The Poet X

The Poet X

by Elizabeth Acevedo

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The Poet X 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
DarqueDreamer 5 months ago
Words can not describe how The Poet X made me feel. It took the breath right out of me. My heart was beating like a drum. I felt heaviness in my chest, but also felt like I was flying. Even now that I’ve finished reading, I’m left with an emotional weight in my heart. How did this amazing, beautiful author manage to capture such power and raw emotion with so few words? How have I never found the beauty of a story told through verse before? This book was everything! It was beauty. It was power. It was a sensational Own Voices story, and it was incredibly poignant, moving and thought provoking! Xiomora was fierce! She was strong, and she fought. She fought through her questioning her faith, she fought for her independence, she fought for her freedom of expression, and she fought for herself! She was brave and intelligent, and she was beautiful! Though I never really grew up embracing, or being taught, my Mexican culture, I know my mother and her sisters and brother did. You could say I didn’t have much I could relate to with Xiomora, except for the expression of herself through her poetry, but, I did feel like I could still relate to her home, and neighborhood life, slightly in knowing that my mom’s family was raised Catholic and knowing what kind of neighborhood she grew up in (and had to walk home from school through) where my grandfather and the neighborhood gang members had a mutual respect and understanding with each other. I also remember being taken to church (and completing communion) as a child because it was what grandma had wanted. And, though there was still very little I could personally relate to with the story (I could very much relate to writing poetry to express my feelings, as it was an outlet for me during a bout of depression in high school), or see as a reflection of my own life, I realized how important it was that there are readers out there who could. This story was so powerful, and it really showed how important it is to have Own Voices representation. The Poet X was a coming of age story. It was a story of self-discovery, self-love, and the importance of family, friendship, and standing up for those you love. It highlighted issues of rape culture, body acceptance, abuse, forced religion, and homophobia. It was powerful, beautiful, and poetic.
Anonymous 5 months ago
A must read for anyone regardless of age. Acevedo is most deserving of the NBA and a true talent. Writing similar to that of Junot Diaz and the poetry will leave your heart fluttering. Gut wrenching and heroic X encompasses bits and pieces of all of us. The poetic style makes you fly right through it and it is one you won't be able to put down. I am bringing this along to my work book club it is absolutely worth it!
Goldenfurproductions More than 1 year ago
When I first saw this book, it did not pique my interest. I'm not sure why, I think I was wary about reading a book in verse talking about poetry. I don't normally read poetry or books in verse. Then I started seeing raving reviews and it got multiple awards, including the Printz award (which I am currently making my way through). So, I decided to pick this book up and I am glad I did. This was such a beautiful book. Even in verse, I could clearly hear this story and even more so feel what Xiomara was thinking and feeling. It made me really understand what she as going through and the questions she was asking. Even more so it made me understand how suffocated she felt in her own home. This was such a powerful book and I found that I couldn't put it down. I will definitely read more from Elizabeth Acevedo in the future. I already have With the Fire on High on my to-read list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good
thebookishpoet More than 1 year ago
As a poet myself, I was intrigued to read this novel. I was not disappointed. The Poet X truly packs a punch with rhythmic verse; it doesn't let you breathe. I had to put the book down at some points because it is so intense.
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story! It is written in free verse so it doesn’t rhyme but it is separated into stanzas. Most of the poems or sections are less than a page long, so it was pretty quick to read though. This easy format makes it accessible for reluctant readers. Xiomara is conflicted in this story. She has to decipher between what she learns in school, what she learns at church, and how her body feels. It’s hard when teenagers get so many conflicting opinions and advice, but sometimes you just have to do what’s right for you. For Xiomara, that’s writing poetry. This is a great story for anyone who feels like they are having trouble fitting in. Sometimes, you just need to find your voice.
JLAustin More than 1 year ago
This book was phenomenal. Despite being written through poetry, it was easy to follow and lacked nothing in depth. Acavedo says so much with fewer words and the beauty and poignancy are indescribable. I kept wanting to share quotes from the book on Twitter because they were so real and true and hard, everyone should get to share in these words!
EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
I've been on a real novels in verse kick lately, but THE POET X might be the strongest one I've read so far. Not just because the poetry is stellar, although it is, but because the poetry serves as such a natural vehicle for Xiomara's story since she's a poet herself. I felt like I was reading her journal, catching glimpses of her innermost thoughts through the words on the page, and those glimpses made it so much easier for me to relate to her and feel for her. I frequently find myself slowing down when I read verse, even though the amount of text I'm being asked to process is smaller, but this story moves. That's due in no small part to the way Elizabeth Acevedo managed to weave together all the dispirit elements of X's life--from her tumultuous relationship with her mother, to her growing feelings for her lab partner Amman, to her struggle to reconcile her changing religious beliefs with familial expectations--into precise, perfect, gut-wrenching poetry. I devoured the book in a matter of days and immediately wished it was longer. I can't wait to see what the author will write next.
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
I never, ever reach for novels written in prose, but this one drew me in. The Poet X tells the story of Xiomara, whose body betrays her at every turn. Her mother has raised her to be a good Catholic girl, but she struggles with the religion and her desire to find her own beliefs and place while being terrified of going to Hell and her mother's wrath. It's a complicated story to tell - on top of the religious conversation, Xiomara is a first generation American on her mother's side, she's a teenager trying to find her own, and she's a twin born to older parents. She's scared and passionate and alone and trapped and lost. Her brother Xavier could have his own book in prose as well - he's a story on the sidelines you wish you could see more. And it's a beautifully written book. Because Xiomara finds solace and strength in poetry, it makes so much sense that this book is written in prose. Beyond that, the poetry is simply beautiful. A lot of these poems stand on their own and like any good poem... there's bound to be one or two that reaches out and wraps its fingers around your heart. I really enjoyed the poetry, which surprised me. I'm very particular about my poetry. I'll fall in love with one poem and hate the rest. I didn't with this book - it flowed together spectacularly and was very gripping. I'd recommend this to ANYONE interested in YA Contemporary and anyone who likes novels in prose.
TheLiteraryPhoenix More than 1 year ago
I never, ever reach for novels written in prose, but this one drew me in. The Poet X tells the story of Xiomara, whose body betrays her at every turn. Her mother has raised her to be a good Catholic girl, but she struggles with the religion and her desire to find her own beliefs and place while being terrified of going to Hell and her mother's wrath. It's a complicated story to tell - on top of the religious conversation, Xiomara is a first generation American on her mother's side, she's a teenager trying to find her own, and she's a twin born to older parents. She's scared and passionate and alone and trapped and lost. Her brother Xavier could have his own book in prose as well - he's a story on the sidelines you wish you could see more. And it's a beautifully written book. Because Xiomara finds solace and strength in poetry, it makes so much sense that this book is written in prose. Beyond that, the poetry is simply beautiful. A lot of these poems stand on their own and like any good poem... there's bound to be one or two that reaches out and wraps its fingers around your heart. I really enjoyed the poetry, which surprised me. I'm very particular about my poetry. I'll fall in love with one poem and hate the rest. I didn't with this book - it flowed together spectacularly and was very gripping. I'd recommend this to ANYONE interested in YA Contemporary and anyone who likes novels in prose.
18876111 More than 1 year ago
While I am not represented by this book I still loved and enjoyed reading it. The Poet X is unique in that it isn't written in prose, it's written in verse. I think that the fact that this book is written in verse, makes the story have a strong impact. One of my favorite quotes from the book was "The world is almost peaceful when you stop trying to understand it." I feel that this quote is one that everyone can relate too. I think this is a book that everyone can take something from, and needs to be read.
JLeighG More than 1 year ago
The Poet X is a well-written and strong contemporary story about family and finding your way into the world. It is authentic to the nationality, with Spanish text pulling everything together. The characters are also very strong and play a big role in the development of the story. Although the relationship between Xiomara and her mom is strong, the rest of the relationships were not as strong. I do wish there were more scenes with slam poetry in them though. I can’t wait to read more work by Elizabeth Acevedo!
