The Poet X
by Elizabeth Acevedo
HarperTeen, 2018. 357 pages. Young Adult
Despite feeling unheard and dismissed, Xiomara has plenty to say, and lets all her fierceness flow onto the pages of her notebook. Who would want to listen to her anyways? Her mother just wants her to be pious, chaste, and demure. Her father won't, or can't, connect with the family. Men reduce her to her curves. But Xiomara's teacher can tell that she is holding back, and encourages Xiomara to join the slam poetry club, and X finds herself torn. After all the years of keeping quiet, can she finally let her words fly free?
I. Am. In. Love. Of all the new releases last year, this book is still easily my favorite of 2018. It's all the more impressive that this is Acevedo's first book. I'm not even sure what else to tell you, really. The writing is flawless. The tone, emotions, tension, so wonderfully executed. I related to Xiomara, our Poet X, so much; her voice was so clear and strong and her questions about life, family, belief, and societal expectations resonated with me. Check out the audio version as well; it is performed by the author, a slam poet herself!