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The Poet X

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  19,981 ratings  ·  4,753 reviews
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
Audible Audio, 330 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by HarperAudio
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Jovon I would suggest trying the audio version as well. There is definitely a story to follow and its one that many can relate to.
RachaelSage Although the main character, Xiomara, is not, another primary character is.
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Community Reviews

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4.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  19,981 ratings  ·  4,753 reviews

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Emma Giordano
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
This was a surprising read for me!! I do not read poetry, nor do I typically like it, therefore I have avoided reading books in verse for years. I decided to pick up the audiobook from my library just because it was so short, but I’m so pleased I gave it a chance. This is a story absolutely everyone should experience.

CW: sexism/misogyny, homophobia, slut-shaming, abuse, sexual assault/harassment

I would HIGHLY recommend the audio version of this novel. I don’t have an experience with the physical
Tomi Adeyemi
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
#ThePoetX was so beautiful that I didn’t want to highlight it or dog ear pages, so I just took pictures basically every page

This was the type of book where “I’ll just do 50 pages” turned into finishing it in 2 reads

I felt very emotional reading this book, not just because the story and the words themselves were so beautiful, but because I knew it was going to make so many teens who felt like no one cares about them or listens to them feel seen.

I also knew that if I had had books like this or Lo
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
“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 childre
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
three things:

i need to obtain a copy of this book instantly so i can mark my favorite passages (of which there were many)

this is 100% a new favorite. also it made me cry. also the audiobook is glorious.

this deserved the goodreads choice award for poetry and that’s just facts.

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 sanct
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
Poetry usually isn't my jam but this book was part of my "Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2018" so here we are...

I ended up really connecting with the main character, her story, her relationship with her family, her struggles with religion and the abuse she went through.

There was a lot of Spanish in the book but everything was translated right after so don't worry.

(view spoiler)
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This was INCREDIBLE. I very rarely enjoy poetry but I listened to the audiobook of this one and it absolutely blew me away. I can't wait to buy my own physical copy so I can tab up all my favorite parts. SO. DAMN. GOOD.
Larry H
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Wow. This was absolutely phenomenal. What a powerful gut punch.

Elizabeth Acevedo's National Book Award-winning The Poet X is deserving of every single accolade that comes its way. This immensely moving novel-in-verse will light a fire inside you while it takes your breath away.

Xiomara Batista is about to start her sophomore year at a high school in Harlem. She has been the object of male attention since she grew tall and her body grew curves. Her fiercely religious mother has only mistrust for
(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
🙎🏽♀📓🖊 "Xiomara may be remembered as a lot of things: a student, a miracle, a protective sister, a misunderstood daughter, but most importantly, she should be remembered as always working to become the warrior she wanted to be." ❤📝🎤

I loved how honest, raw & beautiful this book was. Elizabeth Acevedo gave voice to so many youth through Xiomara. I was her in my youth and this book took me back to those teen years growing up in NY with strict Hispanic parents. How I wish I had a book like this
Cindy Pham
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Contemporary YA and poetry are usually a miss for me, so I am pleasantly surprised at the near-perfection of this coming-of-age story. The verse formats feel purposeful instead of gimmicky and the writing is so good without compensating with flowery language. It's simple yet effective and does a wonderful job at portraying the complexities of a teenager finding her voice within a culture that often suppresses young women. Even though our upbringings are not the same, I greatly enjoyed reading ab ...more
Hannah Greendale
🚨 Unpopular opinion alert! 🚨

The Poet X explores several important topics with a feather-touch: body shaming (Word!), the anti-feminist foundations of organized religion (Yas, girl! Preach!), and the grueling lack of autonomy most people suffer in high school when adulthood is longed for but just out of reach (Omg, same!). Unfortunately, Xiomara's story is peripheral, hasty, and occasionally lacks a sense of synchronicity between its chapters.

In the opening pages, fifteen-year-old Xiomara lamen
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
4 Stars

“And I think about all the things we could be if we were never told our bodies were not built for them.”

15-year old Xiomara lives in a world where her mother controls her life at home and society tries to limit her elsewhere. But Xiomara will not be silenced. She discovers the world of slam poetry and finds her voice.

The whole story is written in verse, and I found the audiobook particularly powerful, as Xiomara uses her poetry to articulate and fight against the daily injustice in h
Laurie Anderson
A story that will slam the power of poetry and love back into your heart!! Highly recommended!
Oct 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
“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?”
― Elizabeth Acevedo, The Poet X

This was really powerful and moving, however I just couldn't connect with Xiomara and was at times, frustrated with her.

4.5 stars!!

Poet X is lyrical, deep, and meaningful. I loved the way this book was written. It had a fantastic flow, the poetry was poignant, and Xiomara's voice and character really shined through.

This is a story about a teenage girl who lives in Harlem. She lives with her twin brother, her father, and an overly religious mother. Xiomara isn't allowed to have a voice in that house. Her mother wants her to be close to a god she's not sure she believes in and feels that should be the focus of her
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-fell-in-love
Elizabeth Acevedo, you are a goddess.
This poetry collection, told in a novel-like fashion, was what my soul needed. It was abundant and healing.

It’s about faith, family, love, forging yourself through obstacles, and pain and naysayers and finding your true voice.

