Summary: A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo.
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.
But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.
So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.
Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
Received this arc from Edelweiss in exchanged for an honest review.
My first official review/ book of 2018 and doesn’t disappoint at all!
The Poet X is about a 15 year girl Xiomara, a young poet growing up in Harlem, dealing with so many different things in her young life. From a very religious mother who would probably send her to convent before giving her permission to go to a party , the growing pains of being a Afro-Latina girl who is getting curves which guys can’t stop looking which she have to use her fist instead of her words, being a twin who feels like she’s invisible and the only way she can be heard is though her poetry she writes in her notebook, to falling in love and kissing a boy for the first time which is treated like a sin instead of a part of life.
This is all written in verse which I never read an entire novel in verse before but it was so beautifully written. I think that’s why it was so easy to read cause it really wasn’t chapters per se but it was like a collection of poems. A collection of poems that X was writing in her notebook and we as the readers were in her head as she wrote them.
I don’t come from a very religious family ( I mean I went to church and still do) but I understood what X was going through questioning the teachings of the church and not feeling the same way her mom, brother and friend felt when it come to religion. It think all us have that moment in our lives where we question what we have been told and we need to know for ourselves. I think this book handles that well dealing with X journey into finding her voice and where she stands with her religion.
X relationship with her Mom and twin brother is what really drove this story for me. It was couple times that I wanted to shake the mother so bad for trying to turn X into something that she’s not and not listening to her but I kind of understood where she coming from. Due to fact that it was hinted that X mom would have rather gave her whole life to God and been a nun instead of a wife and a mother.
X twin, Xavier was someone who I wanted to know more about since how his story fold though X eyes where interesting to me. He’s consider the genius of the family where he can’t do no wrong but he’s holding his own secrets as well that come out in this book. I love how young love is portrayed in this book between X and Aman as well. A simple touch or listening to a fave rapper in a park gives me more feelings in this book than any other book I have read. lol All in All this was a very good book and I hope and can see getting the same buzz that ” The Hate You Give” by Angie Thomas got last year.
Also I’m not really into the poetry scene so I never heard of Elizabeth Acevedo but I have watch some of her performing her poems after I read this.lol
So here’s two of them I watched and her Ted Talk
I’m a fan now. lol