The Poet X

The Poet X

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...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Poet X
Author:Elizabeth Acevedo
Rating:

The Poet X Reviews

  • destiny ☠ howling libraries

    I’ve always been fond of stories told through verse, and I love Elizabeth’s poetry, so when I learned that she was writing her first YA novel, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I never once doubted that I would love it, but I didn’t know it could mean so much to me. I didn’t have a clue that I was in for such a raw, honest ride about how religion impacts childre

    I’ve always been fond of stories told through verse, and I love Elizabeth’s poetry, so when I learned that she was writing her first YA novel, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I never once doubted that I would love it, but I didn’t know it could mean so much to me. I didn’t have a clue that I was in for such a raw, honest ride about how religion impacts children and how detrimental it can be to try keeping a teen from blossoming into their own bodies and sexuality. I know

    is a love story to poetry, but as someone who was raised in a sheltered, religious home, terrified of my own body and the things it wanted, this is a love story to those kids, too.

    Every teen’s path has a few major obstacles, and Xiomara’s are her body, and the ways people view her for it. At 15-going-on-16, she’s a tall Dominican girl with a thick figure, and she laments the different struggles it causes her – whether it’s boys (and men) giving her unwanted attention, or her mother blaming her for it.

    Xiomara’s young, but she’s already so painfully aware of what rape culture does to the society she lives in. She constantly is harassed, whether it’s a cat-call on the sidewalk or a stranger’s hand on her curves, but her experience is depicted so

    I think an unfortunate number of women, of all ages, will read this story and relate to the nauseating mixture of guilt and anger brought on by these words and gestures we never, ever asked for – unless breathing in a woman’s body is

    .

    Meanwhile, throughout the struggles of living in this rape culture, Xiomara wants to live, and be happy, and find love. She has a sweet, understated blossom of romance with Aman, a classmate from Trinidad, and even explores the ways in which she can become comfortable in her own skin: learning to see her body as beautiful, not oversized, and discovering what she wants and needs. (By the way, can we please get more books normalizing teen girls who explore their own bodies like this one does? We’ve tried this whole “girls don’t crave sex like boys do” approach in YA for way too long, and it’s clearly not getting anyone anywhere.)

    The other big struggle in Xiomara’s life comes in the form of her family, and her mother’s religious views. If you are uncomfortable with religion being portrayed in a candid and sometimes negative light, I’ll go ahead and say that

    may be one you should go into with caution, as Xiomara does raise a lot of questions about the church, scriptures, and God. She has a hard time coming to terms with the devout beliefs of her loved ones, and the gap between her religious views and her mother’s come to blows (literally) throughout the story. There is an honest depiction of parental abuse in this story, and her mother’s excuses are consistently rooted in her religious beliefs, which I know may make some of my religious friends uncomfortable, so I wanted to offer fair warning on that.

    There’s also quite a lot of discussion regarding how girls are raised in devoutly religious households, and how common it is that they are taught that their bodies are a stumbling block for the men in their lives. Xiomara finds herself frustrated by the idea that she is expected to carry the full burden of what men do to her body, and muses a few concerns about how absent she feels that God is from the objectification and abuse she faces. There’s also a bit of talk about how queer individuals are treated in the church, as Xiomara’s twin brother is gay and closeted, and the siblings feel a substantial amount of terror regarding how he’s going to be treated if he is outed.

    At its core,

    is a story about overcoming the ideals that our families push upon us, learning how to know who we are and what we want, and loving ourselves when the world doesn’t make it easy. It’s about family, and the ways that we try to make situations work, and the desperation with which we must remember that, at the end of the day, we have to keep ourselves happy and safe – no matter the relationships it may cost us. It’s about body positivity and loving the skin that we’re in, and fighting back against a society that reduces us to cup sizes and the length of our skirts. It is a beautiful, empowering, diverse, feminist tale, and I will undoubtedly be recommending it to everyone, but especially to any young girls who need to hear that they are whole, they are good, and they deserve happiness and freedom.

  • Latanya (CraftyScribbles)

    "A lantern glowing in the dark."

