Cemetery Boys – Aiden Thomas
Latinx, magic, day of the dead, ceremonies, transgender, coming of age, culture, science fiction, young adult, fiction.
Yadriel wants to prove he’s a brujo worthy to be a part of the brujos. Despite being transgender, he still tries to convince his family to allow him to prove his worth. As they don’t want to accept his gender he will not stop trying to convince them. One night a spirit left the world and that spirit is their cousin. Defying the rules he goes to find where his cousin went and summons his spirit. Except that wasn’t his spirit but of a fellow high school student that died that year. Yadriel also accidentally summoned a relentless spirit that doesn’t want to leave. Yadriel has to clean up the mess he made and prove to his family his gender.
This was the most beautifully written young adult novel that I ever had read. I was so sad that this book was short and I had binge read this. This novel speaks so many truths behind the fiction of how some families in society do not accept their child’s gender and the pronouns that they prefer. I loved the ending and found it perfect. Usually there are only novels that have families either shun them or the protagonist is accepting of themselves. Never in between and this book made my heart warm and glow. There was some romance and a lot of science fiction going on. I loved it and I would’ve loved it more if there wasn’t a potential dead love interest. That got me bummed out in the end. Overall, I loved this novel and was so glad to have read it.
Straight on Till Morning – Liz Braswell
Disney, Peter Pan, retelling, lost boys, young adult, fiction.
Wendy has found Peter Pan’s shadow and decided to keep it for safety reasons. Four years later, she finds out that her parents found her notebook containing all the stories of Peter Pan. They decide to plan to send her off to Ireland to rethink her crazy ideas. Not wanting this ending, she decides to run away and make a deal. She contacts Captain hook, the archnemesis of Peter Pan. In exchange of Pan’s shadow, Hook would give Wendy a safe passage to Neverland. To much her horror, she should’ve made a specific and indepth deal with Hook. A stroke of luck, she finds herself an exit from the nefarious pirates and made it to shore of Neverland. While she is traversing on the island, she comes across Tinkerbell. She confesses to Tink that she made a horrible mistake and vows to rectify the wrong. Both her and Tinkerbell will have to work together to save not only Peter Pan, but Neverland as well.
I’m unsure of how to start to write this at all because this book was beyond what I expected it to be. When I saw it on the Young Adult self at Barnes & Nobles, beckoning me to open and read, I knew I absolutely had to read this novel. This insane retelling of Peter Pan really affected me on a deep level. The whole idea of Wendy going to Neverland with pirates might sound weird, but Braswell really made this work. I found myself getting lost in this book on all hours of the night because I didn’t want to put the book down. I do recommend this novel for sure. Reading this was so fun and very enjoyable as a novel should be as well as do.