#CYBILS Book Playlist: CEMETERY BOYS by Aiden Thomas

book playlist ya specfic


By Aiden Thomas

Swoon Reads

Young Adult
Contemporary, Family, Folklore, LGBTQ+, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Winner – Young Adult Speculative Fiction
2020 CYBILS Awards

The Book

Deeply steeped in Latinx culture and folklore, Cemetery Boys weaves magic, identity, and family birthright into a compelling coming of age story. When his family bans him from performing the ritual that would give him the supernatural abilities of a brujo, Latinx trans boy Yadriel stubbornly performs the ritual in secret, but things don’t go exactly as planned… He accidentally summons the wrong spirit, the recently-deceased Julian Diaz, high school bad boy who is more than he seems.

This story is full of heart, tender romance, and a testament to the power of all kinds of love. While it doesn’t shy away from heavier topics like transphobia and homophobia, it isn’t a story about queer pain at all. The judges strongly felt that readers will enjoy the masterful balance of humor, suspense, and magic achieved in Cemetery Boys. This novel is hopeful, witty, and bright, and in many ways reads like a warm hug and is something many young queer readers will find comfort in.

Blurb by Sarah Yael, Sarah the Story Girl and the Round 2 Judging Panel


The Music

Cemetery Boys by Aidan Thomas tells the journey of a young trans man trying to make a place for himself within his family of Brujx, and how he makes new friends, finds love, and uncovers a dark mystery along the way. Pop in some earbuds while reading this 2020 Cybils Speculative Fiction Winner, and listen along to some outstanding music made by queer LatinX musicians! One of these songs – a personal favorite of mine – is mentioned in the book; keep a lookout for it!

The Girl

Riya Fernando

Riya is thrilled to be able to combine two of her favorite things: books and music. She is an avid reader who can often be found with her nose in a murder mystery while listening to contemporary piano music, her favorite genre of piano music to listen to and play. She was introduced to CYBILS Awards through her mother, Category Chair and CYBILS Awards Board Member, who helped Riya cultivate her love for books. She hopes that others will love these playlists as mu

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