Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Aiden Thomas
Jan 4, 2022

Yadriel is a Blacksheep. His whole family brujos and brujas fit into their roles as spirit savers and healers respectfully. But Yadriel, a transgender boy, is stuck in the middle identifying as a brujo but being acknowledged as a bruja by most of his family. To prove he is a brujo, Yadriel appoints his cousin (the other Blacksheep of the family) in saving the day through the powers of the brujos. Yadriel succeeds in using the brujo powers but summons the wrong spirit. Instead of helping his family, he summoned the spirit of bad boy Julian...

The book had a good premise I enjoyed the representation and a twist in the usual main characters of YA novels. But there were some flaws that were hard to overlook. The book was slow, three days seemed to take up half the book. The book was like a YouTube Video of “A Day in my life”. I wake up, I roll out of bed, I stretch, I walk ten paces to the bathroom. There were parts of the book that could have been condensed. Additionally, the author failed to show not tell. As a reader I like to get to know the characters through their actions rather than their inner monologues, it allows for a more genuine connection. Finally, any author who approaches relevant topics of activism must not preach for the movement but instead invest the reader in a character that represents it. The tell-not-show and the lack of character depth of Yadridel left me feeling like I just witnessed someone give a bland speech on accepting others. If the author wanted me to genuinely feel an emotional connection to the message, Yadriel’s hobbies, passions, future goals, and all the other components that make up a person’s identity should have been represented. It’s important that authors understand that gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and race are a part of someone’s identity, but they do not define them. Thus, when looking to approach a topic of activism they must acknowledge this. If you still are looking for a coming-of-age book that involves LGBTQ LatinX characters and romance that meets my criteria read, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz.

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