Book rev. of Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X

A riveting book review by Melinda Zepeda for latinobookreview.com. Make sure to check out the original post here: https://www.latinobookreview.com/elizabeth-acevedo—poet-x–latino-book-review.html

 

Xiomara, the protagonist in Elizabeth Acevedo’s debut YA book titled The Poet X, is an adolescent navigating her way through the confusions and challenges posed by both her Dominican mother’s strict Catholic expectations and Xiomara’s own inability to believe in the strength of her voice. The novel, set in New York’s Harlem, is a coming-of-age novel, complete with the excitement of first love and the disappointments they often bring. Even so, this novel isn’t first and foremost a love story in the heteronormative sense of girl-loves-boy and vice versa; the greatest love story found in The Poet X is between the poet and her poetry. None of Xiomara’s relationships—not with her parents, her twin, her best friend, her love interest, her teacher mentor—provide the deep sense of courage and completeness Xiomara finds through her writing and eventual performance of that writing. The story testifies to the power of voice.   
The Poet X, in its structure, pays homage to the poem. Its first-person narrator reveals herself in a series of poems, many of which are capable of standing alone. From an alternate lens, the structure of The Poet X simultaneously pays homage to the novel, developed in complex and nuanced lyrical chapter-poems that portray the complexity of youth. The Poet X allows non- young adult-aged readers to recall nostalgically their youth while young adult-aged readers find hope that their intrapersonal gifts will sustain them through their interpersonal challenges.
Elizabeth Acevedo was born and raised in New York City. She is a National Slam Champion, fellow of the Cantomundo poetry workshop, and author of the chapbook Beastgirl & Other Origin MythsThe Poet X is her first novel. 

Poet X is published by Harper Collins Publishers. Click here to purchase


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