This book is written in a series of vignettes by renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo and follows the life of a young Dominican American girl from Harlem. The Poet X is prefect for lovers of poetry and slam poets.
Xiomara Batista was born into this world as a warrior despite being named after a saint. X struggles to find her place in the world, she loves writing poems but swerves her teacher’s attempts to recruit her into the poetry club because she isn’t sure her religious mother would approve. When Xiomara begins seeing Aman, the boy from bio, she vows to keep it a secret, but problems arise when Mami finds out. X finds solace in the poetry club, and when she begins to speak her poems into the universe, she finds a power behind her words that she could never express with her fists.
I wish I read this sooner.
I loved the way Acevedo interwove religion and poetry in this novel. Xiomara and her mother’s strain in this novel stem from their opposing feelings on religion. Xiomara finds comfort expressing herself in her poetry, but to her mother, the church is everything. I loved the moments in the story when their two worlds collide and the tension that resulted from it. But I think what I loved most was the character of Father Shawn. Father Shawn didn’t force Xiomara to stay in the church when he noticed she was unhappy. I’m not used to seeing such depictions of priests, and I hope there are some like that out there.
My biggest recommendation for this book is to listen to it rather than read it. Author Elizabeth Acevedo narrates this audiobook. The Vignettes in this novel are often poetic, and by listening to the audiobook, readers can listen to where Acevedo emphasizes certain parts of the novel. Additionally, listening to this novel at times feels like attending a poetry slam. This book also employs a lot of Spanish slang and sayings, so if English is your sole language listening rather than reading it, might benefit you.
The Poet X is on the short size so if you don’t have much time consider picking this one up. My rating for this novel is five stars and I hope my readers consider adding it to their tbr.
Until next time keep living in libros,