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
If you know me, you know I am NOT the biggest fans of novels in verse. In fact, I do my best to stay away from them! (Hence the reason I can count on two hands how many I've reviewed on the blog haha) But then sometimes a book like The Poet X comes along and makes me want to change my mind about them..... A girl and her mother see differently on something very important: her mother's religion. Her mother wants to keep her hidden away and quiet, but Xiomara has so much to say that she can't keep it contained. She discovers slam poetry and a whole new escape plan opens up for her. Although I'm not a fan of novels in verse, the storytelling and writing style in this one was phenomenal. I'm always amazed when I can get a complete story just by reading a book of poems. I know that doesn't make much sense, but it seems as if it should be so much harder to put together a story without making it seem choppy when you write it in poem style. And Acevedo did just that. I also really loved Xiormara's character. She was a strong female character that I was glad to read about during Women's History Month. She didn't take crap from anyone and I loved how she was able to beat up anyone, no matter who they were. It made me feel empowered just from reading her story. Lastly, I really loved that Acevedo made her curvy and beautiful. It's not something that we see enough in books. I also really liked the real life aspect of religion. It made me a bit uncomfortable because I'm Catholic and alot of those things that came up in her life, once came up in mine. It felt like I was reading about my own life at some points. It was a little different because she's Dominican, but lawd if some things didn't line up. Her mom was the equivalent to my grandmother, and I could feel her agreeing with her from Heaven lol I hope teens (and anyone else who reads this) all feel a connection like this when they read it! I'm someone who still doesn't care for many novels in verse, but novels like this one and Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds are determined to make me change my mind about them. Finding more like these two would most definitely make me have a change of heart and read more.
ahyperboliclife More than 1 year ago
“Xiomara may be remembered as a lot of things: a student, a miracle, a protective sister, a misunderstood daughter, but most importantly, she should be remembered as always working to become the warrior she wanted to be.” Tell me you did not get chills! I feel like it’s really hard to review novels told in verse, because I always seem to become incredibly invested in the characters and I turn into a gushing mess. The Poet X is really no different. It’s a beautiful story of finding your voice and finding your power. Things I Liked Xiomara was amazing and I love her. She has this inner strength and conviction that I admire more than I can say. I loved seeing the world from her point of view. I loved seeing her reflect on her experiences with religion. She actively questions things and doesn’t have the highest opinion on religion. We see her confront sexism. She is constantly objectified and reduced to her body by men around her. We also see her start to explore her sexuality and what she wants in a relationship. I really loved seeing her family dynamics explored as well. And while we don’t really get much of her dad, I loved her relationship with her brother, Xavier, and my heart broke seeing her relationship with her mom. My favorite thing was seeing Xiomara explore poetry and find this inner freedom that lets her breathe and exists and feel present. It was beautiful. It was powerful. It made me so proud to see her find herself, and to really start to love sho she was. The writing was so stunning. Not only were there a million beautiful quotes (see below), but the imagery was vivid and bright, while also being raw and realistic. I felt like I was with Xio, a part of her world, and it made it so easy to devour this book and really become invested in. I also thought that each chapter really built to showcase more about Xiomara, her thoughts, her world, her life and made the story feel full and honest. QUOTES “...but one thing I know for sure is that reputations last longer than the time it takes to make them.” “...She knows since she was little, the world would not sing her triumphs, but she took all of the stereotypes and put them in a choke hold until they breathed out the truth…” “Maybe the only thing that has to make sense about being somebody’s friend is that you help them be their best selves on any given day.” Things I Didn’t Like There wasn’t really anything I didn’t like, but I would have loved to see more of Xiomara and Xavier’s relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I loved what I saw from them and I though their relationship was well established, but I would have loved more. I know verse stories are much more focused on the main character and can be very internal, but I selfishly love twin relationships and want to see all of them explored. This was such a quick book to read, I read it in one sitting, but it definitely hits you emotionally (I teared up twice and cried once). This story is heartbreaking and hopeful and freeing and honest and raw. It’s an amalgamation of every conflicting thought you’ve ever had put to page, and makes you feel like you’re not alone. As someone who loves character driven stories, The Poet X is a book you cannot miss.
GoldenChild More than 1 year ago
The Poet X is a quick but good read. I literally devoured this title in one day…. I couldn’t put it down. This coming of age novel is one we can all relate to. I absolutely love that this story is written in verse it made me want to go find a poetry slam. I cannot wait until my daughters are older as I fully intend to use this title with a poetry unit for them. Xiomara Batista’s story will reel you in and take you on an emotional rollercoaster. Her story is easily relatable to many even if you didn’t/don’t have an overtly religious parent(s) it is easy to relate to her feelings of insecurity and an overall sense or feeling of not knowing where you belong. Acevedo did a great job with the character development and ensuring that these characters were three dimensional. The best feeling is when you are able to read a story and feel the emotional ups and downs of the characters as if you are going through those emotions yourself. The Poet X had all of the feels and that in itself makes it a great read. If you enjoy poetry and in-verse stories do not hesitate to grab a copy of The Poet X. If you’ve never read an in-verse story but enjoy reading well-written material you owe it to yourself to check this book out. **I received an advanced copy of this title from the publisher in exchange for an honest review**