With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – Book Review

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After reading The Poet X I was highly anticipating With the Fire on High, especially as the cover gave me such foodie envy. It’s been a while since I read a book with such a food theme but its incorporation in to this story was an utter delight. The inclusion of recipes between each part of the book was a drool-worthy representation of Emoni’s passion. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more by this author!

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.


  • This was such an easy story to read and the pages felt like they flew by. Seriously, each chapter was a page or two long which was so quick to read and get through. It kept my interest to the very last page and had me longing to pick the book up again whenever I put it down.
  • I really liked how progressive this book was in terms of teenage pregnancy. This book served as an encouraging story of how much someone can achieve with family obligations and a whole lot of passion. I liked the positive take on this scenario and hope that more books are written like this.
  • One of the best aspects of this book was the character development. The progression of Emoni’s character during the school year in terms of growth and confidence was inspiring to read about. Not only did she accomplish goals she couldn’t even have dreamed of succeeding in at the start of the year, she did so in a way that was respectful to others and grateful to the family that had sacrificed for her to get there. It was heart-warming to read about!
  • The romantic relationship that Emoni slowly developed over the year was adorably sweet. I liked that Emoni’s first response was to do best by her child and for that reason, kept things slow. Without giving spoilers as to who she was in a relationship with, the steady growth of it throughout the story had me swooning and sighing with contentment. It was sweet and yet didn’t overtake the story. Emoni’s personal growth was still the main aspect of the story and I felt that the author had made a wise choice in that.


  • While I enjoyed the slow progression of the story I would have wanted some more information toward the end regarding her future career. Some aspect of this was covered but there were quite a few gaps in the ending that I had been looking forward to finding out.

// have you read this book? what were your thoughts on it? //


6 thoughts on “With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – Book Review

  1. I loved this one! Glad you enjoyed as well 🙂
    Great review! I can totally see why you wanted a bit more information at the end! I wanted it too haha



  2. I really don’t know why I still haven’t read this book yet 😂 It sounds like such a treat in every way and I’m really hoping to pick it up before 2020. I love books that have short chapters and that include fun things like recipes in them! Great review, Jen 🙂


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