Wednesday, January 1, 2020

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Pages: 400 pages
Published: May 2019

I must say I picked a good first book to complete in 2020. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo is as young adult novel that centers around Emoni who is a teenage mom living with her abuela (grandmother). She is a naturally talented chef and as she approaches the end of her senior year in high school, she's at a crossroads in deciding what the future holds for her.

This story was so real - the content, the language, the emotion. The author did an excellent job of illustrating real world scenarios in a relatable way. She did not take shortcuts or rely on stereotypes or tropes with any of the characters. I appreciated that the story featured a young woman of color but it wasn't necessarily a "Black book" or a "Latina book." The main character could have been any ethnicity, and I enjoy books positioned like that the best. It was a bit of a coming of age novel, not in that it covered an extended period of time but because of the growth the main character experienced. There wasn't an explicit physical challenge for Emoni to overcome but rather an internal conflict to resolve.

While this contemporary book is categorized as young adult fiction, I don't feel it's limited to that demographic. The book has a wide range of appeal, and the writing is solid. I found myself wondering about Emoni's future long after my library loan was over. If selecting this book for your pre-teen or teenager, make sure they are mature enough to handle the content. There are topics of teen pregnancy, and the author uses curse words, albeit in an effect manner. (I'd rate the book PG-13.) Having said that, the topic is surely to make teens consider what being sexually active means and what consequences can come with that.

Recommendation I highly recommend this book. It is always available on Hoopla. If you have access to that service, why don't you download an electronic copy today?

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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