It’s about coming out on top, because, ultimately, you matter. Your being matters.
Ashley Nuckles
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sooo good. SO good. And the poetry was beautiful! I’d read anything by Elizabeth Acevedo.
Printz Medal 2019

Well deserved

Original review

As with many other novels-in-verse, I am struggling to call this poetry. To me, this is beautiful, effective prose, cut up and served up in small bits. I am used to traditional poetry (that rhymes at least occasionally) and might need further literary education to get on board with this concept of chopping up prose to present it in a visually distinctive and pleasing way and calling it poetry.

But I digress...

I recommend listening to this novel on aud
may ➹
wow this book COMPLETELY blew me away

I’m a huge fan of poetry (whether it be slam or otherwise), and I had a feeling this would be a great book. I wasn’t expecting an emotion-packed, gut-wrenching, hard-hitting story like this. I think this is such an IMPORTANT book today; it’s from the perspective of a Dominican fat teen, it shows just how powerful words are whether they break or heal you, and it discusses all different types of relationships and learning to climb back up when everything (or ev
Kate (GirlReading)
This was absolutely stunning. I absolutely adored the way Elizabeth Acevedo writes. It was incredibly powerful and honest and the characters she created were so personable, especially Xiomara. I found myself rooting for her from the first page onwards and essentially finished this book in one sitting, it was far too addictive and moving to put down. I’ve not read many books written in verse but it was by far my favourite. The story flowed flawlessly and was so easy to follow and connect to. Ther ...more
Rachel Reads Ravenously
5 stars!

“Late into the night I write and the pages of my notebook swell from all the words I’ve pressed onto them.
It almost feels like the more I bruise the page the quicker something inside me heals.”

Well, I completely understand why this book is winning all of the awards. It is absolutely magnificent.

Poet X a story, told in verse, about Xiomara a teenage girl from a religious background who has poetry bursting from inside her. Xiomara finds herself at odds many times with her mother wh
Lilith Black
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This was my very first book written by Elizabeth Acevedo that I read, and also, if I am not mistaken and remember well, my first story wrote in a poem form. Didn't know what to expect from it, but I kinda expected to like it at least, given all the buzz from BookTube and book community. It turns out that I really loved it!

The relationships in this book, all the feelings and the hard topics such as religion, sexuality, and self-acceptance, hit me so hard that for a short time I literally had to s

Elyse Walters
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and Cilip Carnegie Medal....
DESERVING of every award offered!

Debut author Elizabeth Acevedo began writing this story when she was an 8th grade English teacher - in 2012 - a teacher in Maryland.
Acevedo says....”My students were 90% Latino. And I realized that all the stories I have been telling in class and these poems I had been writing didn’t necessarily end up on their bookshelves”.

“The Poet X, follows Xiomara, a young girl in Harlem who
Vitor Martins
Eu não imaginava que esse livro iria mexer tanto comigo. Eu tinha meu pé atrás por conta da narrativa em poesia mas me surpreendi demais com essa história. Xiomara é uma personagem cheia de camadas e mesmo sendo completamente diferente de mim, a sua voz falou comigo em um monte de aspectos diferentes.

Eu me vi na relação problemática que ela tem com a mãe, nos seus questionamentos constantes a respeito de Deus e da religião da sua família. Eu me enxerguei no jeito como a sua criação rigorosa fez
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-writers
Okay, I'll admit it. I cried whilst listening to the audiobook. Almost for an hour straight. In public. And I read this story twice. On the same day. Yeah, a couple hours after finishing the audiobook I decided to get my physical copy and then read that one again. I cried. Again. I make good choices. Thank you very much.
This if for us. Ancestors: you crossed the harshest of waters / & waters & waters / & on the other side / still gasping / your breath / dreamt us / out of the tide
Cyn  (chinchilla hunter, shameless reader of trash)
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
Jul 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


I loved this book. I laughed and started tearing up at points. However, the ending was horribly rushed for me and that disappointed me. I wanted so much more from the ending gahhh. But I did love the story, it was beautiful ~
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Diverse Readers, Those in Love with Free Verse and Spoken Word
"A lantern glowing in the dark."

A caged bird discovers her wings. 5/5

There are no cons to this story, and even if I searched and came up with one, it would be out of pettiness.


There are many pros to reading this story, which follow.

*We see the voice of a young Afro-Latina (Dominicana) searching for and speaking her truth. She strives through the messiness of living with a domineering mother and an absent father, one like mine (There but not there). We see how one kiss from a boy can slu
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, poetry
“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.”

I will admit it -- I often judge books by their covers. When I saw the cover of The Poet X, I knew I had to read it and downloaded it before even reading anything about it. I'm glad I did because I'm not sure if I would have read it if I'd read the synopsis first. Maybe I would have,
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I found this to be incredibly moving, a YA novel about finding your voice, largely in verse. The audio is highly recommended, skillfully read by the author, which led me down an internet rabbit hole of the author performing poetry from outside this book.

This would have been a good book to read when I was the same age as the narrator, because she is confronted with conservative parenting that actually physically prevents her from expressing herself in various ways, condemns the natural exploratio
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The Bibliophiles: April BOTM: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 2 9 Apr 03, 2019 05:50PM  
#BulldogsRead: The Poet X 1 4 Dec 21, 2018 09:29AM  
Mock Printz 2020: May: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 27 155 Dec 11, 2018 06:32PM  
Amor y letras : The Poet X, libro de noviembre 3 14 Nov 18, 2018 06:40PM  
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ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is the youngest child and only daughter of Dominican immigrants. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from the George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over fourteen years of performance poetry experience, Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion, Cave Canem Fellow, CantoMundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer's ...more
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“And I think about all the things we could be if we were never told our bodies were not built for them.” 57 likes
“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.” 56 likes
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