So I recently started exploring the world of Elizabeth Acevedo by way of The Poet X which led me to Clap When You Land and With The Fire On High and let me just say that her work is amazing! Each story is captivating. Her audiobooks are compelling and also worth mentioning… she’s voiced them herself which adds that much more to the experience.
I started out with The Poet X. I was drawn to it one day while strolling around in Barnes and Noble. The cover art is what caught my eye but the content within captured my full undivided attention. This story centers around Xiomara, a high schooler who secretly writes poetry voicing her desires, dreams and some of her daily frustrations with life. She’s invited to join a slam poetry club at school which leads her down a path to truly finding her voice. One of my favorite moments in this story is when Xiomara has had a fight with her mother after her mother destroyed her notebook of poetry that she had been working on for months and she says to her, “Will you burn? Will you burn me, too? You would burn me, wouldn’t you, if you could?” This entire moment between her and her mother played out in my head like a movie, it’s so well written.
The next stop on this trip was Clap When You Land.
It was recommended by a few people that I follow on #Bookstagram and it was a really great recommendation. This story follows Camino and Yahaira as they navigate the loss of their father and the discovery of each other. It’s a story about how messy and complicated family can be. It’s also a nod to the memory of lives lost on American Airlines Flight 587, which is something that until I read this book I was completely ignorant of. This book does an amazing job of providing perspective on tragedies like these. This story also touches of sexual assault so read with care.
The final stop (for now) was With The Fire On High. Emoni is the character I connected with the most out of all 3 books. She’s a senior in high school, had a baby her freshman year, and is now navigating the murky water that comes with deciding what is next for her after she graduates. She’s having to figure out how to deal with an overprotective (and immature) BD, whether it’s safe to still go for the things she wants or if she should move differently because she is a mother first which is something that I think all mom’s can relate to. So often we feel like we have to choose between ourselves and our children. Emoni is a brilliant and talented student, an amazing mother, and her story is one of resilience of determination.
All 3 of these story are written so vividly. Each character is well developed, and each character is guaranteed to take up space in your mind and heart. I’m not sure what Elizabeth Acevedo treasure i’ll get my hands on next but I know that it will be amazing. I’d recommend all three of these books, easily. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be With the Fire on High, followed by Clap When You Land and finally The Poet X but each of this books don’t miss. If you haven’t read any of her work, go ahead and add these to the TBR.