The Poet X Book Pdf ePub

The Poet X

4.412,965 votes • 781 reviews
Published 06 Mar 2018
The Poet X.pdf
Format Kindle Edition
Publisher HarperTeen

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.

"The Poet X" Reviews

- Atlanta, GA
Wed, 11 Oct 2017

“Burn it! Burn it. This is where the poems are,” I say, thumping a fist against my chest. “Will you burn me? Will you burn me, too?”

I’ve always been fond of stories told through verse, and I love Elizabeth’s poetry, so when I learned that she was writing her first YA novel, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I never once doubted that I would love it, but I didn’t know it could mean so much to me. I didn’t have a clue that I was in for such a raw, honest ride about how religion impacts children and how detrimental it can be to try keeping a teen from blossoming into their own bodies and sexuality. I know The Poet X is a love story to poetry, but as someone who was raised in a sheltered, religious home, terrified of my own body and the things it wanted, this is a love story to those kids, too.
I am the baby fat that settled into D-cups and swinging hips so that the boys who called me a whale in middle school now ask me to send them pictures of myself in a thong.

→ body acceptance ←
Every teen’s path has a few major obstacles, and Xiomara’s are her body, and the ways people view her for it. At 15-going-on-16, she’s a tall Dominican girl with a thick figure, and she laments the different struggles it causes her – whether it’s boys (and men) giving her unwanted attention, or her mother blaming her for it.
When your body takes up more room than your voice you are always the target of well-aimed rumors, which is why I let my knuckles talk for me. I’ve forced my skin just as thick as I am.

→ rape culture ←
Xiomara’s young, but she’s already so painfully aware of what rape culture does to the society she lives in. She constantly is harassed, whether it’s a cat-call on the sidewalk or a stranger’s hand on her curves, but her experience is depicted so honestly. I think an unfortunate number of women, of all ages, will read this story and relate to the nauseating mixture of guilt and anger brought on by these words and gestures we never, ever asked for – unless breathing in a woman’s body is “asking for it”.
Trying to unhear my mother turn my kissing ugly, my father call me the names all the kids have called me since I grew breasts.

→ love and self-love ←
Meanwhile, throughout the struggles of living in this rape culture, Xiomara wants to live, and be happy, and find love. She has a sweet, understated blossom of romance with Aman, a classmate from Trinidad, and even explores the ways in which she can become comfortable in her own skin: learning to see her body as beautiful, not oversized, and discovering what she wants and needs. (By the way, can we please get more books normalizing teen girls who explore their own bodies like this one does? We’ve tried this whole “girls don’t crave sex like boys do” approach in YA for way too long, and it’s clearly not getting anyone anywhere.)
And I knew then what I’d known since my period came: my body was trouble. I had to pray the trouble out of the body God gave me. My body was a problem. And I didn’t want any of these boys to be the ones to solve it.

→ abuse ←
The other big struggle in Xiomara’s life comes in the form of her family, and her mother’s religious views. If you are uncomfortable with religion being portrayed in a candid and sometimes negative light, I’ll go ahead and say that The Poet X may be one you should go into with caution, as Xiomara does raise a lot of questions about the church, scriptures, and God. She has a hard time coming to terms with the devout beliefs of her loved ones, and the gap between her religious views and her mother’s come to blows (literally) throughout the story. There is an honest depiction of parental abuse in this story, and her mother’s excuses are consistently rooted in her religious beliefs, which I know may make some of my religious friends uncomfortable, so I wanted to offer fair warning on that.
When I’m told to have faith in the father, the son, in men – and men are the first ones to make me feel so small.

