Posts Tagged: Verse

Thursday, March 08, 2018

All Five Stars: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

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I received this book for free from HarperTeen in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

All Five Stars: The Poet X by Elizabeth AcevedoThe Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Published by HarperTeen on March 6th, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Verse, YA
Source: HarperTeen
Buy on Amazon

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.

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 Hot Espressos

Blog Tour: Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes

Posted by on 02/23/2018 • 0 Comments

Occasionally, when a book is written in verse(partly in this case) and I need to review it, I break out my incredibly rusty poetry skills and write a review in verse too. I usually try to imitate the style of verse in the book but you know, it isn’t always successful.

This Book

Between the Lines follows the story

of eight teens.

It seems like a lot and is occasionally overwhelming 

and yet . . . 

Nikki Grimes has somehow found the balance so it isn’t

too much.

Between the Lines is so ordinary and yet extraordinary in the way it tells the story of

eight different children and how they come to embrace the power

of poetry.

The story of these eight different children is bound

to take you…

Review: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Review: Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Posted by on 02/17/2014 • 19 Comments

Oh Hopkins, what have you done?! I became a huge fan of Ellen Hopkins last year. Impulse is the 5th novel I have read by her and the first that has left me so torn on my feelings for it. Basically what it boils down to is that I liked the idea behind the novel and I think that the way the mental issues and suicide were approached was done very well. What didn’t end up working quite so well for me was a lot of the interactions between the characters.

So first, what I liked here. Well I really liked that Hopkins stayed true to her brutally honest self. There are things that I read in this book that were so ugly that I had to read them twice…

Review: Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Review: Burned by Ellen Hopkins

Posted by on 01/23/2014 • 18 Comments

I thought I had been a good blogger when I went out and bought the first book in each of Ellen Hopkins series. I even covered all my bases and bought her standalones as well. Well now look at me sitting here kicking myself because I’ve finished Burned and I don’t have the sequel to jump into immediately. Burned is the heartbreaking tale of Pattyn Von Stratten, a young girl raised in a strict mormon household who begins to question the way that her family lives and they way that her father treats all of the women in his life.

I’m not usually a fan of books that deal heavily with religion, but I always appreciate when a character is questioning the way that they have been brought up. Pattyn…