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.
I’ve been looking forward to this book for a pretty long time. So much so, that after I had surgery (I’m fine!) I went on Twitter to freak out about it being on Edelweiss. My mom was trying to get me into the car, after a long day of being stressed about me, and all I wanted to talk about was how I’m super excited for this book and how its up on the e-ARC site haha. Ah, I crack myself up sometimes. Anyway, the point is, I was very much looking forward to this book. A book with a trans main character, by a trans author, and its super gay with ghosts. Yeah, I definitely, definitely wanted to read this one. Trigger warnings: misgendering, family not being accepting of gender
I am very, very happy to say that this one did not disappoint. It was so good, awkward (in a good way), and so sweet. It had fantastic characters, it was spooky, and there were animals!
It was really special to read about a main character who was trans. To me, it was very obvious that it was an OwnVoices story. The things likes Yadriel talking about wearing a binder or how he likes to style his hair, felt really small but made such a big impact. Yads felt authentic and real. I don’t want to over complicate it by talking too much. It was just really good.
I was honestly really surprised about how authentically teenage so many things felt. All the main characters talked and acted like their actual age. Sometimes it’s a bit awkward and sometimes they fumble, but it felt so real. Like, the kind of weird where I’m kind of floored an actual teenager didn’t write the dialogue sometimes.
This book is seriously characters driven. Yadriel is so awkward, but he’s such a nice and caring dude. Julian is completely filled with fire, which translates into him talking and moving nonstop. Seriously, he was hilarious and filled with so much passion. Maritza was also super fantastic! She’s filled with so much fight and her dogs were adorable. There’s also a lot of great side characters. I seriously loved Luca. He’s the epitome of sweetness and I honestly want him to get his own book. I would read the heck out of that. Plus, I’d get more of everybody else too haha.
There were also animals, who I loved so much! A cat named Purrcaso (I can’t get over that name), who’s a little gimpy but still adorable and just wants love. There’s also two pitbulls named Donatello and Michelangelo, who are basically just two dorks who look super fierce, but just want to be loved.
While it is very character driven, the overarching plot is great too! It seemed kind of like something in the background, even though there were some dire circumstances? It’s probably because I was falling in love with the characters. Nevertheless, I really liked it. The spirits, the traditions of the brujxs, and the mystery of Julian and more. It felt so full and so alive.
Everything really exploded towards the end. I was wondering how things would work out, because I wasn’t quite seeing where everything was going, BUT WOW DID THINGS HAPPEN. The ending was seriously the strongest part of the book. I was not expecting the twist, but it was brilliant. It fits the pieces of the puzzle together in such a great way. It’s creepy and absolutely teeming with emotions. Every single character comes into their own, all in a highly emotional setting, all while fighting different things, and all while worried about the people they love. It doesn’t feel rushed or bled together. It was seriously so well done and so well written.
Plus, after the explosive stuff was done, there was some seriously adorable things afterwards. I’m always wanting more hugs in basically everything and that’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to give anything else away. And then there’s more amazing character relationships and it just wraps up in a great way. You sort of want to squeeze the book until you can’t anymore at the end.
This book was just fantastic all around. I loved how it was character driven and I loved how down to real life it felt. But, there was also a good dose of spooky. There’s complicated family relationships, adorable animals, a trans main character, and a spirit who won’t stop talking. Plus, it’s hilarious and super gay.
Thank you for reading!