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 Details

TitleCemetery Boys
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 1st, 2020
PublisherSwoon Reads
ISBN-139781250250469
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, LGBT, GLBT, Queer, Paranormal, Young Adult Fantasy, Romance, Fiction, Transgender, Ghosts

Cemetery Boys Review

  • chai ♡
    January 1, 1970
    I can't prove this with science or statistics, but every time I see a queer couple on the cover of a YA novel, ten years are immediately added to my lifespan. God bless
  • Miranda Reads
    January 1, 1970
    Happy Pride Month y'all! Click the booktube link to check out my favorite PRIDE booksThe Written Review Oh my gosh. Can I rate this more than 5 stars???I cannot even BEGIN to talk about how BRILLIANT this one was.I was hooked from the start - the way Aiden set up the characters and the Brujx world was so intriguing and exciting.The plot felt so unique and fresh - I literally read this in a single night and was devastated there wasn't more. I absolutely loved, loved, loved Yadriel and his st Happy Pride Month y'all! Click the booktube link to check out my favorite PRIDE booksThe Written Review Oh my gosh. Can I rate this more than 5 stars???I cannot even BEGIN to talk about how BRILLIANT this one was.I was hooked from the start - the way Aiden set up the characters and the Brujx world was so intriguing and exciting.The plot felt so unique and fresh - I literally read this in a single night and was devastated there wasn't more. I absolutely loved, loved, loved Yadriel and his struggles were so perfectly shown. The way his dad struggled with coming to terms with Yadriel's true self was so heart-achingly real. I also adored Julian - and I'm normally the type to roll my eyes at characters like this in YA. And yet, it worked so well for him. He really embraced himself and did a fabulous job of giving the book some much-needed spunk.The two characters clicked together right from the start and kept that momentum going. They played off of each other so well and honestly carried the book to new heights.I cannot wait for this one to be published and for more people to read it!
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  • ari
    January 1, 1970
    "Latinx trans teen boy, hoping to release his cousin's spirit and prove himself as a brujo, accidentally summons the wrong ghost and ends up falling in love with him"...............this honestly sounds like everything i've ever needed in my life, 2020 already serving us
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  • Leo
    January 1, 1970
    I think 2020 should be renamed 20TRANSty just because of this book and all the #ownvoices transgender umbrella releases coming up.
  • Adri
    January 1, 1970
    CWs: Misgendering, depictions of gender dysphoria, exploration of parental death, non-violent references to blood magic(Check out my spoiler-free #ownvoices reading vlog for Cemetery Boys here.)I am THRIVING. I am LIVING. I am convinced this book was written for me and me alone and I will be accepting no other feedback at this time. While this story acknowledges the realities of queer pain and queer trauma, it is resolutely written from a place of JOY and love. It's fun as hell to read, the CWs: Misgendering, depictions of gender dysphoria, exploration of parental death, non-violent references to blood magic(Check out my spoiler-free #ownvoices reading vlog for Cemetery Boys here.)I am THRIVING. I am LIVING. I am convinced this book was written for me and me alone and I will be accepting no other feedback at this time. While this story acknowledges the realities of queer pain and queer trauma, it is resolutely written from a place of JOY and love. It's fun as hell to read, the trans Latinx rep is out of this world, the gender-affirming magic system is so well executed, and ultimately it's an empowering story about honoring your truth.Don't you dare sleep on this goddamn blessing of a book, because it's going to be a mirror that so many of us have needed for so long.
