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Cemetery Boys (2020)

de Aiden Thomas, Liz Dresner (Designer), Mars Lauderbaugh (Artista da capa)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 22 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3738335.html

failed to grab me. Again, I know that the writer was saying important things about gender identity and Latinx culture, but the plot turned out to be complete cliché. (Though this time I did keep reading to the end, in the hope that it wouldn't be.) ( )
  nwhyte | Aug 27, 2021 |
Yadriel is a Latinx teenager with a traditional family, and hopes to be a true brujo. He's got the talent. He's of an age to have the ceremony pledging himself to Lady Death, and becoming a true brujo.

The problem: Yadriel's very traditional family is convinced he's their daughter, not their son. They expect him to become a bruja, a form of magic for which he has no gift. Finally, with the help of his best friend, his cousin Maritza, he performs the ritual himself--successfully. Lady Death, at least, accepts him as a real brujo.

But he still has to prove it to his family and the rest of their community. The sudden death and disappearance of another cousin provides a chance to provide that proof while doing real good for the community.

He sets out to summon his cousin's ghost.

Instead, he summons the ghost of a fellow high school student who is a bit of a bad boy, rumored to be a gang member--and now recently dead. The ghost, Julian Diaz, wants to know what happened to him, and if his friends are all right. He absolutely refuses to be released to the next world until he does.

Yadriel thinks just being trans and refusing to hide it is enough of an attention-getter, and tries to otherwise keep a low profile. Julian is loud, ostentatious, and loves attracting attention. And while sometimes Maritza is helpful (in Yadriel's opinion), other times she seems to be egging Julian on.

Meanwhile, Yadriel's cousin Miguel is clearly dead (the entire brujo/bruja community felt it), and his body is missing. It needs to be found, so that Miguel's spirit can be released to the next world.

Julian's body is also missing. His friends don't know he's dead, though they're worried because he's missing. And, it seems, so are two other young people, with no indication of what happened to them.

And Yadriel's abuelita, as part of her preparation for the celebration of the Day of the Dead, is looking for an old magical relic, one with dark implications, but which needs to be present.

None of these things are as unconnected as they at first appear.

We get a fascinating look at Latinx beliefs and practices around the Day of the Dead, in a fantasy setting that's rich and detailed and absorbing. The characters are well-developed, and the story itself completely drew me in. I'd had doubts at first, but once I started reading, it was hard to put down despite some pretty disruptive and distracting events going on in my own life. I just had to find out what happened!

Highly recommended.

I received this book as part of the 2021 Hugo Voters Packet, and am reviewing it voluntarily. ( )
  LisCarey | Aug 15, 2021 |
Creepy! ( )
  sparemethecensor | Jul 29, 2021 |
Cemetery Boys is a wonderful not just because it’s magical. It has great friendships, complicated but loving families, a misguided villain, and romance scenes that will make you heart flutter. Best of all, it’s a book about a Latinx trans gay character written by a Latinx trans queer author and it’s always so wonderful to hear a story from someone with that lived experience.

But I don’t want to break down Cemetery Boys as just a book about LGBTQIAP+ youth. Yadriel’s identity was a large part of the plot, but it wasn’t all of the plot. And I loved that. It’s yet another reminder that we are the labels we give ourselves, but we are also more than them. Yadriel is strong and smart and driven… but he’s also sweet and shy and kind. Each of our three principal characters had their own beliefs that they, unwavering, followed. These are young adults who are driven by their ideals, but let their ideals help shape them rather than be the whole definition. I loved it.

I’m not usually one for one stories, but there were scenes in this book that made my heart flutter. Thomas is a gifted writer, knowing when to lean in and when to pull away to maximize the reader’s pain and investment. I followed the love story in Cemetery Boys with nearly as much anticipation as the other parts of the plot.

The world here comes to life. The story begins shortly before Dia de los Muertos and the heartbeat of the celebration is in the air the moment you start reading. From the principal setting of the book – a cemetery, of course – to the descriptions of the food Lita cooks to the rules of becoming a brujo… every aspect of Cemetery Boys paints a world around the reader the absorbs everything else until you are swept away.

For those who enjoy audiobooks, the narrator of Cemetery Boys (Avi Roque) is Latinx, trans, and gay as well. It’s really nice to see it when the industry makes the right choice and employs those with the life experience to relate to the story. Roque does an excellent job in the reading.

I enjoyed this book both for its storytelling and for the moments I didn’t expect. To be honest, I also enjoyed it for the moments I did expect, such as the villain trope that’s a classic. I loved that the ending was not entirely what I expected. And I loved how easily Thomas made me fall in love with the characters. ( )
  Morteana | Jul 21, 2021 |
This has elements of being an #ownvoices book for both the author Aiden Thomas and narrator Avi Roque (who does a fantastic job). ⁠

Cemetery Boys has a slow start but quickly grabs the attention of the reader as the story unfolds. This was a fantastic book. Lots of rich details and cultures folded into a multifaceted mystery with a touch of romance.⁠

*****

What if you summoned a ghost but couldn't get rid of him?⁠

Author Aiden Thomas saw the writing prompt in a social media post and Cemetery Boys grew from there.⁠

All Yadriel wants is to be recognized by his father and his community as a brujx and to see his mother again during the Dia de Los Muertes celebration this year. As a trans boy, Yadz has trouble getting his father, the leader of his community, to recognize that he belongs with the rest of the brujx who can see ghosts and help them cross to the other side. When a family member suddenly goes missing and his body can't be found Yadriel and his best friend Maritza take the opportunity to prove to their families that they have what it takes to be part of their community. As they start their own search for answers, things quickly go awry. They summon a ghost, but it's not the one they're looking for. They offer to help him make sure his friends are okay, but the more time they spend helping Julian get his affairs in order, the more questions they have and the more complicated they realize the problem is. ⁠
( )
  nifflerslibrary | Jul 19, 2021 |
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Aiden Thomasautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Dresner, LizDesignerautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Lauderbaugh, MarsArtista da capaautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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Yadriel wasn’t technically trespassing because he’d lived in the cemetery his whole life.
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