How I Read It: Print
Dates Read: 11/30/19-12/1/19
How I Found It: Goodreads
When I first found out about this book, I immediately put it on my to-read list. Almost 2 years later, I finally had a copy and took the plunge. It reminds me of Lot by Bryan Washington, where the story is told over a series of poems and stories.
Throughout this story, we follow Xiomara, a Dominican-raised-in-Harlem high school sophomore who is trying to find her place in this world. She writes poetry as a way of expressing her feelings, especially because her Mami is extremely controlling of her. She grew up defending her brother because he never really defended himself, and she often goes into defensive mode quickly. She is forced to go into confirmation class (a class designed to “confirm” your devotion to God), which she hates, especially because it prevents her from going to Poetry Club. As the year progresses, we watch her interest in boys erupt, her relationship with her brother be tested, and her relationship with God (and subsequently Mami) fray.
It is a very short read, but there are so many hard hitting lines. As someone who went through puberty with a larger chest, I get what she means when she talk about her body being something other people own for their pleasure. And add in the feelings of wanting to be wanted mixed with feelings of disillusionment in Christianity and you literally have me in high school. It is so easy to relate to this story, and it helps that it is written so beautifully. I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars, and I would recommend it to anyone who asks!
If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!