With the Fire on High

With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo is a heartfelt book about Emoni, a girl who’s gone through a lot and still holds her head held up high.

Emoni Santiago is that girl everyone warns you about not becoming; the girl that become pregnant when she was a freshman and now has a daughter. But, like her best friend and Abuela (grandmother) know, if you get to know her past her rough exterior, you will get to know a loving girl passionate about cooking the most delicious dishes she can.

When Emoni, who’s struggling through her last year of high school sees culinary classes being offered as an elective, she knows that it’s where she belongs. But from the trip to Spain she can’t afford, the strict teacher that makes her want to drop her only passion, and her very own Babygirl, Emoni doesn’t know how she’ll be able to face the challenges.

With the Fire on High was a heart-warming and tear-jerking book from start to finish. It’s the type of book that you think you know exactly what will happen but it ends up surprising you anyway. The characters are lovable and funny, and each of them have their own character that doesn’t feel forced, despite the story being a first person’s point of view.

With the Fire on High gets a 9/10. The only thing I would improve is the plot, as there were no real action scenes. While tense and quick action scenes don’t work for every genre, there should always be one scene that differentiates itself as a climax, and I didn’t really get that in this book.

I would encourage everyone to read With the Fire on High, though. It discusses strong issues like stereotypes against Afro-Latinx people, the stigma against teen moms, and the fragile relationship between a parent and a child. And the best part of all? It delves into these deep topics without coming off as condescending or being too contemplative. Overall, one of the best books I’ve read.

P.S. The library has this book on order. I got a chance to read it from my school library 🙂

P.P.S The cover is absolutely gorgeous.