REVIEW : WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH

TITLE: With the Fire on High
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Acevedo
GENRE: Contemporary
AGE CATEGORY: Young Adult
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 392
PUBLISHED: May 7th 2019
PUBLISHER: Quill Tree Books

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.

Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.


I’ve had a lot of things to feel ashamed about and I’ve learned most of them are other people’s problems, not mine.

This book, oh my! It is definitely worth all the hype surrounding it. I cannot remember the last time I was crying over a book, because I was so happy! Happy tears all the way.

The characters. Or maybe more Emoni than the others. Probably the most relatable character for me than there has ever been before! Yes, she was younger than I when she got pregnant but other than that, our life stages were exactly the same. I felt all that load she was carrying on her shoulders, every decision she had to make. The huge change from not really being responsible about anything to suddenly be responsible about another human beings life and growing up during one labor.
Malachi is great as well as Angelica and abuela and everyone else. But I feel like there wasn’t enough growth / development / appearances for them others to really put my focus on them.

The story though! What. A. Ride. I mean, this is not, by any means, any fast paced action packed fantasy book. Not at all. It is kind of medium paced. And even though I like my books being fast paced and action packed (the reason why I wasn’t really getting into the hype for this one), With the Fire on High is a book that I flew through. I just couldn’t put it down because I needed to keep going, I had to know.
How do I put my thoughts in words? Even though being one slower paced book, it still manages to be full of everything. There’s always something to keep you attracted to it, to keep you reading. There is never a dull moment. I feel like this makes no sense but there are no better words I can find from my vague vocabulary to word my feelings any better.

And all that cooking! I could almost taste everything Emoni made. Smell it, feel it. I really want to try and see if I can make some of those recipes in the book work (I’m not that good).

If something negative to say, some parts did feel a little like “oh I have this thought! let’s throw this in that part and never bring that up again, we don’t need to elaborate that any more than those couple sentences.”
Mostly perhaps the little romance and a certain mother. I just hoped something more, some kind of “ending” to those ones as well.

All in all this book is bright light in these pretty grim times! It is such a heart-warming story of a teen girl trying to juggle her life with a child of her own. And it managed to make me feel so much happiness that it brought me to tears. I just want to hug this book and keep reading it over and over again!

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