2022 Book Review: With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

YA Contemporary, 2019 by Quill Tree Books, 400 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • I let go of the breath I didn’t know I was holding. I’m ok with this cliche being used a few times, although it’s one that annoys me a bit. Three times in one book … ok, even I noticed that. We need a new phrase. 
  • Slow plot. This is a contemporary story and it follows her daily life. That means there aren’t major plot points. It’s a slow plot. Fine if you like contemporary, but worth mentioning anyway. 
  • The ending felt a tad unrealistic. Of course the point was to bring hope and it does that. Just not sure how realistic it is. 

What I Did Like:

  • Emani. As a character, she’s realistic and that’s amazing. She’s not perfect AT ALL, but she’s relatable and realistic and I loved that. I loved exploring her skills right alongside her flaws. 
  • Parenting. I didn’t expect to come into this book about a teen mom and get lessons in parenting, but it delivered there as well. From Emani’s patience that she’s developed to what not to do from Julio, this book hides lots of good things in the pages. 
  • Cooking talk. I am a foodie at heart and my son is a culinary student so delving into the language of the world of cooking was fun. It did make me hungry though. 

Who Should Read This One:

  • Contemporary fans who like slice-of-life stories about teens finding themselves will love this one. 
  • High school teachers need to have this one on the shelf. It’s a relatable main character who doesn’t have it all figured out and doesn’t look like every other high school student in the other books you might have on the shelf. 

My Rating: 4 Stars

  • Beautiful story, amazing audiobook, relatable characters.

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