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.
Synopsis from Goodreads
As someone who has never really been a fan of poetry, this book completely BLEW ME AWAY. I was immediately drawn into Xiomara’s story. I've always thought that poetry was something foreign, or that there isn't as much depth to poems because it's hard to connect with the speaker -- this was proven to be completely untrue in this book. Xio's story was beautifully written and I could honestly hear her speaking as I was reading. I want to go to a poetry slam now!!
So Many Visuals with So Few Words
I’ve always thought that the reason I didn’t connect to poetry is because the poems that I’ve read didn’t seem to have the same depth as the novels that I enjoyed. The Poet X completely proves me wrong. With short chapters/poems, I felt like I was completely immersed in X’s life, feeling her embarrassment, her pain, and her excitement with every moment read. I felt like I was in the moment with her, not simply a bystander reading about it. It was very, very powerful.
It’s always hard to know where to separate the author from the work, especially in contemporary fiction, but this book felt incredibly real and honest to me. The abuse X faces, both from her mother and the harassment from boys and men feeling like they have a right to comment on her body, the feelings she has for Aman, and her journey in finding her voice was an emotional ride and felt incredibly real. This book completely captured my attention in it’s honesty and I thought it was brilliant.
Makes Me Think About Music
This is a very specific one for me, because I’m not a big “music” person. I listen to whatever is on the radio, or songs that my husband likes, but I’ve never gone out of my way to find a band or felt a deep connection to a song, artist, or musical genre. So I loved that The Poet X challenged me to think differently about music and how it’s an incredibly deep and important connection for many people. While I still probably won’t listen to the same music as Xiomara (when forced to pick, I usually prefer bands like Mumford and Sons), I have a much deeper appreciation for the songs and artists that she talks about.
This book really had me rethinking my ideas about poetry, about music, and I'm now dying to go to a poetry slam. I didn't think I'd ever connect to characters in a poem as I quickly (or easily) as I did in this book. The words and structure of this story captured my attention, and X's story stole my heart. I loved this book and would highly recommend it to everyone.
FINAL RATING: 5/5
Hi, I'm Alexandra! I love reading (largely YA fiction, but sometimes I'll read "adult" books), playing board games, Nutella, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix with my husband.
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