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BLOG TOUR Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

February 27, 2018
The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo, Book Review, InToriLex Published By: HarperTeen on March 6, 2018
Format Read: ARC Kindle Edition (368 pages)
Genre: Poetry/ Young Adult/ Contemporary
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Blog Tour
Rating: FIVE STARS

~Amazon~
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.

VERDICT:

 REVIEW:

I absolutely loved this book. Xiomara (See-O- Mara) describes growing up in a body that has developed without her permission, in a strict religious household. Like many young girls Xiomara is given unwanted attention by leering men wherever she goes. Her mother  wants her to act and believe in what she did when she was young . Xiomara uses her writing and creativity to figure out what she wants and how to express it. Xiomara questions what she has been taught in church and what she should be expected to be for everyone else. The author found a way to describe her curiosities in a relateable way.
Maybe, the only thing that has to make sense
about  being somebody's friends is that you help
them be their best selves on any given day.
That you give them a home
when they don't want to be in their own 
This is a novel written in verse, but it was not too rhyme-y and flowed well. Xiomara's relationship with her boyfriend Aman included the right amount of angst and tension that all teenagers feel when they're driven by hormones. Xiomara relates well to her twin brother Xavier, although they have different strengths. While Xavier is introverted and small in stature, Xiomara is his champion because of her size and courage to stand up to whoever stands against her. She slowly learns what she wants and goes after it, despite what anyone else thinks. The character development helped me connect with the story and I became emotionally invested in what happens.
And the words I never say are better left on
my tongue since they would only have
slammed against the closed door of your back
The use of Spanish throughout the book was great. The phrases used were translated and reminded the reader of Xiomara's cultural identity. Reading about a Dominican teenager coming of age was refreshing because too few young adult books focus on people of color. You can tell the author wrote from what she knew, the situations and humor shared between the characters was genuine.  Even Xiomara's name forces the reader to get uncomfortable and quickly adjust to something new. I would recommend this to reader's who enjoy coming of age stories with unshakeable female characters and problematic family dynamics.

I received this e-book from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review.

GIVEAWAY

WIN A COPY BY ENTERING HERE!
This giveaway is sponsored by HarperCollins International. It runs from February 26th to March 26th. No purchase necessary. The winner must reply to email within 48 hours. Open internationally.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is the youngest child and only daughter of Dominican immigrants. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from the George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over fourteen years of performance poetry experience, Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion, Cave Canem Fellow, CantoMundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer's Workshop. She has two collections of poetry, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016) and winner of the 2016 Berkshire Prize, Medusa Reads La Negra’s Palm (Tupelo Press, forthcoming). The Poet X is her debut novel. She lives with her partner in Washington, DC.



Week 1
February 26
Afire Pages – Author Guest Post | Top 5 Poetry Influences
February 27
February 28
March 1
Stay BookishArt
March 2
Week 2
March 5
March 6
March 7
March 8
A Book and a Cup of CoffeeOn Latinx Rep in YA
March 9
Week 3
March 12
WOC ReadsAuthor Q&A
March 13
March 14
Dani Review ThingsFavorite Slam Poetry Performance
March 15
The Cursed BooksMood Board
March 16
*All blog tour stops contains a review.


 

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