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The Poet X By Elizabeth Acevedo: Book Review

Poet X is a heart-wrenching novel filled with slam poetry and exploring matters such a religion, culture, femininity, harassment and more. For a debut novel, The Poet X is fantastic and I’ll hold it close to my heart.

Introduction To The Poet X

Xiomara Batista feels trapped and unheard in Harlem. But she refuses to be silent and pours her heart and soul into her notebook, hoping her frustration would be kept at bay between the pages. But with too many secrets to keep on top of such as liking a boy and joining the school’s poetry slam club, things might slip out of hand.

The Plot

An amazing coming of age book, one where Xiomara begins to question morals she grew up with. So many important topics were said throughout the book and it’s another push that everyone should read this book! Going into this book, I didn’t imagine myself to relate a lot to Xiomara and feel so many emotions. From realising how tough it is to be a woman, to loving your family completely but them having morals you don’t agree with, The Poet X explores what it’s like to grow up and put yourself first, even when it’s tough.

Also, the poetry is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s not cringey or tumblr like, it’s empowering and raw. I read this on ebook and I’ll certainly buy the physical book as there are so many poems which struck a chord in me.

“The other girls call me conceited. Ho. Thot. Fast.
When your body takes up more room than your voice
you are always the target of well-aimed rumors,
which is why I let my knuckles talk for me.
Which is why I learned to shrug when my name was replaced by insults.
I’ve forced my skin just as thick as I am.”

-From the verse titled Unhide-able.

Here’s one which I adored. Growing up, if you look different to someone else, girls will put each other down, and then there’s this pent up anger and feeling of being unable to change circumstances.

Characters Of The Poet X

Xiomara is opinionated and this is something her mother, father and twin disapproves of. They each have their own reason for that and this proved to be such an interesting family dynamic. Xiomara tries to fit into their expectations and, page by page, she stops doing that, because it’s causing harm to herself to exist for others.

Her relationship with her twin and Aman was probably my favourite to read about. How she’s got a bond with her twin, but they’ve never been too close. Also, they both know they have inner struggles and are there for each other without knowing the issues. I loved this, as it’s such a realistic approach to sibling relationships.

Aman was an intriguing character and his relationship with Xiomara is so sweet. He’s almost like her escapism from home life.

Conclusion Of The Poet X

The emotions I felt throughout this book was a rollercoaster of a ride. It’s a new favourite and Elizabeth Acevedo is a new fave author. I only have a minor issue which was the ending seemed to be a bit too happy and unrealistic. However this is still a five star read and I so want to read more books with verse!

I’d love to know your thoughts if you’ve read this book! Or let me know if you have any book recommendations written in verse. You can find my reviews here, and also find me over on bookstagram and twitter.

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