This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. In the book, Yadriel is a trans boy who’s been denied the ritual to become a brujo, so he performs it himself — and then accidentally summons an unexpected spirit with his newfound powers.

Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)

P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!

Icebreaker

“A brujx’s quinces was the most important day in their life.” What rite of passage did you most look forward to as a teenager? If you experienced it, did it live up to the hype? If you didn’t, how did you feel about it back then, and how do you feel about it now? 

Questions

1. What did you think of the magical worldbuilding? If you were already familiar with Día de Muertos, what did you think of the brujx version of the holiday? 

2. Yadriel goes to extraordinary lengths to prove that he belongs in a very traditional brujx system — or, at least, to the people who uphold it. What did you think of how that distinction was portrayed? (As in, how magic has always been practiced vs. how magic actually can be practiced.)

3. Even though Yadriel has a very clear idea of his own gender identity, he’s still in a “constant fight to be who he [is]”, with some microaggressions being more obvious than others. Were there any incidents that stood out as especially frustrating? On the flip side, which moments earned the biggest fist-pumps? 

4. What did you think of Julian? How does he stack up against other pop culture ghosts? (Both in terms of his journey as a spirit and being a ghost boyfriend.)

5. Spanish is used throughout the novel, usually without direct translation.

  • For those who can read Spanish, how well do you think the context clues were incorporated into the text?
  • For those who can’t, were the context clues helpful? Did you look up any of the phrases?

6. Yadriel and Julian are both surrounded by family — a large extended family for Yadriel, and a found family for Julian. Which of these supporting characters were your favourites? Whose story did you want to get to know better? 

7. Which cemetery companion would you rather have: Purrcaso or the boys? 

8. Did you guess what had happened to Julian and Miguel before the reveal? Or at least who was the culprit? 

9. What did you think of how Yadriel and Julian’s storyline was resolved?

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she’s been overseeing all things FYA Book Club since 2013.