Sunday, June 2, 2019


With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Release Date: May 7th 2019
Source: Purchased
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 400
Buy it: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
        With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free. 

        Emoni Santiago is an aspiring chef and unapologetic teenage mother who is stubbornly committed to following her dreams, despite what others might think of her. Emoni may be a teenager, but she is multifaceted and refuses to fall victim to people's projections of shame on young people of color with children. Anchored by her grandmother, Gloria, and her 'baby girl,' Emma, Emoni goes through her senior year of high school fearlessly, only skeptical of who she can trust while pursuing her desire of becoming a chef.

        The maturity of these characters are something I have not seen in a YA novel in a while, but it is not unrealistic. Emoni remains considerate of others and their time when she is struggling to keep afloat. She never asks too much of anyone, even her own grandmother. When Malachi, the handsome new kid, pursues Emoni, he does it slowly and respectfully, understanding that Emoni guards herself from being hurt so she may take longer to open up. He understands all of this so perfectly for a young man of his age. When choosing her daughter's name, Emoni went with Emma, because it "is the kind of name that didn't tell you too much before you met her, the way mine does." This struck a cord with me. As someone who changed their name to Lee so my name didn't sound ethnic, I related to this on so many levels.
        Emoni's story is an exceptional counter narrative to notion that young mothers of color are a product of broken, dysfunctional homes. Emoni's father is distant but still present, still dazed by the death of her mother. Her baby daddy, Tyrone, co-parents Emma taking just as much responsibility for her. 
        From start to finish, With the Fire on High will introduce you to a wonderful world of flavors, sacrifices, but most importantly, happiness. A book I could not put down and written beautifully. I absolutely adored this book. 5 out of 5 stars! P. S. TWICE, Emoni let out a breath she didn't know she was holding, but she fucking owned it.

What did you think? Let me know in the comments down below!

Thanks Hons,
Lee Chand


  1. wow i need to read this! sounds amazing

  2. This sounds great! Love the message! Will be going to Barnes and Noble after work!

  3. This book sounds amazing! I have heard so much about it and I am glad that you have confirmed all the things I have been hearing!

  4. the cover of this looks bomb! i keep seein it everywhere. girl a YA book in the hood. I NEED IT

  5. I’ve been hearing everyone talk about this book! I keep seeing it everywhere and the cover is gorgeous. A must read for this summer. Added to my TBR

    1. has a summery vibe even though it does not take place in summer. the cover just gives you that feeling

  6. I loved this book! Went in blind but I picked it up because I love the cover so much. It was a great story that made me cry.

    1. it gave me all the feels! too many feelings! I cannot control!