“If Medusa was Dominican and had a daughter, I think I’d be her. I look and feel like a myth. A story distorted, waiting for others to stop and stare.”– Elizabeth Acevedo
I loved this book so much! This was my first audiobook and this book was a really great choice to start with. It was only four hours and is voiced by the author. If you pick up the physical copy it’s written in verse, so you’ll be able to fly through it no matter what format you choose. I finished it in one night because I was SO gripped by it!
We follow Xiomara, a Dominican girl from Harlem as she navigates through all the changes in her life. Her mother is overbearing and religious, her twin brother is the exact opposite of her (soft and nerdy), and her best friend is grounded and logical (also unlike Xiomara). Xiomara was born a fighter, always ready to defend herself and the people she loves. She’s stubborn, tough, and ready for more in life. She also happens to be a poet: discovering her feelings and venting her frustrations and finding herself in her writing.
So many different topics are covered, including: religion, sexual harassment, first love, and sexuality. Xiomara is a sophomore in high school trying to survive, but also trying to discover who she is. This book made me laugh so many times, as well as gasp dramatically (especially toward the end). I connected with the story so so much and can definitely see myself rereading it in the future.
I related to Xiomara on so many aspects, especially with her feelings on religion. Her mother pushes God on her and wants her to get Confirmed, but Xiomara has questions the church can’t answer. I related to this experience so hard as the same thing was happening to me when I was sixteen, which is also Xiomara’s age in the book. My mom isn’t nearly as intense as Xiomara’s, but I could definitely relate with a lot of her feelings.
I highly recommend this book! It’s quickly become a new favorite of mine and I’m interested to read more of Elizabeth Acevedo’s work!