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.
Ahh, this book was so good. I’m a bit late to the party with this one and I’ve already heard so much about it, as soon as I spotted a beautiful hardback I knew I wanted to pick it up. Even though I bought the hardback, I actually read this as an audiobook and I would highly recommend it – it was read by a trans, Latinx narrator and their passion really shone through in the narration. There is also an interview between the narrator and Aiden Thomas at the end of the audiobook, which I would highly recommend giving a listen if you have access!
This book follows Yadriel, who is a trans Latinx boy who wants to prove to his community that he is a real brujo by summoning the ghost of his cousin, Miguel. Instead, he summons the resident bad boy of the school, Julian, who doesn’t want to go quietly into death before finding out what happened to him.
No, it wasn’t the end.
I loved the narration of this so much and I connected to the characters and the story almost instantly. Yadriel being trans gave such an interesting extra layer and depth to this story and I really loved how this wasn’t a coming-out story necessarily and was about a trans character in a fantasy genre with a completely different focus. Despite that, this book still includes some very important discussions about being trans and deadnaming.
I loved the entire concept of this book and it was such a perfect time of the year to read it! Reading about Latinx culture and particularly finding out more about Latinx folklore was so interesting and evoking. I loved the magic system, the food and the family/friendship/community aspects. The entirety of the world-building was so clever and vivid, really drawing me into the story. I loved it.
It was a better beginning.
My only tiny criticism of this book is that I found the plot a little predictable at times, but I still enjoyed the ride a lot and I’m so glad I picked this one up!
4.5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