Cemetery Boys by 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.
"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,
"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,
"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