the tone and style of writing of Yadriel. I think this was a nice departure from the typical YA with the focus being on latinx culture and tradition and how difficult that can be for young teenagers who don't fit the mold of straight and cisgender. I'm looking forward to the next book written by this author and I definitely recommend it for reading for those who want to support minority voices and also just become more comfortable reading LGBT novels.

Gina_Vee Mar 07, 2021

I loved this book. I love the Dia de los Muertos theme and Yadriel's determination to be accepted by his family, not in an earning of approval way, but in a becoming more and more himself way no matter what his family says. I also like Julian's way of affirming Yadriel's identity by making sure Yadriel knows he does not need to prove anything to anyone. The ending almost made me cry.

m
Margar_B
Feb 10, 2021

A beautiful, lush, romantic, sensual gem of storytelling! Yadriel and his world will leave you craving a sequel. Thomas' sensitive treatment of a trans main character is unsurprising since they themselves are trans, and the character development is much more sophisticated than so much YA literature that I've personally read. I could see this story being optioned for a film!

1
15karobinson
Feb 01, 2021

A great read! I found parts of characterization of the teens to be more of an idea of what teens are like rather than what they really are - but what do I know, I'm not one anymore so maybe I'm wrong. Otherwise this story was fun and exciting and had a plot twist you can predict is coming only if you really read between the lines - to get to the reveal and get to know you had called it earlier was vindicating haha! It takes a bit to build up to actual action part of the plot but the build makes it worth it as you grow attached to the characters and invested in their story. The main character being trans was a bonus for me, and I enjoyed that with it being a story centered around death and ghosts as well as lgbtq+ people it still ends happily for the main cast.

d
ddb883
Jan 20, 2021

Queer brujx that lives in a cemetery? This checks so many boxes for me!
Beautiful, heartbreaking, exciting, and funny, I highly recommend it.

LoganLib_Sheridan Jan 19, 2021

So the author made the mistake of revealing everything very early. If you are familiar with book tropes, especially YA you will easily guess most of the ending after chapter two. There is a scene that just completely sets the picture.

Having said this the characters are amazing, hilarious and very easy to connect with. There is a lot to love about this book. The relationships too make for a compelling read as Yadriel fights for acceptance from his community and handles a very full-on ghost with the help of his accepting cousin Maritza.

This book has excellent trans and latinx representation using both the culture and the language and how this connects with Yadriels gender identity in a complex relationship. The language is very gendered and the culture dictates different abilities for men and women. It would have been interesting to see it applied to a non-binary person.

I loved the vegan representation as Maritza is a vegan and this affects her ability to do magic but she fights for those who are important to her when it matters in whatever way she needs to. She fully supports Yadriel and is one of his best and only friends.

The book also has other LGBT representation in Yadriel's and Julian's relationship. I love these two together because they are such opposites and yet somehow it just works. I think more input and backsory about Julian's friends would have been interesting. Maybe spin off novels? Julian has a transwoman friend too for a different perspective though I can see why the author might not want to write that story.

There might have been very few surprises but this story was a lovely cute story that was well worth the wait

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