→ religion and women ←
There’s also quite a lot of discussion regarding how girls are raised in devoutly religious households, and how common it is that they are taught that their bodies are a stumbling block for the men in their lives. Xiomara finds herself frustrated by the idea that she is expected to carry the full burden of what men do to her body, and muses a few concerns about how absent she feels that God is from the objectification and abuse she faces. There’s also a bit of talk about how queer individuals are treated in the church, as Xiomara’s twin brother is gay and closeted, and the siblings feel a substantial amount of terror regarding how he’s going to be treated if he is outed.
And I think about all the things we could be if we were never told our bodies were not built for them.

→ final thoughts ←
At its core, The Poet X is a story about overcoming the ideals that our families push upon us, learning how to know who we are and what we want, and loving ourselves when the world doesn’t make it easy. It’s about family, and the ways that we try to make situations work, and the desperation with which we must remember that, at the end of the day, we have to keep ourselves happy and safe – no matter the relationships it may cost us. It’s about body positivity and loving the skin that we’re in, and fighting back against a society that reduces us to cup sizes and the length of our skirts. It is a beautiful, empowering, diverse, feminist tale, and I will undoubtedly be recommending it to everyone, but especially to any young girls who need to hear that they are whole, they are good, and they deserve happiness and freedom.
Content warnings: slut-shaming, body-shaming, homophobia, parental abuse, bigotry
All quotes come from an unfinished ARC and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to HarperTeen for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Thu, 15 Mar 2018

A story that will slam the power of poetry and love back into your heart!! Highly recommended!

Cyn (chinchilla hunter, shameless reader of trash, proud member of Not Reading Your TBR Club)
Thu, 29 Mar 2018

I'm still not over this. I keep re-reading some passages. Slam poetry means a lot to me! *cries for 5 more years*
A touching story about a young Hispanic woman growing up in Harlem with a very devout mother. But there is so much more to it than that <3
I couldn't say enough about this book if I tried - I just adore it to pieces. I'm extremely glad this came in my PageHabit YA box for March, the comments from the author make the experience exponentially better (as if it wasn't fantastic already :P ) <3 <3

- The United Kingdom
Wed, 21 Feb 2018

Actual rating 4.5/5 stars.
The Poet X follows teen, Xiomara Batista, as she uses her own poetry, and enters into the world of slam poetry, in an attempt to understand her divorced feelings from her religion, her tumultuous relationship with her family, and her own identity and place in this world.
My first book written in verse has proven to me that it can compete with wordier or lengthier pieces of prose for emotional impact and how deeply it could resonate with me. I found line after line that I wanted to jot down and remember for ever, I found whole sections that felt like they were penned by my own soul, and found I read much of this through tear-filled eyes, at the raw emotion that each and every poem portrayed. I have always been certain of my love for classic poetry, but this has confirmed that my feelings for modern poetry are exactly the same.
My only source of contention was that this did not deliver any more than the synopsis told you it would. There were no narrative twists or sub-plots to interfere with the dogged progression of the story-line. This book set out and delivered exactly what it needed to, and it did so magnificently, but there was also no shock about where the protagonist would be at the ending. It did not devalue the important message or the the powerful wording used to deliver it, but I think this would have been a five-star read, for me, if a vaguer synopsis had been provided.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Elizabeth Acevedo, and the publisher, Harper Teen, for this opportunity.

- Canada
Sun, 15 Apr 2018

WARNING: Bad poetry ahead.
I stand here, and I think,
if there is one thing I want to say,
to Xiomara,
it’s that she is proof effervescent passion and love,
transcend hate.
Words have the power,
to open your chest,
and pull your heart out,
and carry it to the sky.
But if those words are not expressed,
if they remain imprisoned,
and you remain restrained,
you will never feel freedom.
I want to let them free,
to let them fly,
to let them breathe,
to let me cry,
my emotions out,
to form a pool,
that becomes a sanctuary.
So that happened. Yeah. Never wrote a poem in my life. And now I’ve written four (bad ones). I guess I can only improve from here.
But seriously, gorgeous book. If you’ve enjoyed One by Sarah Crossan, you’ll love this for sure.
Buddy read with dear Emer. ♡
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