Snapshot Review: With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Title: With the Fire High
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Series: N/A
Pages: 392
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 7th 2019

      “From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.
      Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions—doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.
      Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.”

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“And something special does happen when I’m cooking. It’s like I can imagine a dish in my head and I just know that if I tweak this or mess with that, if I give it my own special brand of sazón, I’ll have made a dish that never existed before.”

  • The writing – It’s no secret that I loved The Poet X. It reintroduced me to poetry and created a thirst for more. Acevedo’s sophomore novel is told in prose and it’s no surprise that her writing is just as poetic. There were times while reading where I had to pause just to appreciate her imagery.
  • Emoni – I really enjoyed Emoni as a character. She has so much love for her daughter and her grandmother. All throughout the story, you can feel her hesitation when it comes to pursuing her dreams. She has responsibilities that have kept her from doing so, but learns that it is herself that has been holding her back for so long. I loved reading about her passion for cooking. It’s an outlet for her emotions and her creativity. Something she is a natural at, but a skill where she still has a lot to learn.
  • Afro-Latinidad – The exploration of what it means to be Afro-Latinx is at the center of who Emoni is. I loved that the MC was so adamant about her identity. Being black and Latinx aren’t mutually exclusive; being black does not subtract from her Latinidad and being Latinx does not subtract from her being black.
  • Teen parenthood – Most books I see about teens with children have to do with teen pregnancy, so it was refreshing to read a book about a teen mother with a toddler.
  • Emphasis on family and friends – Emoni might not have much, but she has an incredible support system, from her best friend Angelica to her abuela. As strong as these relationships are, Emoni doesn’t have the best relationship with her father and feels distant from her mother’s side of the family, but I loved that these relationships end of shifting for the better.
  • Magical realism – Although this one might strictly be called contemporary, Acevedo weaves in elements of magical realism. Emoni’s cooking is said to elicit emotional responses from those who taste it. It’s presented very subtly, but I think that’s one of the reasons I loved it so much.

  • Nothing comes to mind!

  • Elizabeth Acevedo creates another wonderful and very relatable MC in With the Fire on High. Emoni is a character who is both vulnerable and strong and whose successes at the end of the novel feel like your own.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply.

As far as I am concerned, Silvia Moreno-Garcia can write anything. All of her novels, though quite different from one another, have impressed me. She has become one of my auto-buy authors and I cannot wait to see what she does with her latest upcoming novel, Untamed Shore. I was lucky enough to be sent an ARC of this one from the publisher (I may have begged) and can’t wait to get to it this month. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

Title: Untamed Shore
Author: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Series: N/A
Pages: N/A
Publisher: Agora Books
Release Date: February 11, 2020

      “Renowned author Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s first thriller, UNTAMED SHORE, is a coming-of-age story set in Mexico which quickly turns dark when a young woman meets three enigmatic tourists.
      Baja California, 1979. Viridiana spends her days watching the dead sharks piled beside the seashore, as the fishermen pull their nets. There is nothing else to do, nothing else to watch, under the harsh sun. She’s bored. Terribly bored. Yet her head is filled with dreams of Hollywood films, of romance, of a future beyond the drab town where her only option is to marry and have children.
      Three wealthy American tourists arrive for the summer, and Viridiana is magnetized. She immediately becomes entwined in the glamorous foreigners’ lives. They offer excitement, and perhaps an escape from the promise of a humdrum future.
      When one of them dies, Viridiana lies to protect her friends. Soon enough, someone’s asking questions, and Viridiana has some of her own about the identity of her new acquaintances. Sharks may be dangerous, but there are worse predators nearby, ready to devour a naïve young woman who is quickly being tangled in a web of deceit.
      Silvia Moreno-Garcia is one of the most exciting voices in fiction, and with her first crime novel, UNTAMED SHORE, she crafts a blazing novel of suspense with an eerie seaside setting and a literary edge that proves her a master of the genre.”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Holiday Gifts I’m Considering

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Holiday Reads.” So I don’t have too many books that necessarily remind me of the holidays, probably because I don’t pick up a lot of seasonal themed books. That being said, what does remind me of the holiday season is buying books for my nieces and nephews. This year the older ones are at the perfect age for MG and even some YA books and I am so excited. So for this week’s topic, I am sharing ten books I am considering buying for them this Christmas. Covers are linked to Goodreads.


1. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

2. Unwind by Neal Shusterman 

3. Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

4. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

5. Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes

6. Tight by Torrey Maldonado

7. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

8. Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

9. The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix

10. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

Do you gift books for the holiday season? Any you are considering and for whom? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

Monthly Wrap-Up: November ’19

I could have sworn that I was flying through this book and that book this November, but when I went to look at my Goodreads shelf, it turns out I only read six books. Not terrible, but I could have sworn I was in the 8 or 9 number range. The most important thing is I started taking care of several ARCs I have on my TBR pile. I’ve already met my Goodreads goal for the year and am just trying to take care of some early 2020 ARCs so I’m not stressed in the new year. For December I will be one of the hosts for Latinx Book Club. We are reading The Resolutions by Mia Garcia and I hope you can join us!

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

I am so torn between two five-star reads this month but am going with Realm of Ash because Tasha Suri deserves more recognition. Empire of Sand remains one of my favorite fantasies ever and Realm of Ash was a great companion novel that explored so many concepts that I love. My review for this one will be up in December. Cover linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

It breaks my heart to say that Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez was more disappointing than satisfying. I’m not sure if I will have a full review of this one.

Reviews Posted This Month:

Books I Read, Review (Maybe) Coming Soon:

(Covers linked to Goodreads)

Notable Blog Posts This Month:

Off Tangent Thoughts: Thoughts You Have When You See Spoilers – It was my first time joining this meme and I had so much fun sharing some thoughts I have when I come across spoilers.

Kernels of Nonsense: End of the Year TBR – I have a list of books I really want to get to by the end of the year. It’s looking kind of promising so far? We will see.

Off Tangent Thoughts Meme: A Totally Accurate Account of Me Receiving an ARC by My Favorite Author in the Mail – This was such a fun post to put together all about how I finally got my hands on an Anna-Marie McLemore ARC.

Top Ten Tuesday: Changes in My Reading Life – Loved looking back and seeing how my reading life has changed over the years since I started blogging.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’ve Been Avoiding and Why – I take comfort in the fact that we all have lists of books we’ve been avoiding.

December Releases I’m Excited For:

Which December releases are you looking forward to? Which book or books do you plan to read before the end of the year? Let me hear from you in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit.