Synopsis: 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. (Goodreads)
Publication Date: September 1st, 2020 (Swoon Reads)
Genres: YA, Urban Fantasy
Trigger Warnings: transphobia, misgendering and deadnaming, gender dysphoria, dealing with parental death. references to blood magic.
Cemetery Boys was one of my most anticipated reads so I’m so glad to say that I loved this book so much! I buddy read this book with Kate @ Your Tita Kate and Kal @ Reader Voracious and we had so much fun. This book is pure chaos and fun with the most amazing protagonists and intriguing storyline.
The story of Cemetery Boys follows Yadriel. Yadriel is trans and his traditional Latinx family has trouble accepting his gender so Yadriel is determined to prove himself a real brujo. He performs a ritual along with his best friend Maritza and sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin to set it free. But in doing so he accidentally summons the ghost of Julian Diaz, who is the resident bad boy of school. Julian wants to know how he died and Yadriel has no choice but to help him and thus chaos ensues.
The story was so good. It was emotional, funny, heartfelt and it will make you laugh, smile and cry. The paranormal elements were so well-written and there was never a dull moment in the book. This made me truly enjoy it. The mystery hunt Yadriel and Julian set on to find out answers is good and their chemistry slowly builds up which I loved reading as well.
I think the characters were the best part of the book for me. They were so fun, well-fleshed out, chaotic and just wholesome. Yadriel is a trans Latinx who is having a hard time getting his family to accept the his gender. We see him trying to prove himself and suffer because of being overlooked and his true self being denied. And at the same time, we see him pushing forward and being true to himself and embracing the small support system he has. Yadriel is so precious who has a kind heart and just wants to be a brujo and accepted into the family wholeheartedly. I adored his character journey so much.
The other character is Julian Diaz. Julian is so chaotic, I love it. He was introduced as the “bad boy of school” and the more you read about him, the more funnier this statement gets. Julian is the cinnamon roll who looks like could kill you, but just can’t because he IS a cinnamon roll. His love for his friends was so sweet. We also have Maritza, who is Yadriel’s best friend and the most badass in the book. She loves and supports Yadriel so much and they’re such big friendship goals.
All the characters in the book felt so genuine and I think that made the book more fun and enjoyable for me. They all just clicked so well together and as a reader you could feel that.
The World Building
This was an urban fantasy based in LA. It had a fun magic system of brujos and brujas and the Latinx culture was written so well. The descriptions were amazing and I loved how it all came together. I also loved how proud Yadriel was of his culture and we could feel how he truly loved being a part of it. It was atmospheric and the will also make a great Halloween read.
The Writing and Pacing
The writing was really good. I felt the pacing was a little off at some points which is probably one of the only low points for me. This pacing felt too fast at some points and it confused me once or twice. But honestly all the other elements of the book were so good, that by the end of the book the pacing did not even bother me at all.
Overall, Cemetery Boys was a well-written and fun YA urban fantasy. If you’re a fan of YA urban fantasy, paranormal fantasy, chaotic and wholesome characters and an intriguing storyline with witchy vibes, then you MUST READ Cemetery Boys!
Thanks to the publisher and author for providing me with an eARC through Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.
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