Sunday, December 23, 2018

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Emoni is going into her senior year of high school and is not sure what her future might hold.  She is a gifted home cook so when her school offers a new elective in culinary arts, she signs up even though her life is already very busy with a part time job and taking care of her two year old daughter. As an added pressure, the class is scheduled to travel to Spain over spring break but only if she can come up with enough money to pay for the trip and that seems almost impossible.  In the class she meets new boy Malachi but she is clear in letting him know she doesn't have time for anything other than being friends.  In the midst of juggling all the parts of her life she is also concerned about her abuela who seems to be going to the doctor more than usual while trying to form a closer relationship with her estranged father who left when she was just a baby.

Another beautiful book from Elizabeth Acevedo.  The way I could tell I was loving it is that I read for 30 minutes and then realized I hadn't checked the percentage counter on my Kindle in all that time!  That is unheard of for me since I am competitive with myself and always feeling like I'm behind on my To Do list.  So, things I love:
  • Emoni is so in love with her daughter and although there are a few others who try to make her feel ashamed of being a teenage mom, she knows who she is and holds her head high.  The book is not about being a statistic other than that her dedication to being a good mom drives some of her other choices and decisions.
  • I was unsure of Malachi when he was first introduced but he ends up being a good guy.  The progression of their relationship is slow and drama-free which is such a difference from the formulaic "Just when we were about to get close a huge misunderstanding made me sure he didn't really like me at all" thing in every other book and movie and TV show.
  • 'Buela is great and I am so happy that she - spoiler alert! - doesn't die or have some other major health issue.  That would've been the easy choice to make for Acevedo but again, she goes for real life.
  • Acevedo's writing is just lovely and makes me happy to read!

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