The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (Fiction) is a novel that describes the life of a teenage girl, Xiomara Batista. Xiomara lives in Harlem and can’t seem to be enough for her mother. Her mother is a devout Catholic who wants her children to be as well, which isn’t a problem for her brother Xavier, better known as Twin, or so Xiomara thinks. Twin has always been the better of the two, being confirmed first, and being ridiculously smart. Whereas, Xiomara doesn’t even know if the Catholic faith is right for her. The only constant thing in her life is her poetry, which is only hers, until the poetry club is started at her school. Xiomara wants to be a part of it, but it meets during her confirmation classes. On top of all this, Xiomara is falling for her lab partner in her science class, Aman. Only problem is, she’s not allowed to date yet. Not to mention that guys are usually only interested in her body because of how physically mature she is, so the amount of pressure continues to pile on her. Will she ever be able to be enough for her mother, or will she continue to be a disappointment?
The Poet X is a book that reaches a large audience, and is one of my favorite books. It delves into the over sexualization of women, the struggles for a POC, LGBTQIA+ topics, and religious confusion. It is very relatable, especially for people who feel a constant stress to be everything for everyone. I realized that I enjoyed poetry through this book because it was genuinely interesting. It taught me that poetry doesn’t always have to rhyme and it doesn’t have to follow any specific rhythm. It’s great for anyone who aligns themselves with the topics discussed, anyone who loves poetry, or wants to see if poetry is for them. I will recommend this book to anyone and everyone and I hope you delve into its artistic genius just as deeply as I did.