Hi All! It’s Becky. It took me way too long to get to reading Elizabeth Acevedo’s National Book Award and Printz Award winning debut novel The Poet X. I was blown away by this book-in-verse. Here are my thoughts:
Title: The Poet X
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Summary: Xiomara Batista lives with her parents and twin brother in Harlem. Xiomara is struggling to find her place in the world. She doesn’t have the same faith as her mother or the same genius as her brother. However, Xiomara does have a voice in her poetry. Xiomara writes her feelings about the recently formed distance between her and her brother, the strain on her relationship with her parents, the changes in her herself as she explores her emerging sexuality and her growing passion for poetry.
Review: Books-in-verse are tricky. Many times authors write beautiful books-in-verse that lack emotional depth or character development. These books often feel like a brief look into the characters stories without being an entire book so I was nervous when I picked up The Poet X and I shouldn’t have been. In The Poet X Acevedo sidestep every trap that often befall book-in-verse authors. Acevedo’s characters are richly and fully developed. Xiomara is strong and unique main character. She is a real teen girl who doesn’t understand how her family, her life, and her body has changed as she entered her teen years. Xiomara’s confusion and her relationships are expertly written and perfectly realistic. Yet, for me, the aspect that sets this book apart from other coming of age stories is Xiomara’s exploration of her relationship with religion. Xiomara’s mother is devout and Xiomara can not blindly follow her mother’s faith. The way Acevedo explores this issue feels fresh and not like something you usually find in YA novels and takes The Poet X from being a good book to being a great book that is a must read.
Final Rating: 4 out of 5
What a different opinion? Check out Sarah’s review here.