• Selena | Beauty's Library

Cemetery Boys Review

I did not end up loving this one. And part of me feels like this was overly hyped now that I’ve read it.


Rating: 3/5

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


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.

This was my #EnchantedReadsBookClub pick for June! While I didn’t love this one I had a lot of fun discussing it!


Despite the hype around this particular book, I did not end up loving this one. And part of me feels like this was overly hyped now that I’ve read it. I expected a fun paranormal fantasy set around Latin culture. And while we did get that, it took a while to get there. Much longer than I personally think it should have.


I did not end up loving this one. And part of me feels like this was overly hyped now that I’ve read it.

I was captivated by our premise even before I picked this one up. We follow Yadriel, who’s struggling to prove himself as a brujo in his family as they aren’t fully accepting of his choice of gender. With the help of his cousin, Maritza, Yadriel performs the brujo ceremony himself. Soon after, Yadriel feels his cousin, Miguel murdered. Determined to prove himself as a brujo, Yadriel sets out to find Miguel’s spirit and find out what happened. However, Yadriel ends up summoning the ghost of the school’s bad boy, Julian. And now Yadriel’s stuck with him until he helps Julian.


I loved the idea of seeing this side of the Latin culture in a fantasy book. Especially seeing the details around Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. It was the idea of spirits that got me intrigued to pick this one up.


It was the idea of spirits that got me intrigued to pick this one up.

However, I found Cemetery Boys to be a slow burn to a small firework. Being roughly 340 pages, the most interesting parts happened during the last 50 pages. I’d say this has a similar pace to Sarah Henning's Sea Witch, which had that same slow pace building up to an explosive ending. Though, I felt Sea Witch had a much better ending in regards to that slow build compared to Cemetery Boys. There’s nothing wrong with a slow pace, but for the amount of praise I’ve seen around this book, I expected a much more eventful storyline. I thought there was a lot of unnecessary fluff and repetitive scenes that just dragged out the storyline.


There’s nothing wrong with a slow pace, but for the amount of praise I’ve seen around this book, I expected a much more eventful storyline.

That being said, I was captivated by the story to an extent. While I found some of the middle section to be a bit boring being all that fluff, I was entranced by the Latin culture we get to see. I loved reading about the traditional magic and the tales around it all. It was this idea of magic that kept me reading, and honestly, I don’t think there was enough.


I was also disappointed in the lack of spirits and magic we got to see. They were more talked about than interacted with except for one of our main characters, Julian who is a spirit. We really only get to see the spirits in passing and this was disappointing for me to see. I would have loved more involvement from the spirits especially the evil ones known as the maligno. There was only one scene that involved a maligno and I loved it! But it was over too quick, in my opinion.


Going back to what I said about this being a small firework, I meant just that. After the slow build, we see within those first 300 pages, I expected a much larger climax. But before I knew it, it was over and we move on to a happily ever after. I wanted more. And this twist at this point of the story wasn’t even all that shocking. I found it a bit predictable especially since it was practically hinted at throughout the entire story. This made this already small climax less exciting.


I expected a much larger climax. But before I knew it, it was over and we move on to a happily ever after.

Overall, I didn’t love this one. However, I did enjoy it to an extent. I especially loved the Latin feel, but I wish there were more spirits. I think this would be a fun read for those who enjoy urban fantasy books especially ones that feature a trans lead. Though I would keep in mind this is definitely a slow burn and for that, I don’t see this being a read for everyone.