Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: September 1st 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family summons a ghost who refuses to leave in Aiden Thomas’s paranormal YA debut Cemetery Boys.
Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.
When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true 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 off 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.
When his alarm went off in the morning, Yadriel groaned into his arm. He felt even more exhausted than before he’d fallen asleep. He rolled over, hand blindly reaching to hit snooze on his phone. With effort, he forced his bleary eyes open.
To find a black pair staring back at him.
Yadriel thrashed and scrambled back, hitting the back of his head on the edge of the window. In his panic, he’d accidentally kicked Purrcaso off the foot of the bed. As his alarm continued to blare, Purrcaso cried from the floor.
“FINALLY!” Julian burst out, annoyed but smiling as he leaped to his feet. “I’ve been—dude, stop screaming—I’ve been waiting for FOREVER!”
Yadriel’s heartbeat hammered painfully in his chest, unable to com- prehend anything Julian was saying. He snatched his phone and killed the alarm. Purrcaso stopped her indignant meowing and sat on the dresser, cleaning her paw. Yadriel squeezed his eyes shut, willing the throbbing in his head to stop.
He strained to listen for any signs from his family, wondering if someone had heard his shout, but there was only the distant bumping of his abuelita’s Tejano music from the kitchen.
“Are you even listening to me?” Julian demanded.
“No.” Yadriel squinted an eye open to look up at him. In his sleepy daze, it took a moment for Yadriel to remember he was a spirit. Stand- ing there in the middle of his room, arms crossed and frowning, Julian looked very real and alive. But then Yadriel blinked, refocusing his vision enough to spot the telltale signs: blurry edges and the cool draft in the air around him.
“I said, I’ve been practicing!” Julian huffed. The amount of energy he had this early in the morning was obscene.
Yadriel sat upright, pushing back the mass of dark hair that had flopped into his eyes. “Practicing?” he croaked.
Julian’s scowl was quickly replaced with a sharp smile.
He swung back and forth between his emotions so quickly, Yadriel was bound to get whiplash.
“Look!” Falling into the chair, Julian hunched over the desk and pinched his fingers around a crumpled-up ball of paper. It was one of Yadriel’s failed attempts at math homework from the day before.
“Look, look, look!” Face screwed up in concentration, slowly, he lifted the ball of paper. Julian turned to Yadriel, a triumphant grin splitting his face. “See?”
Julian’s eyes burned with wild energy. Yadriel was starting to think it was less up-all-night delirium and more just, well, Julian.
“Good job,” Yadriel grumbled, sitting up and rubbing at his temples, warding off a headache.
The ball of paper dropped back to the desk. Julian scowled. “I worked on that all night, man!”
“What? I said, ‘good job,’” Yadriel replied, thumbing through the notifications on his phone to make sure he hadn’t gotten any important messages. Nothing about Miguel. Worry dug into his headache. Had they really not found him yet?
“Tch,” Julian hissed between his teeth.
Aiden Thomas is a YA author with an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, OR. As a queer, trans Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, Harry Potter trivia, Jenga, 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.
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