REVIEW: Cemetery Boys


Cemetery Boys (Cemetery Boys, #1)
by Aiden Thomas
Released on September 1st, 2020
Published by Swoon Reads
Young Adult Fiction—Fantasy, Romance

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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.

Trigger/Content Warning(s): Transphobia, Blood, Death, Deadnaming, Death of Parent(s), Grief, Violence, Murder, Injury/Injury detail, Homophobia, Mentions of Child Death, Gore, Dysphoria, Kidnapping, Mentions of Child Abuse, Body Horror, Mentions of Animal Death, Panic Attacks/Disorders, Mentions of Outing, Abandonment


It is difficult to put into words the sheer brilliance that Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas is. This book is a masterpiece, a craft of its own level. Completely addicting and un-put-down-able, this book lives up to its hype and is more than worth a read.

With the premise of summoning ghosts, this book already held my interest. But Thomas still surpassed expectations. Putting together a wonderful hook, it was hard to pull my eyes away from the pages. The story starts off strong and continues that way throughout each chapter. Thomas’s writing style brings the reader in, flashing the story in fitting pacing that keeps the story moving while still attending to the need for intricate detailing in parts.

Yadriel’s character tugged at my heart. A teen boy who longs to be accepted for who he is within a household that is set on tradition and beliefs that hold him back from feeling like he truly belongs, Yadriel has cemented his spot on my favorite characters list. Thomas did a fantastic job in character development, not just in the main character, but in each of the side characters too. Upon summoning Julian, readers are given the opportunity to see bits of his personality mingled with struggles Yadriel slowly uncovers over the course of just a small bit of time. Seeing the adventure develop with Yadriel, his cousin Maritza, and Julian really made me long and wish for my younger, teenage self to have had this story. These characters were true to their age in every right—personality, decision-making, reaction and influence, etc.

The plot of this story was overwhelmingly enjoyable. I found myself having to stop for small breaks so as to further enjoy the story and not rush my way through it. While I was able to uncover the twist of the storyline a bit earlier on, I fault this on myself and not on Aiden Thomas’s writing.

Lastly, the worldbuilding was one in which I had been able to step into and experience for myself. Thomas made it easy for readers to picture and imagine the world Yadriel was seeing.  Every little detail–be it a tree, the graveyard, or the stolen car–it was all there, almost as if we were standing in Yadriel’s shoes ourselves and seeing and hearing and tasting and smelling through his senses.

Thomas also rang the readers through the emotions each character emitted throughout the story. It was difficult to hold back tears in some scenes, and in others, I found myself laughing along or smiling.

This book was a mystical, fun experience for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading. For that, I give it a single star (recommended) rating. I loved Aiden Thomas’s writing here, and I eagerly anticipate and look forward to reading their other currently published and upcoming books.

Separators (1)

Aiden Thomas is a New York Times Bestselling author with an MFA in Creative Writing. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, Oregon. As a queer, trans, Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.

Their debut novel, CEMETERY BOYS, was published on September 1st, 2020.

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