Darcey, St Helen and St Katharine
The Poet X
This book is written in verse, narrated by Xiomara. Her poetry allows her to express her feelings, as her parents won’t let her live the life she wants to.
In her family she has: a brother she calls Twin, Mami and Papi. Twin is her parent’s “goody two-shoes”, but what they don’t know is that he is secretly gay. Mami is a very strict, Catholic, Dominican immigrant, who won’t let Xiomara do anything a normal teenager would do. Papi is also a Catholic, Dominican immigrant, however does not treat Xiomara the way Mami does, and doesn’t really care.
Xiomara lives in Harlem, New York, and has avoided going to confirmation class, until this year when she has not been so lucky. She goes to her local high school and has been bullied since a young age, for having more curves and being more mature than the other girls. Since then she has learnt to use her fists and fierceness to do the talking.
For the start of a new term, she got a new lab partner in bio class, his name was Aman. As she got to know him better, the romance grew, with him she forgot how she was treated at home. One night she had to go to Aman‘s house for a bio project, however before she knew it they weren’t doing their bio project
anymore, instead she found herself doing something much more intimate.
To her delight she discovers a poetry class, but of course her happiness is quickly destroyed, because it clashes with her confirmation class, which Mami certainly would not allow her to miss. Xiomara found a way to go, after a lot of persuasion from her teacher. Now she had a way to share the things that made her happier, but she couldn’t stop thinking about performing them.
One Tuesday afternoon, poetry class ran late, this meant that she might not make it to the Church. She decided to go straight home on the train, and to her surprise she met Aman there, and ended up kissing him for what seemed an eternity. Unfortunately Mami got out early from work and saw this happening. When Xiomara got home she heard shouting and the tearing of paper. Her room was full of paper, and then she realised... it was her notebook. No one could save her, all she could do, was drown in Mami’s shouting. Xiomara finally saw through a real perspective and realised that Aman had not been good to her, and that she didn’t value him anymore.
After all of this had happened, it seemed as though her parents were finally seeing eye to eye with her and realised that they needed to treat her like a proper teenager and respect what she wanted to do.
I enjoyed poet X, because it conveyed an important story about equality and told us that everyone should be treated the same, no matter what race, gender or sexual orientation. It also gives a very different insight into someone living a completely different life to the reader.
The parts that I didn’t enjoy about this book were: there was quite a lot of swearing and there were some parts that I found unsuitable, however I think that this would be a really good book for teenagers and older teenagers and possibly not preteens.
I thought that it was quite unique because I felt a connection between me and Xiomara, because I felt pity for her, especially when Mami ripped up her notebook. I also really enjoyed that nearly all of the book was written like a poem, because it was unlike any book I’d read before.
Posted on: 23rd April 2019 at 09:33 am