Dear The Poet X,
Wowza! I want more! More time, more words, more of everything! I did not want my time to end with you. I am so grateful for our short time, and look forward to more in the future.
P.S. Book Details
Author/Narrator: Elizabeth Acevedo
Book Length: 368 pages// 3 hours 30 minutes
Book Genre: Poetry// YA Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: March 2018
Awards: National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (2018), Odyssey Award Nominee (2019), Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature (2018), Michael L. Printz Award (2019), Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2020)Lambda Literary Award Nominee for LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult (2019), Lincoln Award Nominee (2020), NAIBA Book of the Year for Young Adult (2018), Pura Belpré Award for Author (2019), Kirkus Prize Nominee for Young Readers’ Literature (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Poetry (2018), Carnegie Medal (2019), Walter Dean Myers Award (2019), Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction & Poetry (2018)
Synopsis: 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.
Awards given to this book are well deserved. Xiomara is an incredible protagonist. She is strong minded, family oriented, and humble. It was interesting to see the world through her eyes, from her first boyfriend to processing her relationship with Mami and religion. The writing style portrayed emotions so well, I empathized with what she was going through. Some of the situations explored were difficult, because they highlighted the spectrum of human nature.
My recommendation is to listen to this book. Elizabeth Acevedo is an AMAZING narrator, she reads poetry like a heartbeat. As a novice in the poetry genre (although I am growing), I like hearing how the author wants the book to be read. Honestly, I was enthralled when I set aside time to listen to the book, and I mean the whole book in one sitting. Acevedo is that good.
One of my favorite poems was at the end. I don’t want to spoil the book, but the reason I found it so interesting was because of the way Acevedo wrote it. She wrote it so that the reader could read the poem two different ways. Her talent was highlighted throughout the book, yet I felt it on full display here. The Poet X, is an incredible debut novel leaving a deep desire for more writing.
Everyone should listen to this book! I cannot wait to read another Elizabeth Acevedo book! Until I get to another one of her books, I will listen to her TedTalk. Seriously though, The Poet X needs to get bumped up on everyone’s TBR pile.
Side note, the cover! So swoon worthy!