    A caged bird discovers her wings. 5/5

    There are no cons to this story, and even if I searched and came up with one, it would be out of pettiness.

    However,

    There are many pros to reading this story, which follow.

    *We see the voice of a young Afro-Latina (Dominicana) searching for and speaking her truth. She strives through the messiness of living with a domineering mother and an absent father, one like mine (There but not there). We see how one kiss from a boy can slu

    "A lantern glowing in the dark."

    A caged bird discovers her wings. 5/5

    There are no cons to this story, and even if I searched and came up with one, it would be out of pettiness.

    However,

    There are many pros to reading this story, which follow.

    *We see the voice of a young Afro-Latina (Dominicana) searching for and speaking her truth. She strives through the messiness of living with a domineering mother and an absent father, one like mine (There but not there). We see how one kiss from a boy can slut shame her with the same girth of sleeping with a married man. We see our she gains her voice via poetry and spoken word. WE SEE HER!

    *The narrative's presented in free verse: a concept I've gained appreciation for since reading it in Jacqueline Woodson's

    . Her words dot each page crisp, free, and strong. Outside of characterization, her words refuse muddling.

    *Cultural complexities examine themselves. Xiomara's mother is tied, like a groupie, to her religion and she lives in a black and white mindset to life and society. She uses religion to hurt her children (Save yourself grief. I'm a former Catholic, now Protestant - A Scandalo! I know of what I speak to how some tie themselves down to religions open to interpretation). She loves her mother, even her father, but what is expected of her stifles her like an albatross clinging to her neck.

    *New York City! You smell the urine in the train cars, hear the bustle of the bodegas opening, see teens rushing to class in their crowded schools, taste the Doritos she eats. The city serves as a character within the story, open to possibility.

    *LGBT representation, which harks to the cultural complexities I wrote. Her twin brother's gay. Yet, the albatross, clutching his sister's neck, threatens his voice also.

    All in all, I recommend this story as its vital, relevant, and simply put: damn good.

    The Poet X

    is no longer

    unknown

    for her voice

    carries miles

    outside of her flight pattern

    The question is whether

    you'd buy a ticket

    to the glory

    within her.

  • Tomi Adeyemi

    #ThePoetX was so beautiful that I didn’t want to highlight it or dog ear pages, so I just took pictures basically every page

    This was the type of book where “I’ll just do 50 pages” turned into finishing it in 2 reads

    I felt very emotional reading this book, not just because the story and the words themselves were so beautiful, but because I knew it was going to make so many teens who felt like no one cares about them or listens to them feel seen.

    I also knew that if I had had books like this or Lo

    #ThePoetX was so beautiful that I didn’t want to highlight it or dog ear pages, so I just took pictures basically every page

    This was the type of book where “I’ll just do 50 pages” turned into finishing it in 2 reads

    I felt very emotional reading this book, not just because the story and the words themselves were so beautiful, but because I knew it was going to make so many teens who felt like no one cares about them or listens to them feel seen.

    I also knew that if I had had books like this or Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds as a kid, I wouldn’t have taken me until the age of 17 to realize I loved reading and writing

    Can’t say enough good things about these books, everyone should pre-order and read it! It’s out 3/6/18!!

  • Laurie Anderson

    A story that will slam the power of poetry and love back into your heart!! Highly recommended!

  • Cyn (chinchilla hunter, shameless reader of trash, proud member of Not Reading Your TBR Club)

    I keep re-reading some passages. Slam poetry means a lot to me!

    A touching story about a young Hispanic woman growing up in Harlem with a very devout mother. But there is so much more to it than that <3

    I couldn't say enough about this book if I tried - I just adore it to pieces. I'm extremely glad this came in my PageHabit YA box for March, the comments from the author make the experience exponentially better (as if it wasn't fantastic already

    I keep re-reading some passages. Slam poetry means a lot to me!

