Cemetery Boys Review

Title: Cemetery Boys
Author: Aiden Thomas
Release Date: 1 September 2019
Age Range: Young Adult


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.


TW: Misgendering, exploring parental death, gender dysphoria, blood magic

[I was given an arc in exchange for an honest review]

This book was everything I’ve been wanting to read and more. I haven’t read a book in less than 24 hrs, but Cemetery Boys broke that streak. I couldn’t put it down because it was so good to me.

I especially loved the struggles that Yadriel faces in a family that has troubles accepting his gender with the very gendered roles they have. Because as someone with a family that has lots of gender roles ingrained, I could relate to that struggle a bit and how it invalidates who you are.

And the struggles of being trans from the mentions of Yadriel and his binder and family members using his dead name, or others using his dead name and the struggles of using bathrooms in public. It made my heart hurt, but it’s things I long for or suffer with and it was nice to see it represented in a book. I’d never seen it before. But I especially loved how it was sprinkled in throughout, shown through day-to-day life as it usually is. How it wasn’t the whole story, there was a plot outside being trans was nice as well as I haven’t read that before.

Yadriel and Julian. I just love how their relationship slowly develops throughout the story. It was great seeing it develop and how it affects the plot like our relationships with people and how much we like them actually affects our lives in real life. I love going back over my sticky notes and seeing how far they have come while writing this review. And how small scenes and interactions affected Yadriel’s feelings and opinion of Julian was *chefs kiss*. But I need to just, THAT ONE SCENE AT THE END. MY HEART CAN’T TAKE THINKING ABOUT IT.

I loved the way the story was told and detailed it was. You could feel the struggles Yadriel goes through everyday and throughout the events of the story very wells. And the description to describe the setting and life and culture of Yadriel was beautiful and so detailed it really brought you into the story and setting. I especially loved the way that each character felt real and like a person, not a random side character. And I also loved how certain events were tied into describing Yadriel’s family’s life and how they live without info dumping.

There was repetition through the story when it came to certain information, but it felt perfectly placed to remind you about it and build on the bigger plot. Each time soemthing was repeated it brought new info and built on what you knew so you could slowly put the pieces together. And that the ending of the story wasn’t a huge surprise because the writer lead you there and it actually made sense due to what you were already told. To me, that’s amazing writing to be able to do that and have that ability to build it up and also keep the sorry interesting and engaging to the reader.

I loved this book so much and can’t wait for more people to read it! And I honestly wish there was a movie or tv adaption because that would be amazing to watch.