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.

Sourced from Goodreads



My rating:

Hi, everyone! I’m back with another book review, this one being on The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Now, while the book’s summary did entice me when I first heard about it, I soon realized that this was a book written in verse, which I’m not really used it. But I gave it a chance nonetheless, and I’m glad that I did, because this book was amazing!

In the past, whenever I have read poetry. it usually got me in this confused state where I felt I had to interpret every single line and I still wouldn’t get it. This book is probably a bit different, being narrative poetry, but I found myself racing through the pages, wanting to read more. Not only did I appreciate the way the story developed, but I also appreciated how it was written. It made me reconsider reading poetry and and got me to read The Witch Doesn’t Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace (which is a pretty good book, btw).

As for the characters, I really appreciated how complex they were in this book. Before reading The Poet X, I would assume that poetry wouldn’t have been able to delve into someone’s personality, at least enough for me to be satisfied. But I love how this book proved me wrong, describing a lot of Xiomara’s experiences and how they defined her. The relationships she has with her friends and family as well as what they mean to her are fully in view, even the messy contradicting bits.

Overall, The Poet X is a fantastically written book that I would recommend to anyone, even people who say they don’t like poetry! 😉 Have any of you read The Poet X? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the Comments below!

Thanks for reading, everyone!

– Sumaya