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Book Review: With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

  * I am reviewing this book which I was gifted for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. *

Title: With The Fire On High
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Source: Readers First

(Bookshop UKHiveGoodreads | Storygraph)

Book Summary:

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.

Book Review:

I have read both of Elizabeth Acevedo's novels before I got to With The Fire On High and although I did not love them, I found that they both hit on topics that I enjoyed and were important. With The Fire On High was different, however, and I did really love it and it was one of my favourites of the year. 

I must say that in comparison to the other two books, I may have gone in with lower expectations because I always dislike when a book deals with a teenager pregnancy. Although not normally a fan of the trope, I think that Elizabeth Acevedo handles the topic really well as well as the struggles that come with it. There was also something about a fictional baby, Emma who was really cute that I really cared about. All of the characters came off the page so well. 

The cast of characters was one of the best parts of the novel for me as they all had great personalities and all had hopes and dreams that were expanded on. Emoni was a strong and powerful character who would do nothing but protect Emma and also her dreams. I also loved her Buela although I was scared about her health throughout the book, the support that she gave to Emoni was wonderful and nice to see. 

Elizabeth Acevedo is obviously a great writer and seeing her go from verse to prose was something that I think really translated well. Her prose is so lyrical and I was hooked on her writing. Due to the heavy nature of food in the story, I think that this is so great too in describing the food and having my mouth water. Only if I can actually eat it!

I just think that the overall vibe was up to my street and I did just love the settings and scenes at large. Obviously, I can't wait to see what Elizabeth Acevedo does next as I will definitely be in line!

The Verdict:

With The Fire On High is a lyrical and captivating story about fighting for family and the things in life that really matter. 

Have you read With The Fire On High? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!


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