Posted in Reviews

Book Review: The Poet X (Non-Spoiler)

The lines were impactful! It sure moved and inspired me in ways I cannot describe.


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.

Photo by Elizabeth Acevedo (@acevedowrites on instagram)


I love how the story tackles sensitive topics about coming-of-age of a person, specifically a woman. There are certain themes that I find vital to read about, such as conservatism in a religious family setting, as well as feminism. It was fast-paced; I definitely flew through the pages. The storytelling did not felt rush though. It dwell on the topics long enough to make us understand the point we have to get. It has elements of romance, friendship, family, and self-discovery. This book has a representation of race and gender.

“And I think about all the things we could be
if we were never told our bodies were not built for them.”
― Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X


The novel was written in verse. Almost like a poetry book. I adored the writing style of Elizabeth Acevedo. The chapters were short but full of content. The lines were impactful! It sure moved and inspired me in ways I cannot describe. This book was one of a kind. I have not read anything like it, from the writing style alone. I also listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend. Elizabeth Acevedo herself narrated the audiobook and it was such a great performance!

“I only know that learning to believe in the power of my own words has been the most freeing experience of my life. It has brought me the most light. And isn’t that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.”
― Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X


I gave this book a solid five stars! I highly recommend this to everyone. To the people who wants to fall in love, to everyone who is struggling to find their true self, to anyone who has a passion for writing, reading and poetry.


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About the Author

ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is a New York Times bestselling author of The Poet X and With the Fire on High. Her critically-acclaimed debut novel, The Poet X, won the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. She is also the recipient of the Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award. Additionally, she was honored with the 2019 Pure Belpré Author Award for celebrating, affirming, and portraying Latinx culture and experience.

Her books include, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes 2016), The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018), & With The Fire On High (HarperCollins, 2019).

She holds a BA in Performing Arts from The George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. Acevedo has been a fellow of Cave Canem, Cantomundo, and a participant in the Callaloo Writer’s Workshops. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, and resides in Washington, DC with her love.
Twitter: @acevedowrites
Instagram: @acevedowrites


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