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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

With the Fire on High

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐

"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."


With the Fire on High is a standalone YA contemporary novel by Elizabeth Acevedo.

I picked up this book pretty much for the food, and the food is the only thing I really liked about this even though I wished there was more.

Simply put, contemporary books just aren't for me. I'm just not particularly interested in reading about the lives of people rooted completely in reality. The only exception would be graphic novels or manga. That being said, this wasn't a bad book per se, it was just an okay book.

I liked the cooking aspect and I didn't mind reading about Emoni and her life as a single teenage mother and her passion for cooking. I wasn't crazy about the romance, but luckily it wasn't in your face. If you want a light contemporary novel that incorporates cooking, try this one out.

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