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  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to Macmillan Audio for the free audio file in exchange for an honest review "Don't mourn me.If you cry for me, I grieve your pain.Instead, if you sing to me, I'll always live and my spirit will never die." I probably wouldn't have picked this up if my friend Miranda hadn't recommended it to me but I am very glad she did. It was spooky, funny, and so, so adorable. It also had a pretty hefty plot twist in the end. So, what's this book about? When his traditional Latinx fami Many thanks to Macmillan Audio for the free audio file in exchange for an honest review "Don't mourn me.If you cry for me, I grieve your pain.Instead, if you sing to me, I'll always live and my spirit will never die." I probably wouldn't have picked this up if my friend Miranda hadn't recommended it to me but I am very glad she did. It was spooky, funny, and so, so adorable. It also had a pretty hefty plot twist in the end. So, what's this book about? 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.I absolutely loved the Latinx culture. I've said it in multiple reviews but in case you haven't read and reread all 800+ of my reviews (how dare you), my dad is 100% latino making me 50% latino which I guess makes me biracial. ANYWAY, this isn't a discussion of my ancestry. My point is I love learning more about the Latinx culture (I admit I don't know as much as I wish I did) and also reliving the stuff I already know.Yadriel's family, in spite of some of them being unaccepting, were sweet. It reminded me of being surrounded by my Abuelos, Tios, Tias, and cousins and the sweet chaos the brought with them. I also loved the magic that was tied to the Latinx culture. It was fascinating and enjoyable to read and I really hope to see more of it in this author's upcoming books. I loved the characters too. Yadriel reminded me of myself (a little bit) and I loved his determination. Julian was so adorable. "It's a doggie dog world" will forever be one of the best, most adorable quotes I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I enjoyed the mystery that was woven into the story. I won't spoil but the plot twist in the end was so good and it totally surprised me. It was very Stalking Jack the Ripper-esque.Bottom Line:4 starsAge Rating - [ PG-13 ]Content Screening (Mild Spoilers)Positive Messages (3/5) - [Sacrifice, Selflessness, Perserverance]Violence (4/5) - [Gore, Body horror, Ghosts, Death, Blood, Stabbing, Shooting]Sex (1/5) - [Mild sexual themes, Kissing]Language (2/5) - [Sh*t, d*ck]Drinking/Drugs (3/5) - [Alcohol consumption, Medicinal drugs]Content and trigger warnings - Transphobia, Loss of a loved one, Violence, Gore, HorrorPublication Date: September 1st, 2020Publisher: Swoon Reads (an imprint of Macmillan Children's (an imprint of Macmillan))Genre: Fantasy/LGBT------------Hecka cute and a substantial plot twist at the end! review to come------------I'M SO EXCITEDDDDDDDDDDD| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
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  • ♠ TABI ♠
    January 1, 1970
    why does this cover give me Pynch fanart aesthetics??
  • paigeofabook
    January 1, 1970
    I need, I need, I need, I need. After 22 years I’m finally out and queer and dating my hispanic girlfriend (im very lucky) and I think we would both sell our souls for an arc of this?
  • Sahil Javed
    January 1, 1970
    a gay book about a trans boy who may or may not be in love with a ghost? i didn't know i needed this until right now.
  • Farith
    January 1, 1970
    the release date got pushed to SEPTEMBER ??? the release date got pushed to SEPTEMBER ???
  • Sheila Loosevelt
    January 1, 1970
    Julian stopped in his tracks, black eyes going wide. “Fuck.” Maritza started and Yadriel ducked, thinking he’d spotted someone. His heart hammered in his chest. “What—What’s—?”“What happened to my skateboard?” Julian threw his head back and groaned, scrubbing his hands over his face. “I just got new axles on that thing!”I was provided an advanced copy of this novel by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own.I know the quote I chose is long, bu Julian stopped in his tracks, black eyes going wide. “Fuck.” Maritza started and Yadriel ducked, thinking he’d spotted someone. His heart hammered in his chest. “What—What’s—?”“What happened to my skateboard?” Julian threw his head back and groaned, scrubbing his hands over his face. “I just got new axles on that thing!”I was provided an advanced copy of this novel by Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed in this review are my own.I know the quote I chose is long, but it is one of the funniest moments I have read in a novel. Imagine you, a high schooler with a bad reputation and a heart of gold, have just realized that you are deceased. Dead. Potentially murdered. No longer alive. For a few moments, you focus on other things such as the boy with a knife trying to catapult you into the afterlife. But, eventually, you remember the most important thing that’s missing. Not your life or your soul or the ability to give someone a wicked high five. No. Your skateboard, the true love of your life, that you just put new axles on, is missing. That sums up Julian Diaz’s character.This book was incredible and I am never going to be over it. If you want a fantastic #ownvoices story about a trans brujo carving out his space in a multigenerational and multicultural latinx family amid a suspicious string of deaths, aided by his best-friend/cousin-who-I-thought-was-a-lesbian-until-i-learned-about-her-pointy-nails and one of said murdered teens? PICK THIS UP.This was such a lovely mix of tradition and modernity, which was a major focus in this novel which dealt with gendered magic and trans MC named Yadriel trying to prove himself in a family that doesn’t know where he fits in. My first highlight in this novel is “Hydro Flask full of chicken blood”, which truly depicts this contrast between old and new without completely ignoring one or the other. Aiden Thomas has an incredible grasp on how-to-write-teenagers-authentically, and I found myself laughing at almost every interaction Julian was a part of. So much of this book was about proving oneself without truly knowing what that would take. Yadriel and his family were so close and loving while still having a great divide between them created by fear and misunderstanding. I don’t want to spoil it, but this book has a happy ending on so many fronts and is exactly what Yadriel deserves (I mean he deserves the world, but it’s close). This was truly one of the best books I’ve ever read, and I read it in a day because it was so captivating I could not put it down. Do yourself a favor and preorder this book, add it to your TBR, request it from your library, and do whatever else you can to make it a part of your life.
