Publisher: HarperTeen


Thursday, March 08, 2018

All Five Stars: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

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All Five Stars: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
The Poet X
Elizabeth Acevedo
Genre: Contemporary, Verse, YA
Publication date: March 6th, 2018
by HarperTeen

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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.
-A copy was provided by HarperTeen for review-

I am a finnick-y asshole when it comes to rating books 5 stars which isn’t necessarily because I don’t love books but I want to reserve that 5 stars for a book that is something that I am going to remember for a long time after I close the last page shut. The Poet X is just one of those books you are gonna come out of feeling something. I don’t share the same identities as the main character and yet the way Xiomara navigates her diaspora completely moved me. The way her story was told made me feel seen and validated.

The Poet X is told in verse and yet it tells an overarching story that I am not sure prose could have done justice to. Acevedo is incredibly talented to say the least and her poetry is on a whole new level. I’ve dabbled in reading verse novels but The Poet X definitely stands out.

Has anyone ever felt that writing a review for a 5 star book is easy? IF SO, PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR SKILLS because I am not entirely sure how or what I should even gush about because there is SO MUCH to unpack.

At it’s heart, this book pays homage to slam poetry. It is essentially Xiomara’s diary but written in verse. Through these poems, we get intimate access to her world and her thoughts. There is so much going on in Xiomara’s life as she attempts to balance all her identities. She is a twin, daughter of Dominican immigrants, a miracle child, catholic and a poet. All those identities seem to be pulling at her and stretching her thin.

Her parents expectations of her don’t align with her desires and her personal goals. This also causes friction between Xiomara and her twin because he is not treated the same way by her parents that she is. They have different expectations of him and are constantly setting them up against each other.

Xiomara wants to be kissed for the first time, she wants to fall in love, and she wants to pursue her interests, she wants to be a normal teenager but her parents make that a lot harder than it should be. Old clashes with the new as Xiomara learns how to navigate her identities in a way that allows her to be her best self.

Honestly, I don’t even know how to do justice to this book with my words. The Poet X such a poignant look at diaspora and what it’s like to be born to immigrant parents. Of course, Xiomara’s experience is only one of many out there but that doesn’t make it less valid and less moving.

I want to hug this book, cuddle it and give it to everyone because I love it so much. Some people might find aspects of this book over the top but that doesn’t mean these experiences are any less real for someone out there and I hope people will give this enthralling novel the attention it DESERVES.

5 Stars
5 Hot Espressos

Giveaway: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Giveaway: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

Posted by on 05/19/2017 • 23 Comments

Hi everyone! Today we are partnering with Paula Stokes to giveaway a copy GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE to one lucky winner! GIRL AGAINST THE UNIVERSE was one of my favorite books of 2016 and honestly such an important book. It does such a great job talking about mental health issues and also has an incredibly swoony romance.

 

About the Book

Paula: Hi everyone! Girl Against the Universe releases in paperback on June 6, 2017 and I’m so excited about that I decided to do an entire blog tour of giveaways to celebrate! In the story, main character Maguire creates her own list of seven challenges to help her overcome her fears. This week I have seven challenges for you, and seven chances to win a shiny GATU paperback 😀 These…

Heartfelt Coming of Age Novel: That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

Heartfelt Coming of Age Novel: That Thing We Call a Heart by Sheba Karim

Posted by on 05/12/2017 • 1 Comment

Sometimes there are books you read and you love and then sometimes there are books you read and FUCKING LOVE. As you might be able to gather given my subtle opening line, That Thing We Call a Heart falls into the latter category for me.

I honestly don’t even know how to express all the love I feel for the book into this review because I doubt that is even possible. Perhaps I might use this gif:

Or I could use words but as I told my prof the other day when he suggested I do a creative writing project, I am not a writer so if this review is completely incoherent, know that I honestly tried.

That Thing We Call a Heart is a book that needs to be in…

Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Review: What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler

Posted by on 10/02/2015 • 5 Comments

You know how I would describe “being speechless” by something? It’s when you’re overwhelmed with so much emotions that words escape you. Something made you happy so much that you could only cry. Something made you so sad that your throat tightens and you can croak nothing out. Something made you so angry that find it hard to mutter a single word because you’re just fuming inside. This is basically what happened to me after reading What We Saw by Aaron Hartzler. It rendered me completely speechless.

I honestly don’t know how to review this book, if I can even review this book and give it the justice it deserves. It’s the sort that you know everyone – and I mean, everyone – should read; the sort in which when people ask you why…

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Posted by on 06/03/2015 • 11 Comments

Don’t be fooled by my 3-star rating. Because despite all my problems with it, I actually… liked this book. O_O

First of all, you guys know me – anything with science and traveling through space/time, I’m 100% game for that. I like exploring all kinds of possibilities and going beyond what we deem as reality. There’s a kind of poetry in it, you know? The feeling that there are still so much out there that we need to understand and discover, that the universe is so much bigger and grander than we could possibly perceive, and that amazes me. It’s a romantic, philosophical, and awe-inspiring concept, so seeing it as the central concept in a book made me giddy with glee.

However, I didn’t expect that the book would largely be… romantic-driven. I…

Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Review: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Posted by on 04/28/2015 • 18 Comments

This book was so confusing at first, but ended up making so much sense and really stuck with me. The way it is written pulls you in right away. Even though I wasn’t quite sure what was going on when I started, I was compelled to keep reading. I hoped that it would make sense to me as I got further in. It did and it didn’t. What I mean is that I realized why it was written how it was, and I understood it, but it was still a very confusing story. It fit perfectly with the main character though, and the mental illness that it is about. This was a brilliant book, and I have already recommended it to many people.

Caden is the main character, and the…

Audiobook Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Audiobook Review: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Posted by on 04/14/2015 • 14 Comments

This was fantastic and great to read. I loved that this had so much going for it. A great plot full of deception, lies, romance, and magic. Besides that, it was filled with some great action and I loved the characters. I think this would have been a joy to read, but it was enhanced with the audio. I often cringe when I know I am getting myself into a series, but I am really glad that I started this one and I am interested to know where the story will go.

Mare is a pretty smart girl. Growing up in poverty, and knowing what is coming to her in her near future, she does the best she can. She is a thief, but she is good at it….

Review: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

Review: The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer

Posted by on 03/26/2015 • 5 Comments

This was interesting and creepy. I didn’t really care much for most of the characters, but I did feel for Stephen. I found myself really feeling bad for him. Devon was horrible, and Cara just didn’t seem believable to me. In general though, I thought the story was pretty good. Based on old town stories and people who are set in there ways. It’s hard being an outsider, especially in a town like Spencer. Where things aren’t quite right, it’s hard to know if the old stories hold any truth, or if it is just the overactive imaginations of everyone.

Stephen doesn’t feel like he fits in, and he isn’t sure if he really wants to. He just wants to go back to Denver and away from the small…