With The Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo

Trigger Warning for teenage pregnancy

Ever since she got pregnant, seventeen-year-old Emoni’s life has been about making the tough decisions – doing what has to be done for her young daughter and her grandmother. Keeping her head down at school, trying not to get caught up with new boy Malachi. The one place she can let everything go is in the kitchen, where she has magical hands – whipping up extraordinary food beloved by everyone.

Emoni wants to be a chef more than anything, but she knows it’s pointless to pursue the impossible. There are rules she has to play by. And yet, once she starts cooking, and gets that fire on high, she sees that her drive to feed will feed her soul and dreams too. And anything is possible.

My Thoughts:
I think that this was a really interesting book because I have never read/listened to a book in which the main character is a teen mum and I know a couple of teen mothers. I think it’s important to have this kind of representation because it does happen.

This story follows Emoni’s last year of school, and the struggles of trying to juggle school, being a mother and her job, and while she has sworn off men this changes when Malachi joins their school.

I think the thing I liked best was the descriptions of the food, I am a massive foodie and whenever I was listening to this I kept getting hungry and just wanted to eat everything Emoni was cooking.
The character development of Emoni was interesting because it seems as though she was very different when she was just dating Tyrone from what she is now and I know that a lot of it has to do with Emma but I think that part of it is to do with growing up. But you can also see her development within the year that the story is set. She starts to open up more and learn from others in her year.

I really enjoyed Tyrone’s development as well, he started thinking for himself and not just what his parents were telling him.

One of my absolute favourite things was the incorporation of Spanish, because Emoni is half Peurto Rican and the inclusion of Spanish gives the book more depth. And I love when a book uses different languages!

Although I enjoyed this book, I wouldn’t say it was my favourite, it was a really solid story but I think it was missing a bit of depth that I would have liked if it was an adult book instead of YA.

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23 thoughts on “With The Fire on High – Elizabeth Acevedo”

  1. I really loved reading this book earlier in the year. Because I enjoyed it, I decided to read more of the author’s work, and I must say that I think The Poet X is her best book. Listening to the audiobook was a really emotional experience because she actually narrates it, and the poetry in it is incredible. What I liked about With the Fire on High was that it included a demographic that often gets disqualified or underappreciated in books and it didn’t make Emoni out to be a pity case, but rather, a total “go get it” badass! I loved that 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more Emoni was such a great character, never feeling sorry for herself! I need to pick up more books by Elizabeth Acevedo, I’ve heard nothing but good things about her other work!


      1. I know right. This is an important issue. I think since teenagers aren’t properly represented it leads to lot of misunderstanding by the society about them. The phase of being a teenager should be something to enjoy not something to be ashamed or embarrassed about in future.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve had this book on my TBR for a while and was so excited to check out your review. I don’t read much YA so I think I will miss the depth too. But so cool that Spanish is included. Will definitely give this one a try!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do love a book that makes me salivate over imaginary foods! I haven’t read anything by this author – think I need to change that!

    Liked by 1 person

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