cover image Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys

Aiden Thomas. Swoon Reads, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-25046-9

In Thomas’s vibrant YA debut, Yadriel, a gay, trans 16-year-old, is determined to prove himself, as a brujo and as a boy, to the traditional brujx cemetery community he grew up in. After being denied his quinces and initiation rite as a brujo, Yadriel takes his fate in his own hands and performs the rite himself, unlocking his magical gifts. While seeking the lost spirit of his recently murdered 28-year-old cousin, Yadriel mistakenly summons the spirit of a recently departed schoolmate named Julian. Helping Julian to cross over would prove Yadriel’s worth as a brujo to his family, but as Yadriel discovers the sort of kind, protective person Julian is, Yadriel may not be able to let him go. Thomas marries concept and execution in 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. Though the puzzles that Yadriel unravels can be guessed, the emotional journey is worth every step. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jennifer March Soloway, Andrea Brown Literary. (Sept.)