My (Well Overdue) Review of With The Fire On High!

November 07, 2019

Wow... I'm actually back. 

oh my god wow GIF

Spoiler alert: I have a new laptop now. (Actually had it a couple of months ago).

I went from saying that I'll be gone for a few weeks to a couple of months *gulps* Anyway, at least now I'll be here more frequently and hopefully with more of an explanation but maybe not a whole post because it's lowkey bringing down my mood.

I almost forgot how to upload a review. Ahem, my fault...

Elizabeth Acevedo


Emoni wants to be a chef more than anything, but having a two-year-old daughter, and being seventeen and still at school, isn't exactly making life easy. The one place she can let everything go is in the kitchen, where she has magical hands - whipping up extraordinary food beloved by everyone from her grandmother to her best friend Angelica.
Emoni knows, though, that there are rules she has to play by. And yet, once she gets cooking, her passion to feed will nourish her soul and dreams too. With the fire on high, anything is possible...

Thanks to Reader's First UK for sending me a review copy of this book. My opinion has not been affected by this.

To be honest, I had not heard an awful lot about this book I requested for it. The title caught my attention for sure. It reminded me of something I've heard at church as well as an obvious reference to cooking.

I haven't read about a lot of characters with a similar background to Emoni. She's Afro-latina, lives with her grandmother (or Abuela) and is a teen mum. Early in the novel, it's revealed that she named her baby Emma so that people wouldn't be able to judge her or figure out her background before getting to meet her, since this already happens to Emoni.

She had her baby with this guy named Tyrone (I find it funny how a guy named Tyrone is always a player).

To this day I couldn't tell someone why Tyrone. Maybe because most boys looked past my stick board skinny body, more interested in the bubble butt girls.

Ever since she became pregnant, she faced a lot of troubles in her relationship with him. He basically turned out to be the type of guy that parents warn their daughter's about.

...When your first love breaks your heart, the shards of that can still draw blood for a long, long time.

Apart from her best friend Angelica, she basically mainly kept to herself in school. However a new guy named Malachi came to school and changed this, though she was definitely cold to him at first.

It also didn't help that Malachi assumed that she wasn't fully black because she was 'light skinned' and also because of her curly hair.

"My father is Puerto Rican and he's darker than my mom was, and her whole family is straight-from-the-Carolinas black. And her hair was just as curly as mine. Not all Black women and Latinas look the same."

Reading about Emoni's culinary arts class was pretty interesting. I was pleasantly surprised when Emoni was provided an alternative for a chef's hat.

I stop tucking away the ends of my head scarf. Chef said I could wear this instead of a hat as long as it keeps my hair out of my face and pots. My curls were not fitting under that hat.

And though we have different hair types (she's probably a type 3, rather than a type 4), I wish more was written about her natural hair.

There were moments of conflict, however with her teacher as she would usually tweak things, instead of following the recipe exactly, though her creativity was appreciated.

There was definitely some romance in this book, though it was mainly a hint (some steamy scenes were included, though). I didn't have any major problems with Malachi, he was a little bland but then again this book was not particularly lengthy. It would have been way more interesting if they kept things platonic.

All in all a refreshing read that can be enjoyed by readers and non readers alike.

You Might Also Like


Keep it all clean, man. Well, if you really wanna curse, use minor swear words. And I mean the minorest of minor ones.

"Or what?" you ask in indignation.

"Or else."