Review: With the Fire on High

Hi and welcome to the reading world!

Today, I’m going to be sharing a review of a YA read I picked up and loved recently, With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo!

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
YA Contemporary/Literary Fiction
Rating: 5 Stars

With the Fire on High follows the senior year of Emoni, a teen mom and an incredible up-and-coming chef with big dreams for herself and her family.

This is a well loved book (it’s got over 50,000 Goodreads ratings with a 4.24 star average at the time of this review) and for good reason!

First off, I have to talk about how amazing the characters are. The characters were so well thought out that when I was annoyed or frustrated with a character, I could tell it was because they were growing or were being written to show a specific less-than-perfect side that all of us have. To me, that is a sign of incredible nuance in writing to be able to portray a character as imperfect yet strong. I also loved that the side characters had development that was multifaceted as well. While the story has some romance, the story didn’t center around a romance as a form of characterization and instead focused on genuine growth and depth for almost every character.

The story itself is largely a tale of Emoni’s life and trying to figure out what her path will be. While the ending felt a bit rushed to me to wrap up so many intricate details of the characters’ stories, I still overall loved the way this novel unfolded.

And we have to talk about the themes of food! Elizabeth Acevedo did such an incredible job of infusing place and themes into food. It was a unique means of creating tone and evoking a common theme throughout the story. I absolutely loved that this was an aspect that shone throughout the book, integral not only to Emoni but as a point of connection with so many other characters as well.

Overall, With the Fire on High is a new favorite of mine. It’s also one I especially enjoyed on audiobook, so I would highly recommend reading it in that format if you’re interested!

Thank you for stopping by!


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