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.
Bull was nothing short of BRILLIANT! It is a retelling of the myth of the minotaur, written in verse. Each character has their own voice and form of poetry that mirrors their personality. Poseidon does what he wants, entering the novel with "Whaddup, bitches?" (Elliott 3). Minos, the king, uses couplets; Pasiphae, his queen who gives birth to the minotaur, doesn't really have a rhyme scheme as she slowly goes insane. Daedalus, the engineer who designed the labyrinth uses a very rigid four stanza scheme; Asterion, the minotaur, uses eight line rhyme schemes, and Ariadne, his sister, uses traditional end rhyme scheme.
Poseidon very brashly interjects and narrates the story as the reader learns how the minotaur was born to Pasiphae and how he came to be locked in the labyrinth-at the king's revenge seeking hand. Elliott makes Asterion, the minotaur, come across as very simple minded and gentle; readers will feel sorry for him as he is cast away from his family for nothing of his own doing. His sister, Ariadne, secretly plans to help him escape and the two of them are going to fly away and be free, but **SPOILERS** Theseus, a jock-resembling prince of Athens slays the minotaur and ruins her plans.
Readers who have grown up on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series will LOVE this book, and those of us who don't remember the myth of the minotaur as well as we should will LOVE it as well. Poseidon's narration is everything. It adds humor and life to a slightly disturbing story. This book is NOT for small children, I wouldn't put it in the hands of anyone younger than freshman only because of the language that Poseidon uses as well as his imagery. Overall, I highly recommend this novel-in-verse to anyone looking for a good laugh and refreshing take on mythology.