Title: With the Fire on High
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Release Date: May 7 th 2019
Genre: YA Contemporary
With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.
Elizabeth Acevedo expertly executes the recipe of an amazing book mixing loveable characters, complicated family dynamics and mouth watering descriptions of food.
It’s easy to tell this book was written by a poet, there are chapters where it’s just Emoni, the main character, reflecting on things and specific situation that are going on in her life from gentrification to racism to her relationship with her father, and in those chapters there are some really powerful quotes. Honestly, this book is full of incredible quotes and beautiful writing. The short chapters this story is told in made it such a fast and entertaining read.
Emoni as a character feels so real, she is patient, mature, responsible, insecure, she wants things for herself and for her child, her feelings get hurt, she is guarded, she gets angry, and sad, she is scared about the future. It was truly wonderful to read from her perspective. I loved her relationship with her grandma and with her best friend and I was infuriated by the way she was treated by her dad, her ex boyfriend and her ex boyfriend’s mother. The development of those relationships, especially her relationship with her dad, is amazing.
In terms of Emoni’s relationship with Malachi, it is just so sweet and he is such a nice guy and it is a great addition to the story, especially because it doesn’t take center stage and it is not the most important thing about the story. Also, I love that we are getting more YA books that address sex and intimacy in a positive way.
This book does a great job of showing Emoni as a mom and the struggles she faces being a mom, while also showing that she is more than that, she has dreams and hopes for herself, she’s also still a teenage even if she can’t act as one most of the time.
Also, I loved the way the Acevedo addresses being Afro-latinx and how sometimes people are not considered enough of either of those things, not black enough and not latinx enough, but the reality is they are both and they are enough.
While the heart of this book is defenitily in the relationships between Emoni and the other characters, the magic of the story, what makes it unique, appears when Emoni is cooking or talking about cooking and her dreams of being a chef or when other people talk about her food and what it makes them feel. It just made this book feel so special. I had so much fun reading about the culinary art classes, the fundraising and the trip to Spain.
EOverall, With the Fire on High was such a heartwarming read, perfect for fans of complex family dynamics and food in books.
About the author
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.
Find her on:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
1 st week
April 22 – Afire Pages | Welcome Post & BTS Look on the Cover
April 23 – Reading Peaches
April 24 – Shut Up, Shealea | Printable wallpapers/ bookmarks
April 25 – A Book Devourer | “The Life of Emoni; A Comparison”
April 26 – Bookish Wanderess
April 27 – Flipping Through the Pages
April 28 –Utopia State of Mind
April 29 – For the Love of Diversity in Books | Aesthetics + Quote
April 30 – The Royal Polar Bear Reads | Instagram Photos
May 1 – Endless Chapters | Recipe
May 2 – The Ultimate Fangirl
May 3 – The Wolf & Books
May 4 – Book Lover’s Book Reviews
May 5 – Weekend Reader | Cover Inspired Hairstyle
May 6 – The Writer and The Story| Favorite Quotes
May 7 –Themollyweather
May 8 – All Things Gene
May 9 – Darque Dreamer Reads
May 10 – Your Tita Kate
May 11 – Afergtale| “Stories Our Abuelas Wouldn’t Tell Today”
May 12 – F A N N A
Yes, you’ve read it right! This blog tour has giveawayS not just a giveaway. Enter below to enter and win a book or a shirt of With the Fire on High! You can enter not just on either but on BOTH giveaways. The giveaways are open internationally until May 22nd.
1. ENTER TO WIN A COPY OF WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH: HERE
2. ENTER TO WIN A WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH SHIRT: HERE
Shirt design by Melissa Chan, read more about her designs here .