    A touching story about a young Hispanic woman growing up in Harlem with a very devout mother. But there is so much more to it than that <3

    I couldn't say enough about this book if I tried - I just adore it to pieces. I'm extremely glad this came in my PageHabit YA box for March, the comments from the author make the experience exponentially better (as if it wasn't fantastic already :P ) <3 <3

    --------

    I. GOT. THIS. LETS. DO. THIS.

  • Kate (GirlReading)

    This was absolutely stunning. I absolutely adored the way Elizabeth Acevedo writes. It was incredibly powerful and honest and the characters she created were so personable, especially Xiomara. I found myself rooting for her from the first page onwards and essentially finished this book in one sitting, it was far too addictive and moving to put down. I’ve not read many books written in verse but it was by far my favourite. The story flowed flawlessly and was so easy to follow and connect to. Ther

    This was absolutely stunning. I absolutely adored the way Elizabeth Acevedo writes. It was incredibly powerful and honest and the characters she created were so personable, especially Xiomara. I found myself rooting for her from the first page onwards and essentially finished this book in one sitting, it was far too addictive and moving to put down. I’ve not read many books written in verse but it was by far my favourite. The story flowed flawlessly and was so easy to follow and connect to. There were so many elements I adored, from the way Xiomara’s draft and final assignments seemed to portray what she was actually thinking and feeling and wanted to write vs. what she felt she had to write, to the brilliant narrative in which Xiomara questions and attempts to take charge of where she stands in terms of her and her families religious beliefs. There wasn’t a page of this book that wasn’t powerful and lyrical and I’m so incredibly excited to see what Elizabeth Acevedo has in store for her next book because, if this was anything to go by, I’m sure it will be utterly stunning.

  • may ➹

    wow this book COMPLETELY blew me away

    I’m a huge fan of poetry (whether it be slam or otherwise), and I had a feeling this would be a great book.

    I think this is such an IMPORTANT book today; it’s from the perspective of a Dominican fat teen, it shows just how powerful words are whether they break or heal you, and it discusses all different types of relationships and learning to climb back up when everything (or ev

    wow this book COMPLETELY blew me away

    I’m a huge fan of poetry (whether it be slam or otherwise), and I had a feeling this would be a great book.

    I think this is such an IMPORTANT book today; it’s from the perspective of a Dominican fat teen, it shows just how powerful words are whether they break or heal you, and it discusses all different types of relationships and learning to climb back up when everything (or everyone) has left you broken

    and while I’m not struggling with my religion right now, and I generally don’t like religion talks in books,

    . I’m not limited by others because of their religious beliefs, but I’ve faced different types and levels of oppression by religious people because I’m not Christian. and even though it’s not the same, I could really really connect to what Xiomara was feeling

    maybe slightly longer review to come?

    Dominican fat female MC, Dominican gay twin brother, Trinidadian male love interest, possibly-Dominican friend (?)

    parental physical & emotional abuse, nonconsensual sexual contact, fatphobia (challenged)

  • Lola  Reviewer

    : Bad poetry ahead.

    I stand here, and I think,

    if there is one thing I want to say,

    to Xiomara,

    it’s that she is proof effervescent passion and love,

    transcend hate.

    Words have the power,

    to open your chest,

    and pull your heart out,

    and carry it to the sky.

    But if those words are not expressed,

    if they remain imprisoned,

    and you remain restrained,

    you will never feel freedom.

    I want to let them free,

    to let them fly,

    to let them breathe,

    to let me cry,

    my emotions out,

    to form a pool,

    that becomes a sanct

    : Bad poetry ahead.

    I stand here, and I think,

    if there is one thing I want to say,

    to Xiomara,

    it’s that she is proof effervescent passion and love,

    transcend hate.

    Words have the power,

    to open your chest,

    and pull your heart out,

    and carry it to the sky.

    But if those words are not expressed,

    if they remain imprisoned,

    and you remain restrained,

    you will never feel freedom.

    I want to let them free,

    to let them fly,

    to let them breathe,

    to let me cry,

    my emotions out,

    to form a pool,

    that becomes a sanctuary.

    So that happened. Yeah. Never wrote a poem in my life. And now I’ve written four (bad ones). I guess I can only improve from here.

