"The Poet X"

Follow a girl breaking free from her parents’ restrictive grasp on a journey to self-love and acceptance in “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo.

The main character, Xiomara, is an attractive Dominican girl with a thick body and thick skin. She constantly struggles with getting harassed by boys, even grown men, with unwanted touches and unnecessary fondling.

Xiomara has been raised in a home that tells her men are bad, wanting nothing more than a woman’s body: not a woman’s heart or her mind, and, sadly, every instance Xiomara experiences seems to prove that true.

That is until she meets Aman, sweet Aman, who wishes to do no more with her than sit next to her on a park bench and listen to Drake songs.

Xiomara struggles with what parental abuse really is because her mother excuses this abuse because of her religious beliefs.

As Xiomara secretly enjoys a relationship with Amar, her twin brother struggles with finding his own sexuality. Both siblings know that heavy repercussions await them if their lies come out, but what is life without any enjoyment?

To help Xiomara find the truth about herself, she joins a poetry club, where she becomes The Poet X, and one of the most popular poets at poetry slams.

Xiomara really embodies the struggles women go through in day-to-day life, struggling through abuse, trying not to stumble, using fists instead of words to diffuse stress. She deals with her, at times, cruel mother who blames Xiomara for the unwanted attention from men, as if Xiomara wanted that in the first place.

There is a lot of religion tied into this book, with Xiomara’s mother’s deep beliefs one of the consistent problems in the story. I really recommend “The Poet X” to anyone who needs to hear that they deserve happiness and freedom, no matter what they were taught their whole lives, but especially girls who need to know their worth, that they can really can do anything no matter what’s holding them back.