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  • ana
    January 1, 1970
    when you click on the "7 Books about Teen Witches Swooping onto Shelves" link and make the mistake of scrolling down too far so you see the comments:some ppl really live like that, huh. fucking... tragic. when you click on the "7 Books about Teen Witches Swooping onto Shelves" link and make the mistake of scrolling down too far so you see the comments:some ppl really live like that, huh. fucking... tragic.
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  • Mara YA Mood Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been sleeping on this hype! But I’m here now!!
  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    I’ve been anticipating this book for at least 6 months and I thought I knew what to expect, but I was not prepared to be so moved by a book about a stubborn ghost!! I laughed, I cried (multiple times, wtf), & I had a big dumb idiot smile plastered on my face while reading the majority of this book. Yadriel’s journey to prove himself to his family and demand to be seen was incredibly powerful and written with so much care & honesty. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that so richly details the I’ve been anticipating this book for at least 6 months and I thought I knew what to expect, but I was not prepared to be so moved by a book about a stubborn ghost!! I laughed, I cried (multiple times, wtf), & I had a big dumb idiot smile plastered on my face while reading the majority of this book. Yadriel’s journey to prove himself to his family and demand to be seen was incredibly powerful and written with so much care & honesty. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that so richly details the culture and traditions within the Latinx community. So much love went into crafting these traditions & settings and you can feel it on every single page. THESE CHARACTERS. I don’t have the words to express my love for these feisty, passionate, and lovable children. The banter between Yadriel, Julian, and Maritza was so comforting & entertaining in every interaction. These babies are *chef’s kiss*.
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  • Mimi
    January 1, 1970
    “Queer folks are like wolves – we travel in packs.”Why you should get excited for Cemetery Boys:- This story is set during the Day of the Dead and dives into folklore and traditions surrounding it.- The protagonist is a gay trans Latinx brujo who can communicate with ghosts (yes, Yadriel is as epic as he sounds).- The love interest is a ghost (a very, very cute one with chaotic neutral energy).- These characters have strong “looks like a cinnamon roll and is a cinnamon roll” vibes.- There are do “Queer folks are like wolves – we travel in packs.”Why you should get excited for Cemetery Boys:- This story is set during the Day of the Dead and dives into folklore and traditions surrounding it.- The protagonist is a gay trans Latinx brujo who can communicate with ghosts (yes, Yadriel is as epic as he sounds).- The love interest is a ghost (a very, very cute one with chaotic neutral energy).- These characters have strong “looks like a cinnamon roll and is a cinnamon roll” vibes.- There are dogs! Dogs, I tell you!Review:“You ready?” Julian asked, a curious look on his devastatingly handsome face. “No,” Yadriel confessed, his voice tight.Julian grinned. “Do it anyways.”Lady Gaga, summing up my thoughts on Cemetery Boys:I have been trying to put into words how I feel about this masterpiece of a story, but how can I find the right words when I literally just want everyone to check out Aiden Thomas’ Twitter feed that is funnier and more insightful than I could ever dream of being? I cannot, in coherent sentences, explain the awesomeness that is this book (and without screaming and flailing my arms no less), so enjoy this list of bullet points that will hopefully encourage you to pick up this book:Magic and paranormal content, oh my! Bestowed by ancient Maya gods, brujx are able to see spirits and communicate with them – it’s even their “job” to help them move on. There is also a lot of discussion about Día de Muertos and its history and Latino traditions involved with that holiday and if you’re a sucker like me and were already obsessed with movies such as Coco or The Book of Life, this deeper dive into the historical background of a vast culture will be just as magical to you!The family dynamics: I have never been part of a Latinx family, but after reading Cemetery Boys, I feel like I have. Thomas creates such an immersive experience of the intricacies of relatives that are (sometimes too) close to each other – from the abuela who will force feed you and keep an eye peeled on the staircase to know who’s sneaking out, to fathers not knowing how to talk to their