Rating: 4 stars
What a brilliant voice we so desperately need.
Xiomara felt like such an authentic character, with cross cultural challenges. Trying to weigh the familial obligation against passion, both physical and poetic was poignantly told. I love that the conflict revolved around so much more than just the male love interest. Acevedo made it about Xiomara’s conflict with herself, her faith and her family in a multitude of dimensions, all of which get more focus and attention than the love interest. The book was about the character and cross cultural understanding rather than just her relationships.
While the book centres around her ability to find her voice through spoken word poetry, the book is beautifully told in poetic verse. One thing I really would have liked, is to read her presented spoken word poems. It was quite cool to read about the experience of performing poetry through poetry, but it felt like a missed opportunity, not to have this element in.
Recommendation: A need for high school libraries. An incredibly well done verse poetry piece. I would keep it in my 13+ section, one of the poems makes reference to self pleasure.