Xiomara has always kept her words to herself. When it comes to standing her ground in her Harlem neighbourhood, she lets her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But X has secrets – her feelings for a boy in her bio class, and the notebook full of poems that she keeps under her bed. And a slam poetry club that will pull those secrets into the spotlight. Because in spite of a world that might not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to stay silent. A novel about finding your voice and standing up for what you believe in, no matter how hard it is to say.
Why I Bought It
I’m not too sure what made me pick up this one when I found it in Waterstones other than the fact that it was on buy one get one half price! I hadn’t heard any reviews for this at all before I bought it, but the cover was enough to persuade me that I would love it.
I actually didn’t flick through the book before buying it, so I didn’t realise that the whole story is told through poems. I was a bit unsure with this to begin with because I tend to struggle quite a bit with understanding poetry, but I was glad to see that this was really easy to understand!
I wish I’d had this when I decided that I really hated poetry throughout school and college because I feel that this teaches how form and structure can change the mood a poem better than any teacher can explain it to you. The form is constantly changing throughout the book and it always reflects the poet’s mood, which I found fascinating.
I do feel that the format did hold the plot back a bit, mainly because the plot had room for development but I felt that it was held back by being written in poetry format. There were a few parts that remained ambiguous because of the format meaning that events were sometimes lacking in detail.
I loved X, she’s strong and won’t let anyone tell her what to do, and she really just needs some love. However, it did annoy me how Aman took her back straight away after the way she treated him. I found that part frustrating because she acted horribly to him, but he seemed to just not care. I also wondered how she even had friends with the way she treated people around her. I understand that she had family problems, but she was absolutely horrible to some of her friends but they still stuck by her.
Even though I did get frustrated by these things, it didn’t stop me from enjoying the novel. The format made it fun and I did somehow finish it all in one day because it had me hooked.
It’s definitely worth reading, especially if you are into poetry – or even if you’re not!
Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Poetry
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Have you read it? Let me know in the comments!