“𝒯𝒽ℯ𝓎 𝓌ℴ𝓊𝓁𝒹𝓃’𝓉 ℯ𝓋ℯ𝓃 𝓁ℯ𝓉 𝒽𝒾𝓂 𝓉𝓇𝓎. ℐ𝓉 𝓌𝒶𝓈 ℯ𝒶𝓈𝒾ℯ𝓇 𝓉ℴ 𝒽𝒾𝒹ℯ 𝒷ℯ𝒽𝒾𝓃𝒹 𝓉𝒽ℯ𝒾𝓇 𝓉𝓇𝒶𝒹𝒾𝓉𝒾ℴ𝓃𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓃 𝓉ℴ 𝒸𝒽𝒶𝓁𝓁ℯ𝓃ℊℯ 𝓉𝒽ℯ𝒾𝓇 ℴ𝓌𝓃 𝒷ℯ𝓁𝒾ℯ𝒻𝓈 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓊𝓃𝒹ℯ𝓇𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓃𝒹𝒾𝓃ℊ. 𝒪𝒻 𝒽ℴ𝓌 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓃ℊ𝓈 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝓌ℴ𝓇𝓁𝒹 ℴ𝒻 𝓉𝒽ℯ 𝒷𝓇𝓊𝒿𝓍 𝓌ℴ𝓇𝓀ℯ𝒹.” 𝒜𝒾𝒹ℯ𝓃 𝒯𝒽ℴ𝓂𝒶𝓈,
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.
I enjoyed 𝘾𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝘽𝙤𝙮𝙨 very much. I loved how Aiden Thomas constructed these characters with care and precision. Every character contributed to the story in a way that gave the story flavor. The main character, Yadriel wanted so badly to have validation from his family that he took risks in order to prove it: that he was a brujo. His sidekick Maritza was there to help provide guidance and gave him the validation that he sought. She believed in him. His mom believed in him and accepted that he was trans. I felt that Aiden covered this distinction well. Yadriel’s Family was very important to him and close. You felt that when his cousin was killed and they were looking for his body. Whenever others referred to him by his dead name, Yads felt it and I felt it. I felt his pain. It was heartbreaking but as Aiden provided a contrast in acceptance, Yads recognized his privilege. I felt Julian’s character provided Yads with purpose and approval. Julian’s story was a heartbreaking one, and we as spectators understood what it means to have others tell our story. Julian is dead, but his love for his friends has shown how mischaracterizations can have an effect on who we are as people. Like I said, I enjoyed this book. I hope you will read it.
Aiden Thomas is a YA author with an MFA in Creative Writing. 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.
Their debut novel, CEMETERY BOYS, will be published June 9th, 2020.