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The Poet X: 04/14/18
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is the story of Xiomara Batista. She's a too tall twin growing up in Harlem. Her smaller, quieter twin is everything her mother wants. She on the other hand is everything her hyper Catholic mother fears.
She's interested in one boy only but because she's Black, mixed race, and buxom, she gets male attention, female scorn, and a reputation that has a life of its own.
Xiomara finds her escape through poetry. Most of the novel is told through her free-form poems, though there are some texts and short essays too.
At about the close of the first act of the book, Xiomara catches the attention of a new teacher. She's invited to participate in a poetry slam contest — much like Miles Morales is in Jason Reynold's novel. But her outlook on life and her escape through her art reminds me more of Jade from Renée Wilson's Piecing Me Together (2017).
I've already set aside The Poet X to do a closer re-read. I must admit to racing through it but next time around I want to spent more time on the individual poems.