children and uncles who try to keep the peace – all while doing their best to convey how much they love their tight-knit community.The discussion of identity: In a very poignant conversation between Julian and Yadriel, they discuss why Yadriel has to prove his gender identity to his family. It’s a central topic of the entire book and it hits home – though perhaps his family’s intentions are benign, not accepting someone for who they are especially when they tell you to your face is hurtful and discouraging. Without spoiling anything, this story takes a close look at what it means to be supportive and how to make transitions easier for the people you love. Yadriel is told time and time again that just because he “decides” to be a boy, does not mean he can become a brujo instead of a bruja in the eyes of Our Lady Death – which obviously isn’t the truth as Yadriel is blessed by her. Above all, Yadriel is just a boy who is trying to find his place in a very conservative community but as someone aptly says in this book, “we should be embracing differences, even if it scares us.”One of the biggest parts of this story that has my whole heart is the thoughts Yadriel has about people who keep misgendering him or use his deadname. The fact that he constantly feels like he has to accept everyone’s apologies and how he feels angry about the fact that he shouldn’t feel angry that this keep hurting him – it’s painful to read and realize how many people in this world go through this process day to day and it just resonates – we need to do better. No one should have to fight so hard just to exist.The way Julian helps Yadriel feel secure in his identity just broke my heart. There’s this passage in the book where they’re discussing one of Julian’s friends Flaca –“I mean, Flaca isn’t any less of a girl just because other people look at her and don’t see her as one,” Julian went on. “Just because she’s not on hormones or whatever , or ’cause she’s not ‘passing,’ doesn’t mean other people get to decide who she is. And the same goes for you.” Heat bloomed in Yadriel’s cheeks. “You don’t owe anybody shit,” Julian told him, stormy anger brewing behind dark eyes.”It’s just so *heart-eyes*. Cemetery Boys breaks through a lot of representational barriers in YA and the fact that anyone out there questioning the validity of their identity will get to read this and so many more passages like this…it just can’t be put into words of how important this feels.Intersectionality: In a story focusing on a Latinx gay transgender boy, the topic of intersectionality is going to come up – and Thomas handles the way in which stereotypes and societal expectations can hurt you in such an honest and no-bullshit way: Being transgender and gay had earned Yadriel the title of Head Black Sheep among the brujx. Though, in truth, being gay had actually been much easier for them to accept, but only because they saw Yadriel’s liking boys as still being heterosexual. It’s frustrating to read and even more frustrating to live in a world where expectations and rules are posed onto every aspect of one’s identity – and how much these social mores can mess with a person’s head. Reintroducing yourself to your family and having to contend with these expectations is discussed so openly in this novel and will have your mind reeling about all the things we don’t talk about enough.Freaking. Diaz: If you ever wondered what it would be like to fall in love with a hot Latino ghost who exudes chaotic energy out of his wazoo, let me introduce you to your new soulmate: Julian. Julian is such a whirlwind – he is lively, noisy, caring and carefree, and bright-eyed and energetic and confuses idioms and has the biggest, softest heart out there. Seriously, he loves everyone – except maybe himself. If I had to compare him to anyone, it’d be Doug from the Disney movie Up “I hid under your porch because I love you” is 100% something Julian would say and you cannot convince me otherwise. The book dives deeper into how we as a society attribute stereotypes and coin people bad boys for being lackluster about school instead of delving deeper into why they are having issues with focusing in school to begin with – and finding solutions instead of condemning people outright.Maritza needs to be protected at all costs – the sheer amount of support and encouragement this firehouse of a young woman delivers in this story is off the charts *cue Thank You For Being a Friend…* Not to mention that she is a bit of an outsider herself because she does not want to conform to some of the conditions of becoming a bruja and that brings its own troubles with it – and just goes to show that to stand up for yourself will always matter!I don’t know how to explain this but I know this story would translate really well onto the screen? Thomas has that