Review: X: A Novel

DINING IN TOKYO-1

Welcome to my first book review! I’m extraordinarily excited to share my thoughts and theories concerning books I’ve read!

For the past week I’ve been swimming in the words of Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon through X: A Novel.

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You won’t believe how delighted I was when I first saw this book. I was rushing down the stairs of a local library, hurrying to catch up with my family, when I spied this novel. I had always possessed a considerable amount of admiration and respect for Malcolm X and I was thrilled that I would be able to learn about his life through his own daughter Ilyasah Shabazz. Previous depictions of this luminary had, to my great disappointment, failed remarkably to accurately recount his ideals and life in general.

So, it was with the utmost excitement that I cracked open this book. For the first half of the novel, I was enamored. This book had, unlike most I’ve read, a sense of stark reality that hit me as soon as I began to turn its pages. Ilyasah Shabazz’s word building was astounding, and she didn’t simply allow me to peek into the life of a struggling family. She took me into Malcolm Little’s home so that I could experience the meager suppers, the hours of studying, and the visits from the welfare agents. To say the least, it’s been a long, long time since an author has ever succeeded in bringing the reader into the story.

To give you a small overview of the book, I’ll start by saying that isn’t a biography. It’s more a tweaked narrative, and only goes over small sections of Malcolm X’s childhood. The main focus of the novel is on Malcolm’s formative years, when he was finding his way in the world.

The beginning part of the book along with the last thirty pages and the author’s note were my favorite. The middlemost chapters were the ones that I wasn’t too fond of. I almost had to push myself to read these chapters, an act rare when reading for pleasure. For some reason, I dove into the book convinced that it was his biography as a whole. I was slightly disappointed when I realized that it only covered his life up to the point where he was imprisoned and is actually not entirely factual (there were some altered parts, which isn’t a big deal, but isn’t what I was expecting).

My overall assessment of this book is this: I loved the fact that everything I was reading was as accurate as possible, and Ilyasah Shabazz’s writing style is undoubtedly captivating. This book provided an amazing glimpse into what shaped this phenomenal figure. Though I usually adore historical fiction, I’m still not sure why this book didn’t hit home for me. I must say, however, that I probably will recommend this novel to others. This book does contain some mature content, though, so I wouldn’t advise anybody under 13 to read it.

To rate this book and give you an idea of how much I really enjoyed this book, I’ve come up with a scale of sorts. I don’t want to rate books on a 1-5 scale or a star scale. I’ve devised my own type of rating system that closely resembles how I rate books in my head; I figure out where I’d like to keep the book if I were to have my own copy, and presto! I’ve found out how much I really enjoyed reading.

Here is my scale! I typed it out so that you would be able to understand what goes on in my mind after almost every book I read.

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Following my chart my rating for this book is: a solid Book Case – in general, this book was average.

But please don’t find yourself disenchanted with the idea of reading this book now that you’ve read my review! Everybody reads differently, and different types of writing appeal to different readers! Therefore, I recommend that you give this book a chance. Who knows, this may become your favorite book!

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!

Sara

P.S. The cover picture of the book was borrowed from:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22292486-x?from_search=true

 

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