    But seriously, gorgeous book. If you’ve enjoyed

    by Sarah Crossan, you’ll love this for sure.

    Buddy read with dear

    . ♡

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

  • Emer

    This is a novel in poetry format. Xio, the main character, writes her thoughts in the form of poems that she writes into her journal every day and through these poems we experience some important moments in her teenage life.

    The poems really connected me as a reader to the thought processes of Xio. I felt everything she felt (the good, the bad and the ugly) and really got a sense of her as a person.

    A great feminist messa

    This is a novel in poetry format. Xio, the main character, writes her thoughts in the form of poems that she writes into her journal every day and through these poems we experience some important moments in her teenage life.

    The poems really connected me as a reader to the thought processes of Xio. I felt everything she felt (the good, the bad and the ugly) and really got a sense of her as a person.

    A great feminist message! So much of the book deals with body shaming and guilt surrounding your body. Xio is conditioned to be shamed by her lips, her breasts, her curves. As if women are there for male pleasure alone. That our bodies are automatically there to be objectified and there for someone else's sexual gratification. She is taught to hide herself away because she is tempting. She is taught that liking boys is a sin. She is trained to feel guilt from something that is not her fault and has to develop a thick skin to deal with it.

    But along the way Xio develops feelings for a boy in her school named Aman. He's by no means perfect or a white knight type character. But with him she begins to explore her sexuality in a really subtle and gentle way. And sees that she is not a sin or a temptress because she wants to kiss a boy, because she wants to touch him, to hold his hand. It's very beautifully written in the book but my absolute favourite moment between Xio and Aman occurs in Part 3 in a sequence of poems entitled; 'And I Also Know', 'Tangled', 'The Next Move' and 'There Are Words'. They are poems about love, lust, consent, trust, slut shaming and many similar issues related to the rape culture mindset that seems to be insidiously pervasive in the psyche of our society. And I really love the way this book is talking about that topic in a way that is quite subtle but hugely important for teens especially to understand. It shows that it's not your fault, that you are not guilty because of how you look, dress, act etc. And it shows that you can say both yes and no and neither choice is wrong.

    Because of how this book is conceived as poems from Xio's viewpoint it's a very insular reading experience. While it's beautifully intimate and the connection we as readers can make with Xio is incredibly moving, it does mean that we do not get to relate to the supporting cast in the same fashion. Stories around those characters remain unsatisfactorily unresolved as opposed to beautifully open ended. I would have loved to have seen more of where her Twin's storyline was headed and how that would ultimately have impacted on family life. Also, I'm not sure about this whole let's call him Twin and not actually by his given name Xavier. Seemed a bit off putting to me.

    But mostly I think the singular viewpoint of the book did a great disservice to Xio's mother. She was an incredibly interesting character and we really only got very brief snippets of the things that affected her, of what made her tick and never truly uncovered the root cause of her seeming unhappiness with her daughter. It is alluded to that her mum seems to have developed her guilt and shame about love and sex because she was pressured into marriage when really what she wanted was to be celibate or to be a nun. And it just would have been great to see these two strong female characters meet somewhere in the middle with greater clarity about where their mother-daughter relationship was heading rather than the neatly tied up ending we got.

    Some of the poems just were okay... The difficulty with using poetry to further a plot is that sometimes you struggle to create linking passages between events and at times the poems just didn't feel all that poetic. If this was a book of poetry then they all certainly would not have made the cut. Some in particular (Ants, I Am No Ant) made me want to run for the hills with their overly stylised formatting and I wasn't a fan of many of the haikus. They just felt more like exercises in haiku writing than bonafide poetry to me.

    The plot... What plot??? Was there a plot?? Well if there was one it was signposted so much along the way that it just plodded along in incredibly predictable fashion.

    So there seems to have been a trade off with this book because of the poetry format: the format lends itself to truly connecting with the MC but feeling short-changed by the character development of the supporting cast and the absence of a really great plot. And sometimes the poems feel perfunctory rather than truly moving...

    An enjoyable reading experience but I'm hovering around the three and a half star rating

Best Free Books is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2018 Best Free Books - All rights reserved.