Goodreads Choice Awards – Nominee for Best Young Adult Fiction (2019)

My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo is a captivating story about family, perseverance, and hope. It’s the story of a teenage mom’s final high school year, and her struggles towards a successful future. From the pacing, to the setting, to the interactions between the characters, this novel-in-verse is engaging throughout.

My Overview

Emoni Santiago is a high school senior in Philadelphia, but her life is full of the pressures and responsibilities of adulthood. She became pregnant during freshman year, and together with her grandmother, is raising her daughter, attending high school, and working a part-time job. Clearly, she’s living a life that’s far from that of her peers at school. In her case, she’s living life with the fire on high. Regardless, Emoni has dreams of becoming a chef and a better future for her and her daughter. Her focus and determination are all she can count one to make them a reality.

I don’t read as much poetry as I probably should, but over and over I’ve been drawn to Elizabeth Acevedo’s beautiful novel-in-verse storytelling style. In this case, the story is told from Emoni’s POV, in short chapters that smoothly flow from one event to the next. Add to that the audiobook, which is read by the author herself, and the result is an immersive experience. I truly felt like Emoni was telling me her story herself, as in conversation.

My Recommendation

This is my third book by Elizabeth Acevedo, and I’ve enjoyed them all. Each one has been read by the author, so I’ve listened to the audiobooks. Listening to the author read her own work, makes the story so much more real and captivating. So, not only do I recommend this book, but I highly recommend the audiobook.

The other books I’ve enjoyed by this author are:

Have you enjoyed any of Elizabeth Acevedo’s books? If so, did you listen to the audiobooks?