This was wonderful!
The Poet X follows the story of Xiomara (X) who has had her guard up her entire life. Ever since she developed curves living in her Harlem neighborhood she has had to literally use her fists and fight for her right to be heard.
I loved the concept of this book and the way it was formatted. I think this was the first time that I read a book that was written entirely in verse and even though there wasn’t as many words on the page I feel that I got more of a grasp of the story and X’s feelings through the way she expressed herself in her poems. It really painted a picture in my mind of what X had to deal with on a daily basis and how through her passion for writing and poems she was finally able to find her voice.
X is such a relatable character. I can see so many young girls picking this book up and seeing themselves reflected in the words being written. There is a real feeling of isolation for many young girls out there that X evoked so well throughout the course of the book. It honestly brought me back to my own teenage years and had me reflecting on how I felt at that time of my life.
Even though it was a relatively short book there was a lot of growth shown in all of the characters. At the start X seems really angry with the world and almost resents being a girl and is jealous of her brother even though she is the strong one who always fights for him. She subtly softens throughout the course of the plot line and even though she has to endure so much through her mother and her religious beliefs she really comes out of the other side stronger and more at peace with herself.
It was really fascinating to see the way that something as innocent as writing down your innermost feelings in poems and kissing a boy on the subway could be construed as such a shameful act that literally brought Xiomara’s whole world down around her. I would have liked to see her brother stand up for her a little more seeing as how she was his protector for so many years, especially since her mother loves him so much. But I can understand why, he also had this whole other life that he was trying to protect for himself and he didn’t want to have that exposed like how X’s was. I just felt like she took most of the brunt of her mother’s wrath and he could of lessened it a lot more had he said something.
I adored this book, I loved the diversity of the characters, the setting, the concept, it all really come together beautifully into what I think is a compulsory read for everyone!
⭐️5/5 A MUST Read!!!