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Cemetery Boys


Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

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Swoon Index

  • Heat

    4 (7 ratings)

  • Tears

    5 (8 ratings)

  • Laughs

    5 (7 ratings)

  • Thrills

    6 (8 ratings)

Full Description

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.


Yadriel cleared his throat, trying to breathe around the lump that had formed. “Te invoco, espíritu!”

He dropped the match into the bowl. For a second, it sizzled in the blood and alcohol before there was an explosion of heat and golden light. Yadriel sprang back, choking on the smoke.

A boy was doubled over on his hands and knees before the statue of Lady Death, clutching at his chest.

“It worked!” Yadriel said, hardly believing his eyes.

The spirit’s face was screwed up tight in a grimace, his fingers knotted into the material of his shirt. He wore a hooded, black leather jacket over a white tee. He had dark jeans and wore a pair of Chuck Converse.

“That’s not Miguel,” Maritza tried to whisper, but she never had a very good inside voice.

Yadriel groaned and dragged a hand over his face. On the bright side, he had actually summoned a real-life spirit.

On the not-so-bright side, he had summoned the wrong one.


A New York Times Bestseller

National Book Award Longlist Honor

An ABA Indies Bestseller

A Publishers Weekly Bestseller

An ABA Indies Introduce Selection

A PW Best Book of 2020

"Vibrant ... A romantic mystery as poignant as it is spellbinding, weaved in a mosaic of culture, acceptance, and identity, where intricately crafted characters are the pieces and love—platonic, romantic, familial, and communal—is the glue." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Aiden Thomas' debut novel can't help but charm and captivate readers of all ages, though teen readers will invariably identify with and appreciate the high jinks and emotional vulnerability that make each character and scenario deliciously enchanting." —Booklist, starred review

"The novel perfectly balances the vibrant, energetic Latinx culture while delving into heavy topics like LGBTQ+ acceptance, deportation, colonization, and racism within authoritative establishments." —Teen Vogue

"Thomas sensitively navigates Yadriel’s struggles as a trans teen, from the insecurity of not wearing his binder at night around Julian, to deadnaming by family members, to the emotional burden of constantly forgiving people who misgender him. In spite of some heavy themes, this is a pleasing ghost-story-turned-romcom, as Julian and Yadriel have cute encounters and spend a 'last day' together knocking things off Julian’s bucket list. The tight-knit community of the East LA brujx and their magic is well developed and imbued with Latinx culture, from the food to traditions enhanced with a dollop of magic." —The Bulletin

"Both the romance and mystery burn slow and hot until the climax. ... Joyful, ground-breaking representation for gay, transgender boys. Heart-pounding." —Kirkus

"This stunning debut novel from Thomas is detailed, heart-rending, and immensely romantic. I was bawling by the end of it, but not from sadness: I just felt so incredibly happy that this queer Latinx adventure will get to be read by other kids. Cemetery Boys is necessary: for trans kids, for queer kids, for those in the Latinx community who need to see themselves on the page. Don’t miss this book. " —Mark Oshiro, author of Anger Is a Gift

"Cemetery Boys is nothing short of an astonishing work of art." —C.B. Lee, author of Not Your Sidekick

"A story much bigger than the paper that binds it, Cemetery Boys is the tender intricacy we have all been waiting for." —Kayla Ancrum, author of The Wicker King

"This book is magical, tender, loving, and so so so important. I love it with all my heart." —Mason Deaver, author of I Wish You All The Best

"Cemetery Boys is a celebration of culture and identity that will captivate readers with its richly detailed world, earnest romance, and thrilling supernatural mystery." —Isabel Sterling, author of These Witches Don't Burn