atmospheric writing down where you just immerse yourself into the story and whether it’s in Yadriel’s room, the underground where he meets Julian’s found family or in the cemetery preparing everything for Día de Muertos, it all just feels very cinematic and you can picture all these places so vividly in your mind with the way it’s described? *cue here my fingers crossing eternally for a movie or tv adaptation because I would legitimately stop breathing if I ever got to see Yadriel and Julian and that ONE scene in his bedroom*And lastly, the actual story just worked so well?! The subplot is a mystery of finding out who killed Yadriel’s cousin and who has been kidnapping teens and hiding their bodies and what the motive for all of this is? – we follow along as Julian loses more and more of his connection to his body and it’s chilling and drives up the stakes to unimagined heights! A real nail-biter!I want to give this book a never-ending hug. By far one of the most spectacular debut novels I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Not to be missed!
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  • Kathy
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the characters, I loved the lore, I loved the relationships. I just adored this book.
  • Nat ⭐️
    January 1, 1970
    TW: graphic depictions of violence and death, mentions of misgendering and gender dysphoria, descriptions of rituals/sacrifices I’m not sure if there are any words, in any language, that can truly encompass how much I love this book. It’s a book about love, about death, about family, about being queer, and above all else, about acceptance—both from others and from yourself.From the beginning I knew that I’d love these characters. Yadriel is vibrant and funny and truly just everything one could a TW: graphic depictions of violence and death, mentions of misgendering and gender dysphoria, descriptions of rituals/sacrifices I’m not sure if there are any words, in any language, that can truly encompass how much I love this book. It’s a book about love, about death, about family, about being queer, and above all else, about acceptance—both from others and from yourself.From the beginning I knew that I’d love these characters. Yadriel is vibrant and funny and truly just everything one could ask for in a teen protagonist. He’s quick-witted and surely flawed, and that’s part of why he’s so lovable; Yadriel is a character who has such potential for growth as soon as we’re introduced to him, and trust me, does he grow. Maritza is the most wonderful snappy best friend ever, and Julian... ah, Julian. I could wax poetic about Julian and how he is one of the sweetest not-actually-bad boy to exist in current YA, but I won’t—so that everyone who hasn’t read this book yet can have a chance to fall in love with him like Yadriel does.I loved how steeped in Latinx and brujx culture this book is. There are unabashed portions written entirely in Spanish, musical references, and SO MUCH FOOD. (And yes, every time we hear about Lita’s Cuban accent, I did sigh wistfully. I’m a Cuban-Puerto Rican who lives in Miami and is starved for good representation, sue me.) This book is specifically set in East Los Angeles, but it is like a love letter to Latinx communities and teenagers everywhere, and for that, I am eternally grateful.I want to also quickly address what some people might call the “insta-love” story in this book. Yadriel and Julian meet and fall in love in the span of approximately 3 days, which I understand is a pretty short time span. However, in their defense:- They’re teenagers. Have you never met teenagers who make eye contact with someone and think, “They’re the one”? Have you never been that teenager? (Okay, I wasn’t one of those teens, but I’m still going to defend it.)- They’ve both struggled with finding other queer teens. Being an “outcast” of sorts naturally leads you to finding other “outcasts” like you, and sometimes even being attracted to these people in a romantic sense.- It’s pretty heavily implied that these characters are soulmates, or have some sort of connection similar to soulmates.- There’s a ton of development in this book that really builds up their relationship before anything really “happens,” so to speak. - Seriously, YOU try not falling in love with Julian after reading the book. IT’S JUST NOT POSSIBLE. In short: I honestly didn’t consider this book “instalove” for several reasons, and I think any potential criticisms that cite “instalove” might just be overlooking what I’ve mentioned above.Truly, there isn’t a thing that I’d change about this book. It was so amazing in every way that I can think of, and I’m incredibly grateful that I was given the opportunity to read and review it. Thank you to my amazing buddy read partner Natalia! Our schedules were really hectic while we organized this, but having her to keep me motivated and to discuss everything with was really, really wonderful.eARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This did not impact my opinion on the book in any way.(12th book of the #StartOnYourShelfathon)
