Thanks to NetGalley and Swoon Reads for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Synopsis: 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 Julien 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 has been a much hyped YA book for the last several months, and after devouring this in less than two days, I’m pleased to say that it’s entirely deserving of all the buzz.
What I loved most about the story, besides the characters, was the total immersion into Latinx culture, and young transgender Yadriel’s struggle to be accepted by his very traditional family. You also see the how transgender youth continue to not be recognized in society, as, for example, Yadriel isn’t even allowed to officially change his name for his yearbook photo.
I also loved the interaction and dialogue between the three main characters. They all are very well developed and come across as teens you’d like to meet in real life. The only criticism I have is that I found the mystery predictable and had already guessed who the villain was going to be in the first few chapters.
In my opinion, Cemetery Boys, from its eye-catching cover, to the highly entertaining story within, is one of the best YA books to come out for this year. I believe it’s going to be a stand-alone, but the characters are so likable, I’d love to see a sequel. With Hollywood’s predilection for adaptations of YA books, I’m going to be shocked if this isn’t scooped up quickly. I’m already drawing up my dream cast.