Title: The Poet X
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Number of Pages: 368
Genre: Poetry, Contemporary, Young Adult
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. But she still 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.
I’ve been seeing this book around ever since it was first published, but I just didn’t find the time to get into it because I always get distracted by other books. I finally gave the audiobook a try because it was recommended by one of my book club friends and I’m so glad I read it. I’ve heard so many good things about this book and I’m glad to say that it deserves all the hype and more.
I haven’t read a lot of novels that are told in verse, so this is a unique take for me. This book is amazing in its own ways. In this gorgeous coming-of-age story, we follow Xiomara, a black Hispanic lady, as she lives a life full of rules and restrictions. She struggles to find herself as family, religion, and societal expectations get in her way. She soon started falling in love with writing poetry as a way of escape from the cruelty of the world around her.
I found Xiomara’s experiences very relatable, especially in terms of having to follow the rules set by family and the society. It speaks so much about trying to follow your dreams and still loving the people that you feel do not understand you. But I have to say, regardless if you relate or not to Xiomara’s experiences, this book was still such a great read. It’s so moving.
I highly recommend that you read this while listening to the audiobook because it brings a whole different reading experience. It’s full of power and intensity which I loved about it.
Overall, I recommend The Silent Patient if you’re looking for quick reads that will put you in the edge of your seat. I loved the twists in this book and I didn’t find out who did who until the reveal. I’m giving this 4 stars because I found the ending too abrupt—it was understandable, but I just felt so… bitin.