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  • Nerily
    January 1, 1970
    The moment I saw this book on Goodreads I knew I had to read it. So when I received an ARC in exchange for a review I immediately started reading.What did I expected from this book? I wanted a well-written, solid book about the LGBT+ community, with a nice story, a good romance and great representation. And that is exactly what I got.Let's start from the only thing I didn't like of this book, which is the fact that the plot is quite predictable. From beggining to ending it is quite clear where t The moment I saw this book on Goodreads I knew I had to read it. So when I received an ARC in exchange for a review I immediately started reading.What did I expected from this book? I wanted a well-written, solid book about the LGBT+ community, with a nice story, a good romance and great representation. And that is exactly what I got.Let's start from the only thing I didn't like of this book, which is the fact that the plot is quite predictable. From beggining to ending it is quite clear where the story is going, who is the "bad guy", what it's happening and how the story will end. But this doesn't make the book less engaging or enjoyable, it is not a book written for great plot twist.What did I like? Everything else.The characters are lovable, Yadriel, Maritza and Julian are not stereotypes and even if the book is quite short and there isn't much space for introspection the reader has a clear picture of them. I would like to read more about them.Maritza, the supporting character, is funny and balances well the protagonists, but has struggles and morals of her own that make her alive.Julian, the crazy and energic dead boy with loose ends to tie up, he was not the character I was expecting. He is not the typical and edgy (and quite boring IMHO) bad boy, he has problems, a difficult life ( I mean, he is dead), but many friends he loves and that he is ready to protect by returning from after-life. And then there is Yadriel, the main character and protagonist of the book. Yandriel, a trans guy in a family with strong traditions and gendered magic that loves him, but doesn't really get him. He decides to prove himself, not just to his family, but to himself. And he was strong, and lovely (but honestly almost everything in this book is). The interaction with Julian and Maritza often made me chuckle, they sounded quite natural during all the book, even if there is much irony.The part I appreciated more is the relationship between Yandriel and his family, there is a great representation of the struggle of being trans in a family that loves you, but doesn't understand you and often hurt you. There is not over-explanation of terms, but the book offer us a representation of the community and the daily discriminations, such as misgendering. I cannot talk much about the Latinx representation, but it was a breath of fresh air for the YA sector.I really liked this book, and I suggest to everyone who falls in love with the plot to go for it and read it, it will not disappoint you.
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  • TJ
    January 1, 1970
    Almost everything in this novel was perfect— the characters, the dialogue, the magic system, etc. I was hooked from the first chapter, and even though the plot was fairly predictable, I still couldn’t put this one down. It brilliantly mixed fantasy and everyday queer struggles with so much heart. Easily, this is one of the best debuts I’ve read in a long time. I’m very excited to read more from Thomas. 4.5/5 stars and a new favorite.
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  • Dany
    January 1, 1970
    RTC once I'm done crying my eyes out.🌟Trans gay MC🌟Brujo lifestyle🌟Loads and loads of love. Each and every kind.I give you my word for this book and you're allowed to give me terrible book recs if this one doesn't work for you. Deal?Now everyone go read this!!!!
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  • elisa
    January 1, 1970
    no one:this book: mayan mythology w/ a ftm mc & bringing people back from the deadsign me the hell up holy hades no one:this book: mayan mythology w/ a ftm mc & bringing people back from the deadsign me the hell up holy hades
  • Rec-It Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    Perfection
  • Benjamin (The Maniac)
    January 1, 1970
    Both the cover and the plot scream "perfection". Bring me back from the dead when it comes out. (Or save me the trouble and send me an ARC).
