by Aiden Thomas
Narrator: Avi Roque
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.4x
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
Narrated by Avi Roque, Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas delivered a culturally rich Latinx fantasy surrounding the day of the dead. Family, acceptance and romance enhanced this vibrant tale.
Yadriel, a trans gay teen desperately wants to be brujo (warlock, magician, sorcerer). It is a tradition of his family/community. The brujo are healers and protectors of souls. Their powers are gifted by the god of death. Each year they prepare food for both the living and the dead.
When his cousin goes missing, Yadriel longs to help but hasn’t been accepted by the god of the dead. He takes it upon himself to enter the cemetery and perform the ritual. He accidently summons Julien Diaz. Julien wants to find out what happened to him, and Yadriel reluctantly agrees. He enlists the help of his friend and cousin Maritza.
The tale is rich in culture with an underlying theme of acceptance. The romance is a slow burn and felt both honest and tender. I loved the family dynamics and the growth we witness from characters as events unfolded.
Día de Muertos (The Day of the Dead), the gods, the brujo/bruja was a blending of the Latin cultures. I enjoyed the stories, beliefs and traditions. The dishes and foodie talk will leave your mouth watering. I also may never look at marigolds the same.
The mysteries of Julien’s death and the missing cousin drove us to a climactic scene before the story brought closure and hope. At times, I felt the pacing dragged, and that we were given information dumps, but the characters particularly Julien were rich.
Avi Roque was delighted as the narrator and captured the characters. I love that the publishers and author chose a latinx trans gay to narrate. It gave the story an authentic vibe. Avi captured these young characters.
I have read/listened to more diverse books in the past few months, not because I sought them out but because they are coming to genres I enjoy. I love seeing more diverse characters and cultures.A mystery surrounding Día de Muertos and a sweet romance will keep you listening to Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, Narrated by Avi Roque #audiobook #latinx #urbanfantasy #mustlisten #YA #LGBTQ Click To Tweet
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: