Popsugar Reading Challenge: Book 37

Prompt: An Own Voices book

I read the Carnegie winning The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo last year and loved it, so I was really excited to read her follow up novel, With the Fire on High. Acevedo was born in the Dominican Republic and grew up in New York. She identifies herself as Afro- Latina and features characters with similar heriatge in her novels so fits perfectly into this category.

What it’s about?

Emori is a 17 year old high school senior. She loves cooking and dreams of being a professional chef. Senior year is busy making the grades, applying for college and supporting her family. Emori is also a teen mum to two year old daughter Emma.

Emori has to find a way to fulfill her own dreams as well as the dreams she has for daughter.

What I think:

I loved this book!

Emori is a strong and determined young woman. She is fighting against prejudice and stereotypes and trying to find her own way in the world.

Her relationships with her family are both heart-warming and problematic. Her absent father comes and goes with both love and anger, and her grandmother raises Emori and Babygirl Emma, but is also desperate to feel like a woman not just a grandmother. Her friendships with best friend, Angelica and classmates develops as the book develops and Emori finds way to be herself and not just the girl who was pregnant at 14.

Acevado’s characters are real, living people. And the reader is left feeling that they continue to live on after the novel ends.

The book is also also filled with cooking. Meals for families, filled with love, celebrations and heartaches, trials and errors. The power of cooking shows love and remembrance for the past. Emori’s gift with food is remarkable and gives her the power to nourish her soul and dreams.

This is a great read which I’d definitely recommend. It’s great to see different voices in YA fiction and I’ll looking forward to reading Acevedo next book, Clap When You Land, when it’s published next year.

Grab your own copy of With the Fire on High at:

Waterstone’s: click here

Amazon.co.uk: click here