OOMMGGG!! THE POET X is everything that Hispanic girls need right now. Elizabeth Acevedo tells the story of Xiomara (See-oh-MAH-ruh),a twin born fighting angry. Her mother constantly gets after her for the way that men look at her (which she can't help) and wants X to be a devout Catholic, like she is. The interaction between X and her mom felt familiar in not just a Hispanic family dynamic but with any teenage girl and her mother. X keeps a journal where she writes poems that are never meant to see the light of day.
X has never been interested in the attention that she gets from boys, but when she meets her lab partner, Aman, who is quiet but listens to her poems and doesn't push her to do more than she is ok with, X starts to develop feelings that make her question everything that she's ever been taught.
Xiomara's English teacher, Ms. Galiano notices X's potential and invites her to a poetry club and eventual poetry slam. After some catastrophic events, X finally gives in and allows herself to be heard.
This book will leave everyone teary-eyed and wanting more from X. Her poems are honest and full of life that you can't help but feel what she is feeling and cheer for the outcome that X deserves. This book is a perfect reflection of those crazy mixed-up feelings that we have as teenagers and is a light in what seems like a dark time for Hispanic girls.
Y'all, I absolutely DEVOURED this book. I LOVED the return to Simon's world and how real Leah is. She felt perfect for a movie or even an audiobook; her voice and feelings make her real and relatable. I love how she is trying to find herself as well as coming to terms with her sexual identity. My favorite part of Leah is how she repeats "I love my body.." her body positivity was a breath of fresh air in our body negative world.
If you coudn't already tell, Simon's Spier's best friend, Leah, got her won book, in which she has to navigate her best friend's breakup while falling for the girl that her best friend just broke up with meanwhile worrying about her upcoming graduation and the usual college applicatio process anxiety. Her mom is dating again, so add that to the pile of feels that Leah is dealing with.
I loved every second of this book. Readers should be aware though that Leah is a potty-mouth and if you didn't like Katherine Langford playing her in Love, Simon, then you won't like her in this because she is a wonderful depicition of Leah.
Clara Shin lives with her dad in L.A and is the class clown. She likes to "stay in the shallow end" of feelings and make jokes of everything, but when she and the class president, Rose, get into a fight at prom and almost burn down the school cafeteria, she is forced to work with Rose in her dad's food truck all summer. As the two work together, Clara learns about having to face your feelings and what real friendship and relationships are like.
I loved every second of this book, so much so that I couldn't put it down and finished it in a little under a day. Clara is very real and relatable, her journey from class clown to actual person was easy to follow. I'd love to see a spinoff or novela about her dad and his realtionships being a single dad or her mom's adventures as a social media influencer.
The Way You Make Me Feel is another book that I will be reviewing and booktalking in a Junior Library Guild webcast next month!
My first book sketchnote in a LOONNGG time! THE LOVE LETTERS OF ABELARD AND LILY is a super sweet romance between a boy on the autism spectrum and a girl with ADHD. I LOVED it so much that I finished it in a day! I also really liked that it was set in Austin so I could actually picture where events were taking place! I used the Apple Pencil and the Doodle Art app, which is why there’s an awkward border on the left. 😂😂. I’ll be booktalking this book and a few others in a Junior Library Guild webinar next month-check back for details!
ALL SUMMER LONG, a graphic novel by Hope Larson (illustrator of the Wrinkle In Time graphic novel) was a fun, quick read. 📚Austin and Bina have been friends their entire lives and spend every summer together. The summer before eighth grade, though, Austin goes away to soccer camp while Bina stays home and learns how to play guitar and indie bands. A really sweet sort of friendship and growing apart while staying friends and growing into who you are.
A good story of an African American boy who was shot and killed by a police officer who mistook a coat hanger for a gun and the events that occur in his neighborhood because of it. It definitely demonstrates how others are affected and how a crowd mindset results from these events.
The illustrations were only in black and white and I thought distracted from the story because I couldn’t keep the characters straight despite the cast list in the beginning. Also, a lot of the dialogue seems to be in rap or mimicking Shakespeare because the students in the story are putting on Hamlet, so it gets confusing. Two stars overall.
Today's vlog is super awesome because it features TWO books:
1. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky ALbertalli, and
2. Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova. (Bruja Born was so awesome that I had to review it twice. (Read the blog review here.)