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☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ 1/2 STARS
I read a sample of this book a little while ago and was completely immersed from the very first page. I knew then, that this would be a book I’d remember for a long time. My prediction was right. Although this is a verse novel and you may not expect much, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It packs a MIGHTY PUNCH. The verse paints a heart-wrenching story of a young teenage girl struggling to establish her own persona in the face of a pushy mother, a religion she’s unsure about and a genius of a brother who constantly needs saving.
Who is Xiomara in all of this? She’s strong, fierce and has a loyal streak a mile wide. She’s also unsure, scared and lost. What follows is a poignant story told from Xiomara’s journal entries. Her life in a book of poems. They’re the only thing that truly set her mind and past free. This is a stunning book that really brings to light all of the confusing emotions encountered during the teenage years. The Poet X really touched my heart and was full of well developed side characters that I soon began to adore. You don’t just fall in love with Xiomara’s plight, but also those of her friends and Twin. This is a story I’m going to be re-reading for years to come!
I had to share my favourite verse chapter with you… as shown above. It really sums up Xiomara’s loss of her support system and hero in her life. Its replacement is a cold mother who only sees flaws. One that picks apart things Xiomara has no control over. This novel showcases perfectly that quintessential teenage experience of no longer feeling close to your parents. The divide that occurs with age, physical maturity and separation of beliefs. With independence comes free thought and Xiomara’s lack of piety was a divide that mother and daughter could not seem to cross.
Despite the heavy tone of the story, it was very well paced and I was able to read this in one sitting. It was INTENSE and ANGSTY and everything I wanted it to be! The only thing that I found an issue with was the ending. Without spoilers, I can just say that it felt a little rushed and unfinished to me. I still had questions and wanted to see a longer, more detailed resolution to Xiomara’s issues with her mother as well as her aspirations as a poet. The ending didn’t provide many answers in these areas and as they were at the core of the book, I would have liked more closure on them.
Overall, The Poet X was a stunningly beautiful and emotional coming-of-age read. It took me back to the angst-filled years of my teens when I wasn’t sure who I was and what I stood for or believed in. Xiomara’s strength and struggle for independence stole my heart. If you haven’t read this book yet, you definitely should!
// have you read The Poet X or any similar books? what were your thoughts? //