  • keira
    January 1, 1970
    this looks like something i must read immediately or i’ll collapse
  • ash | novelly rooted
    January 1, 1970
    i am, in fact, not fine at all.rtca big thanks to swoon reads and aiden thomas for the arc!
  • ngọc ♡
    January 1, 1970
    we have a cover and it's absolutely gorgeous i'm in love
  • Lorna
    January 1, 1970
    Don’t mind me. I’m just casually sobbing over how lovely and encouraging and supportive and amazing this book was.
  • Adriana Martinez Figueroa
    January 1, 1970
    is there a way to petition Swoon Reads for a sequel???
  • Starr ❇✌❇
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advanced reader's copy from Edelweiss TW: Transphobia3.3Yadriel is a brujo- he can see and speak to spirits. And, by his age he should have already had the ceremony to be able to summon them as well. The only reason he hasn't yet, is because his community doesn't believe that he can- because he's trans. And, sure, they'll call him by his chosen name and pronouns (mostly), but their Lady only blesses "actual" men with the power to summon. So no one can deny his identity when he s I received an advanced reader's copy from Edelweiss TW: Transphobia3.3Yadriel is a brujo- he can see and speak to spirits. And, by his age he should have already had the ceremony to be able to summon them as well. The only reason he hasn't yet, is because his community doesn't believe that he can- because he's trans. And, sure, they'll call him by his chosen name and pronouns (mostly), but their Lady only blesses "actual" men with the power to summon. So no one can deny his identity when he secretly summons his own ghost, something that seems like a simple solution. Surprise- things are often far more complicated than they first seem, especially when they involve missing boys, family tension, and unfortunately very cute ghosts.I'm kind of torn when it comes to this book. For one, I'm super happy with the rise in trans main characters. Yadriel's transness is both organic, treated respectfully (ie. there's mention of deadnaming but we never actually hear him be deadnamed), and effects the story into a unique storyline. For that alone I really wanted to love this book.I also enjoyed the religion/Mayan mythos and how well its woven into the story. There's an atmosphere that's both familiar enough to easily fall into, yet brought to life with rituals and history so that it feels like it has depth. The addition of information about the rituals and what comes with them really add to the story, and give you a better picture of Yadriel's world.This book was compared to The Raven Cycle but it doesn't really feel anything like TRC or something Maggie Stiefvater would write, which gave me an unfair comparison. In actuality I'd say this book is a fairly good mix of They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera and The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos, and if you liked those two books, you'll probably really like this one.The romance, like in those books, is not the most well paced, and their chemistry isn't great, but it's still sweet and nice to read. It's something to root for, and I will admit that by the end I was truly rooting for it.My big issue, honestly, that made me disappointed in this book, was that I didn't like the writing. Both in the technical sense- there's a lot of repetition, strange info dumping, and some awkwardly phrased pieces- and in the sense that the characters are all extremely one dimensional. The explanation of Yadriel's ghost friend when he was little made me kind of wish I could stop reading, for example, and that wasn't the only time there was a complete lack of nuance. Also, the theme of "what you think matter more than what other people think" isn't so much underlying the plot as it is randomly stapled onto scenes.As for the characters, I can't name a single one that isn't constantly flat. Julian stuck out the most because he's over the top what the kids would call a "himbo" with little else personality, but Yadriel himself also doesn't have that much going on. He isn't dynamic, he doesn't really learn anything character changing, and you don't even learn that much about him beyond his culture and his the issues surrounding him being trans. He is definitely more a window than a person. Which is better, say, than Maritza, who from the assortment of details we get seems to be a cool, interesting person, but we never really get to know beyond her being Yadriel's best friend.The ending is definitely upsetting, and the scenes that tie to that ending, but it was also very obvious what was happening before we got close to actually seeing it. The inability to see any of what was happening that Yadriel had was simply frustrating, and sometimes annoying.Basically, I like the concept of this book, but I wish it had gone through more revisions. It feels more like an outlined draft of a book than the book I was hoping it would be. Also, it referenced one meme too many for me to take it seriously.But, did I have fun reading it? At least half the time. And did I enjoy the representation and all the magic? Absolutely. I'd guess this is something that teens are going to really like.
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  • Dylan
    January 1, 1970
    *flails*
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