Published September 1, 2020
About Cemetery Boys
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.
CEMETERY BOYS is another one of the books that’s been on my To Be Read list for a while. I wasn’t able to get a pre-release copy, but I did order a copy when it released. Yay! Recently, a friend gifted me an audiobook version, so I listened to that version and loved it.
I loved Yadriel’s character and especially his friendship with Maritza. I tend to love characters who say the thing that everyone is thinking, even if it’s a hard truth, so Maritza was pretty much guaranteed to be a favorite with me.
It took me a little bit to fall in love with Julian, though. At the beginning of the story, he keeps himself closed off and it takes a while for him to thaw. So I felt braced not to like him, but as he opened up, I found that I loved his strength and loyalty to the people he loves.
I liked the way the story explored Maritza’s veganism and how it impacted her place among her people and her relationship with magic. It brought up some interesting things and was cool to see a vegan represented in a YA story. I haven’t seen that very often.
In terms of the plot, I felt like it moved along at a really good pace. I liked where the story went and the speed at which things unfolded. It definitely kept me reading.
All in all, I enjoyed reading CEMETARY BOYS and I would love to read the next book in the series and/or other books by Aiden Thomas.
Recommended for Ages 14 up.
Yadriel is Mexican and Cuban American. Julian is Colombian American.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat frequently.
Kissing between two boys. In one scene, a girl comments on the fact that boys are wearing hospital gowns which are open in back and she can see their butts.
Yadriel is part of a community of magic wielders who have the ability to heal or interact with spirits of the dead. Those roles are decided by gender and both involve the use of animal blood in order to complete the magic. In a special ceremony at fifteen, boys or girls are welcomed into their new abilities by Lady Death, the goddess who governs their magic. Spirits who linger may at first have the personalities they had in life, but the longer they remain, the more they risk becoming corrupted and turning violent and evil if they’re not released.
Situations of peril. References to murder. Rituals involving the use of blood. In one scene, a character finds a boy with a knife in his chest, slowly bleeding out. One man loses his life to a ritual gone awry.
Yadriel and Julian go to a beach party where kids are drinking alcohol, but they leave after a short while when police break up the gathering.
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