With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High

Book - 2019
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Teen mother Emoni Santiago struggles with the challenges of finishing high school and her dream of working as a chef.
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062662835
Branch Call Number: YA FIC ACEV
Characteristics: 389 pages ; 22 cm

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j
jadetonjes
Jul 13, 2019

I did like this book and it was really good but I guess I just wanted more from it. Not even that it lacked in specific areas but it was all very surface, even though there were some hard hitting issues, I felt like they were touched on once or twice but other that that they didn't really play into the story at all other than to be mentioned. (The custody thing and Emoni's dad leaving but staying in contact and her never really confronting that until the very end briefly)

One thing I did really enjoy was the cooking. Everything that surrounded the cooking and the culinary arts class and the Spain trip and Emoni working in the restaurant in Spain. It was so perfect and maybe that is what I wanted more of the story to be. More of her exploring her love for cooking and less of the romance. I did like the romance but I'm realizing that, for me, it took away from what I actually wanted in the story. I kinda feel the same about Abuela, for my personal liking there was too much on her character. I enjoyed the encouragement and support for Emoni and her relationship with her son/Emoni's dad, but I think the tidbits about her romance, which I caught on to right away and was dragged on until the end of the book, could've been omitted. I want more cooking and more about Emoni & Emma and their dynamic and the COOKING.

I did enjoy Emma and her role in Emoni's story and I 100% am glad that it was included and it didn't take away at all. It talked about the struggle of teenage pregnancy but it showed how it worked out for Emoni and Emma (and every Tyrone) in the end. I liked getting to know tidbits about Emma but would've, again, enjoyed her more if she was more apart of the story instead of focusing on the romance. I LIKED THE ROMANCE I SWEAR.

I promise I liked this book, I know all I've done so far in this review is mostly critique and complain but I did like it. But yet here I am, about to critique something else. There were some points in the story where I didn't like Emoni ??? I can't even tell you why but for like 15% of the book she annoyed me. It could be her stubbornness but jeez she bugged me sometimes. Like how she wouldn't confront her Dad or even talk to him about why she was upset with him. Emoni stop being passive-aggressive and talk to your Dad! OTHER than the times I didn't like her, I liked her a lot (duh 😂)! When she got into cooking, it was truly like magic dripped from her finger tips. I wish I could've been there to see it unfold or to taste something that she made. ALSO I'M GLAD THEY INCLUDED RECIPES???!!! I don't know if I'll ever make them but the mere fact they included recipes enriched the whole story even more for me.

OPL_KrisC Jul 12, 2019

A heart-warming book for teens about a young mother still in high school who loves food and cooking and is looking for a way to pursue her dreams against all odds.

JCLHebahA Jul 07, 2019

Another hit from Acevedo. If you listen to audio books at all, get this in audio because she's a phenomenal reader. This story was full of warmth and heart and people doing their best to get by and maybe even dream a little, plus mouth-watering food descriptions. A real treat.

This book was beautifully written. If you have the chance, I recommend trying the audio version as well. It was narrated by the author, who is also the same combinations of ethnicity as the main character in the book, Emoni Santiago. You get a deeper level of understanding as she dives into the constant questioning of her heritage. Is she "black enough", is she "Puerto Rican" enough, and where does she fit in as a young single mom in high school with big culinary dreams. The words in this book were lyrical. I could taste the food as it was described in it's ingredients. I could feel the passion and love as she prepared dishes and created "recipes" through out the book that were relevant to her current mood or circumstance. This was a great story about overcoming circumstances and making good choices despite what the world may think is best for you.

k
ktbooher
Jul 01, 2019

A beautiful and realistic rendering of a lower class, multicultural family. No sugar coating the reality and no dramatizing the hardships. Once started, I could not put this gorgeous novel down. Reading it filled me with love and a sprinkle of cinnamon dust.

e
emfaha
Jun 17, 2019

Reading this book was like sitting in the sun after being inside all day.

d
Doobie2_0
Jun 15, 2019

I really enjoyed this book, so heart felt. Best summer book so far.

w
WoodneathRachel
Jun 10, 2019

This book is as lovely as its cover - a real treat for the eyes and the imagination. The story is brimming with rounded and flawed characters who face life in ways that feel at times inspiring, at others disheartening. The dishes the heroine concocts leapt off the page and onto my taste buds, making this a true "feast" for the senses!

m
MustInvolveEggs
Jun 02, 2019

Unflinchingly captures the stress the high school years can bring, especially for working-class kids with adult responsibilities. But the pages are also filled with light and love. Emoni is a well-balanced character, a girl who’s grown up fast and hard but still has a lot to figure out. Her cooking is interwoven with her cultural heritage (Afro-Puerto Rican and African-American) and connects her to her dead mother and absent father. The descriptions of food were rich and mouthwatering, the traces of magical realism affecting and never heavy-handed. I didn’t doubt Emoni’s commitment to becoming a chef for an instant, and I liked her relationships with her mentors, who never come off as comically harsh or unrealistically knowing. All the relationships in this book are well-written, from tense family dynamics to strained but civil co-parenting to a sweet, slow romance.

VaughanPLDaniela May 27, 2019

The beautiful story of a young woman named Emoni and her search for self discovery after becoming pregnant in freshman year. As a fan of The Poet X (Acevedo's debut novel), I waited with anticipation for the second novel from the award winning author and I was not disappointed. This is a touching novel of what it means to face adversity, make tough decisions and persevere at a very tender age.

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OPL_KrisC Jul 12, 2019

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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