I am part of a YA for everyone book group at my local library. The organizer tries to pick books that fit the time of year, so for October, Halloween, we are reading Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. I had no idea what this book was about, which is sometimes a great way to be pleasantly surprised. Well, I really liked this book, it was such a fun ghost story.
Yadriel is a trans teen who is trying to become a brujo. His Latinix family is very old-fashioned and still consider him a girl. When he and his best friend Maritza, unknowingly release a spirit, right before the Day of the Dead, they then try to figure out what happened and how to fix their mess. Julian, the spirit of a classmate, is more than they bargained for. He is a very energetic, bad boy with a “gang” of friends and only a brother for family.
There are so many aspects to this book. It has romance, friendship, family, coming of age, Latinix culture (including lots of food references), great teen characters, a mystery to solve, gay/trans acceptance, ghosts, pets (one rescued cat and a pair of easy going pit-bulls), a creepy old church, and a happy ending (I love a happy ending).
I think this is a book that would appeal to many, even those who don’t usually read YA. Having read lots of YA this year (for the aforementioned book group), I was growing tired of overblown teen angst. This was a refreshing change to that. I am not sure where I have been hiding this year, as I missed other CBR readers who have reviewed and recommended this.