Title: With the Fire on High
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Date published: May 7, 2019
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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 haven’t been into YA contemporary books lately, but something about With the Fire on High really drew me in. Also, that cover is absolutely gorgeous! I’ve been wanting to read it ever since I found out about it at Frenzy Presents: Spring 2019 and I’m glad that I was finally able to pick it up because it turned out to be my favourite YA contemporary of 2019 so far! The writing was just glorious! There were some turns of phrase in this book that made me tear up not only because they were beautifully written, but also because they evoked some very strong emotions in me.
I also really liked the main character, Emoni, and how she developed throughout the book. I also liked how she was represented as a teen mom and her relationships with her family and friends. There were also some recipes in this book (all of which I want to try) that were integrated very nicely into the story, and I also loved how food and cooking were described. Acevedo wrote about the food in a way that made it come alive for me. I could almost smell some of the dishes and ingredients! Needless to say, I really enjoyed the plot as well. I loved this book and I feel as if my review simply doesn’t do it any justice, so I’ll stop rambling and just say that I highly recommend it!
Elizabeth Acevedo is the youngest child and only daughter of Dominican immigrants. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from the George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over fourteen years of performance poetry experience, Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion, Cave Canem Fellow, CantoMundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop. She has two collections of poetry, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016) and winner of the 2016 Berkshire Prize, Medusa Reads La Negra’s Palm (Tupelo Press, forthcoming). The Poet X is her debut novel. She lives with her partner in Washington, DC.
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS!