I am super excited to be hosting a spot on the Xpresso Book Tours Blog Tour for Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas! This book was one of my most anticipated reads of 2020 and I’m happy to say it lived up to all my expectations.
So check out my post and review below and make sure to enter the giveaway!
Title: Cemetery Boys
Author: Aiden Thomas
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Genre: Young Adult – Paranormal – LGBTQIA+
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
I loved it!
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas’s paranormal YA debut 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 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.
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
Note: I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Cemetery Boys was one of my most anticipated releases of 2020 and I’m happy to say it totally lived up to the hype and anticipation! I loved this book about a latinx trans boy who wants to prove himself as a brujo to his family but ends up summoning the wrong ghost… and falling for him. I actually sped through it in a single day, that’s how invested I was. I absolutely adored this book and recommend it wholeheartedly, and here’s why:
The magic system
Yadriel and his family are brujx – people with powers bestowed upon them that enable them to see spirits and communicate with them. The brujo use their powers to summon spirits and guide them safely to the afterlife, while the bruja’s powers are more of a healing nature. I loved this aspect of the story, learning more about the magic system and seeing the brujx go about their daily lives in preparation of Dia de las Muertas.
I loved every single one of the main 3 characters. Of course Yadriel, our main character, was such an amazing character. He’s been through so much and it’s so tough watching him go through his family not accepting his true self, but his character arc is so well done and I loved going on this adventure with him. Julian (the spirit of the story) was a breath of fresh air. I thought I knew what to expect from his character from the blurb alone, but he proved to be so much more than the bad boy stereotype. I loved his chaotic energy and his interactions with Yadriel. And then there’s Maritza, Yadriel’s cousin and partner in crime. I loved how fierce she was, how supportive she was of Yadriel, and how she would do anything for him. Together, these three made a great sleuthing trio.
I’m not gonna lie, I was seriously craving some ghost romance for some reason, and the romance between Yadriel and Julian was so much fun to watch enfold. I loved every minute of their slow-burn, doomed romance. Though they only knew each other for a short while, it never felt instalovey but instead flowed naturally for their circumstances. I loved how Julian was so supportive of Yadriel and his identity and I loved how Yadriel brought out a soft, happy side to Julian. I was rooting for these two so hard and I was not disappointed.
The Latinx culture and family dynamics
I loved the depiction of the Latinx culture and traditions. A lot of the story centers around Dia de las Muertas and the preparations for this and I enjoyed learning more about it and Latinx history and mythology. Also, the food!
The family dynamics also were very intriguing and very interwoven in the Latinx culture. Though Yadriel’s family is not all as accepting of his identity, it still feels like a tight-knit community who would do anything for each other and love each other, despite their misgivings and treatment of Yadriel.
The trans rep and discussion on identity and acceptance
The issue of identity and acceptance are woven throughout the story and we really feel Yadriel struggling and get a feeling for the daily discriminations trans people go through. It was painful seeing Yadriel’s family being unaccepting of his true self and misgendering him, because even though they loved him, they still hurt him. But eventually, the story is about acceptance and Yadriel gets everything he deserves (because he really deserves the world, let’s be real).
I only had one minor issue with this book, and that was the predictability. I thought it was pretty obvious from the beginning who the bad guy was and what was really going on. That said, it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the story. In fact, I enjoyed catching on to the foreshadowing that was woven in and I was still just as excited to read what would happen next and how everything would be solved in the end.
Overall, I highly recommend this story. It was intriguing, spooky, adorable and fun. I loved it so much that I’m definitely buying a copy for my shelves and will often re-read it.
Aiden Thomas is a YA 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, Harry Potter 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 color.
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Enter the giveaway for your chance to win a print copy of Cemetery Boys. You can enter below or go the following link.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out the rest of the tour here.