CBR Bingo: They/She/He (author and one of the main characters are trans)
A book like this makes me thankful for CBR because I get to talk about something that made me so happy. Cemetery Boys is a delight.
Yadriel is a teenager in a family of brujx. They want him to follow in their footsteps, but the problem is they’re having some trouble accepting that Yadriel is a boy who wants to become a brujo (rather than a girl who should become a bruja). Determined to prove them wrong, he successfully performs the ritual to become a brujo in secret and then sets out to try and find out what happened to his cousin, who was murdered. Unfortunately, while trying to summon his cousin’s ghost he accidentally summons the ghost of a former classmate, Julian, and then he can’t get rid of him. Hijinks (and sparks!), as you might imagine, ensue.
I love this book. Yadriel and Julian are really great characters, as is Yadriel’s best friend, Maritza. Yadriel’s experience as a trans boy is really movingly portrayed, and I love that it’s handled very matter of factly. Plus there’s Julian, who’s just The Best. He is just such a great character–the kind of character I think probably every author wishes they could create. He’s flawed and annoying, but also so incredibly lively, bright, loving, loyal and just real. He’s just so wonderful. There are all these little moments with him that endeared him to me so, so much. He does this thing with Yadriel’s yearbook which I won’t spoil, but which brought tears to my eyes.
Criticisms: I guess some might think the ending is a bit too neat and tidy, but I liked it. There are some parts where characters are over-explaining things a bit, and the villain is a bit too obvious, but none of these things detracted from the fact that I was spending 400 pages with characters who I was wholeheartedly rooting for. This book is so worth your time. You should read it!