With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – A Review

With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Young Adult | Contemporary
Published by HarperTeen
Released May 7, 2019
Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars

Elizabeth Acevedo’s With the Fire on High is a book that lives up to all of the hype surrounding it. In fact, it’s such a good book that I started the audiobook just a couple of days after finishing the physical copy. It’s that good!

With the Fire on High follows Emoni, a teenage mother who has a special gift in the kitchen. The dishes she cooks not only taste great, but they make people remember special moments from their lives. Now in her senior year of high school, she learns that her school will be offering an immersive Spain culinary class, complete with a trip to Spain! Emoni is worried about raising the money needed for the trip, but when her teacher puts her in a leadership role for coming up with ideas to raise money, she puts her apron on and gets to work.

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This was such a sweet book, particularly the relationships in it. One of the aspects of this novel that really stuck with me was Emoni’s relationships with her family and friends, which were all really healthy. Emoni is such a strong character and it shows. She isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and treats everyone around her with respect. Most importantly, she sets solid boundaries in her relationship with the book’s love interest. For that reason alone, I think this is a great young adult book and hopefully will show teenagers about what a healthy relationship looks like.

I was actually pretty put off by the introduction of the book’s love interest at first, but I needn’t have worried. It’s such a healthy and slow-burn romance that it ended up working so perfectly.

Another reason that I believe this book is a perfect one for young adult readers is that it’s incredibly empowering. As I mentioned before, Emoni is a very strong female character, and I think more young people need role models like her in literature.

I flew through this novel in just a little over a day, and it’s paced very well. It’s a book that flows nicely and keeps your eyes glued to the page. It’s also a very aesthetically pleasing book. The cover, which you see above, is gorgeous, as is the yellow naked hardback.

With the Fire on High is Elizabeth Acevedo’s sophomore novel, and now that I’ve fallen in love with this one, I really want to read her debut, The Poet X, which is told in verse. If you’re looking for a light-hearted, fun, culinary-themed young adult novel, this one will quickly become your favorite.


Have you read With the Fire on High? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.


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2018 National Book Awards Longlist for Young People’s Literature

The National Book Foundation announced their longlist for young people’s literature. There are some obvious names on the list, like Tahereh Mafi, but a few others you may not have heard of yet.

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin

We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper

I haven’t read any of these yet, although A Very Large Expanse of Sea and The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge are both on my reading list. Have you guys read any of these? What did you think?