The Life of Emoni; A Comparison

When I started this blog, my ultimate dream is to receive an Advance Reader’s Copy of a book. And two years later, it came true! I am very lucky to be chosen to participate in the #WiththeFireonHigh blog tour.

Last March, I finally received my ARC of With the Fire on High written by Elizabeth Acevedo and I am so excited! It was my very first ARC in physical copy, ah how I love the smell and feeling when I held the book. There’s always a magical feeling whenever I touch a book, what more if it has an amazing cover! Thank you Karina and Harper Collins International for making this possible. Also a big thank you to the dear Author for sharing your wonderful book.

Check out Karina’s post here.

Disclaimer: The first part of this blog post is a spoiler free review. So if you want to dig deeper into Emoni’s life then make sure to read until the end!

ISBN: 0062662856

Title: With the Fire on High

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Publisher: HarperTeen

Release Date: May 7th 2019

No. of Pages: 400

Genre: YA Contemporary

Purchase links:

Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

“The world is a turntable that never stops spinning; as humans we merely choose the tracks we want to sit out and the ones that inspires us to dance.”

Emoni Santiago, With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I actually don’t know how to start this review so let me tell you my reading experience first. I received this book last March 30 but I had to attend to an event at our University so I didn’t start reading it not until the next morning which is March 31st. This book is the most realistic one that I have read this year and I must say that it is actually a breath of fresh air. It is light and fun read plus I am so much in love with the book cover. IT IS GORGEOUS. THE WHOLE BOOK IS.

So basically, as you might have read the synopsis, this is about Emoni a teenage mom as she struggles to achieve her dream and also take care of her daughter at the same time. Tho I have heard of real life stories about teenage pregnancy, it is a great thing that this can be turned into a book and let people see the great things about it. The bravery, responsibility, and the love it can teach to other people.

Reading this book makes me evaluate my life. Emoni is indeed a tough character. She shows that life may be hard and is waiting for a moment to break you but fear no more, because one learns to stand back up and gets ready to fight back.

This one is on fire. Rating: 4/5 stars

About the author:

ELIZABETH ACEVEDO is the youngest child and only daughter of Dominican immigrants. She holds a BA in Performing Arts from the George Washington University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland. With over fourteen years of performance poetry experience, Acevedo is a National Poetry Slam Champion, Cave Canem Fellow, CantoMundo Fellow, and participant of the Callaloo Writer’s Workshop. She has two collections of poetry, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes Books, 2016) and winner of the 2016 Berkshire Prize, Medusa Reads La Negra’s Palm (Tupelo Press, forthcoming). The Poet X is her debut novel. She lives with her partner in Washington, DC.

Find her on: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

It’s time for giveaways!

Shirt design by Melissa Chan, read more about her designs here.

Are you now curious about the story? about my rating? Then let’s turn the fire higher!



If we will dissect Emoni’s Life struggles then it will be like this:

  • Her studies
  • How to take care of baby girl
  • Being independent
  • Letting a special person in her heart
  • Understanding a person no matter how absurd the situation is


She is a senior student and has yet to find out if she will pursue college. She also has an elective class that she love but encounters some minor problems.

I am at my fourth year on college and unlike her, I have no direction. There’s nothing I excel at so that’s the tough part. If only I have something that I love doing, which in Emoni’s case is cooking, then I think I’ll know my purpose. Unlike Emoni, I do not dare to take risks. I don’t go out there and try to do things that makes me happy.


Taking care of yourself is already tough but being responsible for another being, let alone a baby? Good luck. The fact that she had her during her freshman year with a guy that didn’t love her, it’s a misery. I know it isn’t highlighted on how she managed all these pregnancy and all but it adds angst to her character.

In this part, I am in no way like her. I have never been responsible for a human being other than myself. I am quite selfish you know and I hate myself for that. The closest thing I can relate to is me having three cats and a dog. Feeding them three times a day can be a handful sometimes haha.


It was a big surprise to me that her Abuela doesn’t go to the doctor but instead goes out to meet a man. Sometimes we forget that our parents or guardians have a life too, besides us. At some point in their lives, they might have lost themselves because they’re too busy taking care of us.

Like Emoni, I too will be adult soon and I need to be independent. I need to learn to stand up for myself. I need to be responsible.


Yah know, I have been waiting for this! Tho I kinda hoped for the father of her child to be romantically involved with her but I guess, that’s life. Malachi is a good man and considering their ages, loving a person despite their circumstances is a lot to take in.

When I think of dating, I immediately think of marriage because that’s why you do it right? You date to find the person whom you’d spend your lifetime with. And while Emoni had her love lifefirgured out, here’s me still content on reading romance and cute teenage love.


My biggest concern for this book is Emoni’s relationship with her father. I grew up having my dad by my side (tho he’s always at work). I can talk to my dad like I am talking to a very close friend. He makes sure that we are always eating on time and he is always one call away if I ever needed anything. So seeing Emoni’s relationship with her dad is heartbreaking. How can a father be like that? How can he live away from her daughter? I wish she had a better bonding with her dad.

So that’s my 5 points in the story. Altogether, they made the story more interesting. How I wish it can be longer. Rating 4/5 stars.

2 thoughts on “The Life of Emoni; A Comparison

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