How religious are you and how interested were in God as a teen? Our experiences may vary and sometimes our family gets a huge say in these things. There are things that we all have in common and then there are some gaps. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo talks a lot about religion and faith in these lines. Let us get on to my review, shall we?
About the book
Book Name: The Poet X
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Characters: Xiomara and Xavier Batista, Caridad, Aman, Isabelle
Genre: Fiction – Romance, YA, Contemporary
Setting: Harlem, New York, The United States of America
With an emotionally distant and a super religious mother, Xiomara Batista, a young teen, feels all alone in her questioning life, religion, on being a woman and her changing body. And boys.
Her Twin brother, who is a closeted queer, seem to know what their parents want and doesn’t have any problem in just doing that. Even if he has to hide things from them. Of course, he doesn’t get picked at by their mother or have so many restrictions as Xio because he was a guy.
Her best friend Caridad, is what Xio’s parents want her to be like. Soft, religious and obedient. But sadly, Xio was born ready to be a fighter, a protector and a spitfire.
Honestly all Xio wants is to be a normal teenager. Wear sexy clothes, meet boys, have a boyfriend, and to be kissed, all of which are forbidden by her religious, controlling and guilt tripping mother.
And Xio has questions. And doesn’t have anyone to help her figure them out. No one except her notebook that she has filled her poetry. Another thing she has to hide from her mother.
What happens when Xio finally finds someone or something where she could just be? Why would her questioning be so frowned upon by the religion. Read The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo to know more.
My initial thoughts
Xio is a Dominican, twin, catholic, thick girl and a poet and the author makes sure that she stays true to all the identities – from what I hear. Even if I am not a part of those representations, I could still relate to her and her thought process.
As someone from a “religious but not super religious” family, where guilt tripping, blind faith, sexism and casteism are encouraged, I felt connected to Xio so much that I even forgot that we are not talking about the same religion. I suppose most religions have a lot in common.
Acevedo’s writing, especially the poetry, was so raw and vulnerable that I had to often take my eyes off the book and collect my thoughts, which rarely happens.
If you had not realized it by now, I loved Xio. I wish I were this brave and fierce as a teen myself. And that I was as body positive as she was and I hate that she had to undergo the catcalls, groping, ogling, leering and then be guilt tripped by her mother.
Things that worked for me
- I loved Acevedo’s writing. LOVED.
- Xio’s questions about religion and women are so spot on, that she may have picked them from own teen dairy.
- I love the way the author built real, relatable characters. Xavier, Aman and even Caridad and of course, Xio.
Things that didn’t work for me
I wish I got to know more about Caridad, Xavier and even Aman, for that matter.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a contemporary romance that focuses very less on romance. Written in a verse format The Poet X doesn’t shy away from intense themes like religion, women in religion, puberty, body positivism, and parental control. Good recommendation, even if you are not into Young Adult books.
Let us chat
Have you read The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo? What other book have you read in similar lines? Do you read books talks about experiences with religions? Let us talk.
I have a thing for funny biographies. Either I love them or hate them completely there is no in between. So when a couple of my friends went gaga over David Sedaris, I simply had to pick Me Talk Pretty One Day up. I know it has been a while since I read this one but is never too late right?
About Me Talk Pretty One Day
Book Name: Me Talk Pretty One Day
Author: David Sedaris
Genre: Fiction – Non Fiction, Humor
Characters: David Sedaris
Setting: Paris, France, Raleigh, North Carolina, and New York, The USA
Plot summary of Me Talk Pretty One Day
Me Talk Pretty One Day consists of two part. The first part deals with David’s life before he moved to France that talks about his childhood, the speech therapy for his lisp, his odd jobs and his girlfriend.
The second part about his life after moving to Normandy with his partner Hugh where he struggles with the language.
Book review of Me Talk Pretty One Day
As I told you earlier, I chose this book only due to the hype around and I should confess that I wasn’t impressed. I smiled at a few places but most of the time I was bored. I felt Sedaris was ranting about his uninteresting life on and on.
I guess talking about drugs, poop and making fun about one’s family is not my kinda comedy. I felt like I was reading someone else’s diary filled with private jokes.
Things that worked for me
- The essays are short and of the perfect length that will hold your attention.
- If you are a fan of slapstick comedy then this book will work well for you.
- I heard that the audiobook is much better.
Things that didn’t work for me
- I couldn’t relate with Sedaris or his lifestyle at all.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day talks about the author’s addiction to narcotics in detail, and I didn’t personally find them funny.
I couldn’t stop thinking a dull, wry version of Michael Scott while I was reading the book. If you like comedy that are based on self deprecation and narcotic drugs then this book is for you.
Similar reviews you might like
Let us chat
Have you read this one? What is your favorite memoir? Is it funny? Let us talk.
What would do if you get to know you have about 24 hours before you die? Would you make your peace with it and get on with it? Would you amend your ways and be the best version of yourself? Read ahead to see how They Both Die at the End turned out to be in my book review.
About They Both Die at the End
Book Name: They Both Die at the End
Author: Adam Silvera
Genre: Fiction – Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT
Characters: Mateo Torrez, Rufus Emeterio, Lidia Vargas, Aimee Dubois, Tagoe Hayes, Malcolm Anthony
Setting: New York, The USA
Plot Summary of They Both Die at the End
Mateo is an introvert and is worried about everything he never got to do in this life. Mateo decides that he will stay inside his house after saying his final good bye to his comatosed father. Rufus Emeterio is reckless and a survivor. He has a long list of people to say goodbye to but these things are never easy.
Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio have almost nothing common between them except that they both are going to die sometime during the following day. They have received the calls from the dreaded Deckers informing him of their imminent deaths, thanks to the Deathcasters.
They meet each other through an app called “Last Friend”, designed especially to help meeting of people who have received their ‘End Day’ calls from the Deckers. Together they seek their respective closures and bare their souls before they could say the final good bye. Yes, they both die at the end (at this point, it is not a spoiler, it is the freaking title!).
Book review of They Both Die at the End
Adam Silvera’s writing style is full of witty dialogues and more than everything, his YA characters talk like one. They don’t launch into lengthy monologues about nerdy things (I am looking at John Green’s teens). I loved the linear story arc and the alternate POVs worked so well.
Set in the near dystopian future, a company is capable of forecasting one’s death. I know the whole thought of learning about death beforehand is creepy and too much for me.
They are fun, hardly depressing (even though it talks about death – a lot), and has the right amount of heart break (dude, They Both Die at the End).
They Both Die at the End is the first book of Adam Silvera I have read and I should say everything I have heard about his books is true. And I will definitely not shy away from reading his books hereon.
Similar book reviews you might like
Have you read They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera? Which other books of Silvera should I tackle next? Do spoilers in reviews bother you? Let us chat.
I remember staying up all through the night reading the author’s earlier work (The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight) few years ago and I hoped The Geography of You and Me would help me repeat the experience. Did it fulfill the promise? Read on to know more.
Book Name: The Geography of You and Me
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Genre: Fiction – Romance, Young Adult
Characters: Lucy, Owen
Setting: New York, The USA, London, England, The UK
The story starts with Owen and Lucy stuck in an elevator when the whole city plunges into darkness. It is instant chemistry and once they are rescued they roam around the city and end up chatting for hours. They end up spending their night gazing at stars from their rooftop. As fate intervenes, they both leave New York City soon and part ways.
Owen and his father are trying to get over their loss of their mother and go on a road trip across America. Lucy joins her parents in London who are avid travelers and trots all over the globe. They keep in touch with each other through postcards and email. Do they get to meet each other? Or does the distance change them?
The Geography of You and Me opened with a great promise of an unusual set up but failed to sustain the interest. I am not a big fan of love at first sight (gasp) and the lead characters spent less than a day together to have had time to fall for each other.
I love reading the lovey dovey portion of any romance, as any person would. I was almost looking forward to it just to get out of the monotonous chapters that consisted of ‘he went there’ ‘she went there’. But The Geography of You and Me was a disappointment even on that front.
The story alternates between two POVs but the voice ended up being the same which didn’t work for me at all. I have heard so much of this book and opened it with great expectations and sadly The Geography of You and Me didn’t live upto it.
Is there any book that failed to live up to the hype? Or is it just me? Let us chat.
I am all for love-hate relationships. There is nothing like seeing the hot headed guy falling head over heels for the sassy mouthed gal (or the vice-versa). So it is not completely off my character to hope Tara and Richard click together at some point. On the other hand, Aidan doesn’t seem very off putting either, with his tattoo and motor bikes. Well, love is complicated and if you are not sure what I am talking about, read on my next review of The Corner Office.
Book Name: The Corner Office
Author: Katerina Baker
Genre: Fiction – Contemporary, Romance
Characters: Tara Johnson, Richard Boyd, Aidan Smith
Tara Johnson is a hard working woman who fights hard to win her place in the male dominated executive room. She has no personal life other than visiting her ailing mother because her work consumes her entire day. She takes joy and pride in making her work place better for the other women there, the support she didn’t have when she started.
Her work life is still not an easy place, even though she is one of the top executives of a Fortune 500 company, thanks to her nemesis Richard Boyd. They started together fresh out of college and the past fifteen years have done little to ease the competition between them. Their boss John believes their rivalry brings the best out of them, thus helping the company and begins their final race towards their ultimate prize – the Managing Director position.
Everything changes when Tara finds herself attracted to her subordinate Aidan, who is every woman’s fantasy. How does this love change Tara’s life? Does she realize that work place romances
are not as easy as it seems before it is too late? You should grab The Corner Office
to know what find the answers.I requested the book looking for an easy read with the plot about interoffice romance with a dark twist. But it proved to be more than I bargained for and it is not your typical love triangle. The plot has a steady pace, and the intimate scenes are refreshingly well written. I finished it in about three hours which is my new best.I liked the premise and the ending which is what we were rooting for. I loved everything about the book except its lead characters. I know what I said sounds confusing. Let me explain.
I tried so hard to like Tara. She is hard working. She is at the top. She has her priorities. She treats other women with respect and encourages them. And yet I failed to like her at all.
Was it because she talks so much about work life balance, while she didn’t have any? Was it because she talks about sexual harassment and then suffers abuses and threats from an ex silently? Or is it about her work place romance? Well, on the whole, I gave up. I don’t like Tara, the lead.
Though two of the lead characters have been trying to beat each other for more than a decade, there is a very little back-story to support that, except that Tara had turned Richard down when he asked her out. And he is supposed to be a playboy, and you are supposed to dislike him. Because he is a serial womanizer; he does not respect others privacy.
But the problem I had with disliking him was that all these reasons were what Tara tells us. There is not one instance, (okay there is one scene – the very first one) that he behaves like a creep. And given the history of Tara’s men (man), I lost the trust on her calling him creep. SoI ended up liking Richard, not in a mushy way but in a ‘thank God he is not what Tara presumed to be’ way.
Despite all these, I kinda liked the undertone of the story that spoke about feminism and women empowerment, without making it preachy. If you want to read an interoffice romance with just a perfect dose of violence, flirty and steamy scenes, The Corner Office should be your pick.