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.
I love Elizabeth Acevedo. I adore The Poet X and I was so excited to see what she was going to do next. With the Fire on High was different from her first novel in the sense that it’s written like a traditional novel. Though, there were these cute recipes that I will definitely be attempting when I get the chance.
In With the Fire on High, we follow the main character Emoni as she navigates the world that is being a teen mother who is about to graduate high school. She’s trying to figure out what the best path for her and her family is all. I really like Emoni. She was a hard worker that didn’t really complain about things she couldn’t change. She did her best to cover it all, being a mother to her daughter, co-parenting, graduating, and working. I really liked her strong values and work ethic. She values family and I absolutely adored her relationship with her grandmother. I thought the challenge of co-parenting was an interesting one, but Emoni doesn’t let anyone push her around. She’s not afraid to speak her mind and I really respected that trait in her.
This story was a more character-driven story with less focus on the plot. We get to know Emoni and what her struggles are. I thought this was a really quick read. I think it talks about a lot of really important topics and it does so really well. I also enjoyed the cooking aspect of the story. All the smells and tastes were sounded so delicious and it added a little something special. I definitely will be recommending this one.
Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.