Review: With the Fire on High

Title: With the Fire on High

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 400

Format: e-book

Emoni Santiago’s life is full of tough choices. She’s a senior in high school trying to decide what colleges she should apply to, she’s raising her baby daughter; she’s working at the local Burger Joint; and she’s helping her abuela run the household. The only place she feels she can truly be free is in the kitchen, where her cooking turns into magic. When her school starts a cooking elective, she’s thrilled… and a little apprehensive. Does she really have what it takes to cook professionally, or will her magic stay among her family and friends forever?

This book was really so very well done. It’s written beautifully. The character were all so real and understandable. I could feel what Emoni was going through and I rooted for her the whole time. Even when I could see what was going to happen in her cooking class, I was on her side and hoping she’d work it out and achieve her dreams.

It was a really soothing book. A slice of life that takes you through the Emoni’s year. I really liked how short the chapters were, just enough to entice you and keep you reading more. I read almost half the book in one sitting because it flew by so fast. The pacing was really good.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. There were a few places where my eyes glazed over, but they were few and far between. I liked characters and the relationships between them. I really enjoyed how Emoni’s world had such a strong female presence with her daughter, her abuela, and her best friend. I love reading stories about loving relationships between women and this delivered on that front.