Earlier this year I read Clap When You Land, and loved Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing. I was eager to check out more of her work, so I recently tuned into the audiobook for The Poet X.
Pub. date: March 6, 2018
Synopsis: 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.
My take on the book: I want to thank everyone who recommended listening to Acevedo narrate her books (especially Corina at The Brown Eyed Bookworm!) because this one was phenomenal. I’m not a big poetry fan, but hearing her read her book in verse was incredible. Xiomara is tired of following her mother’s rules and being forced into religious practices she’s wary of. But she has a gift in her poetry, using it as an outlet to channel her thoughts and frustrations. Xiomara is desperately trying to figure out who she is and how she fits into the world, finding her voice along the way with the encouragement of her twin brother and her English teacher who sees her potential.
Acevedo truly has a way with words, and I felt every emotion Xiomara was experiencing while listening in. She addresses family issues, religion, harassment, and slut shaming in such a powerful way. I highly recommend tuning into the audiobook for this one — don’t let the verse intimidate you, this is perfect for anyone regardless if you’re a fan of poetry.
Rating: 5 stars
Do you like poetry? Have you read any books in verse?