For the last month I haven’t really had the urge to do anything. I had the free time…just not the necessary urge? Anyway…I read this at the beginning of May!
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.
buy it : amazon
I’ve been WAITING for Elizabeth Acevedo to publish a book written in prose. I don’t…read poetry like that. Drag me. I don’t care. But the second i saw this, I preordered it!
And i’m happy i did, because it has the most beautiful cover design I’ve seen in a while. There’s the main cover with the main character drawn, and a design on the hardcover itself. I didn’t expect the book’s desing to be this thught out, because in most of the reviews I watched, people had received arcs and didn’t purchase final copies.
I loved this book. Love the concept. Loved how race and ethnicity was explained. Loved that the spanish wasn’t explicitly explained in italics when it was said. Loved to read a book about a BLACK teenage mother, who kept her child. Loved to read about the thoughts she had about getting rid of it, and keeping it. And how it never felt like she was forced to make a certain decision.
The language in the book is relatable, and genuine. I could imagine talking to a girl like Emoni in high school. I don’t live in Philadelphia, and I probably couldn’t find it in a map (I am geographically challenged. If it’s not California, Texas or Florida…I can’t find it), but I felt like was there as I read.
I loved her writing style. This book reminded me of something that I loved in books. Little chapters that can stand on their own, and give you a background on the main characters. This is something I want to implement in my own writing.
Here’s what I hated:
I feel like I say this all the time, but I always think this. It was too long. But Elizabeth Acevado is an amazing, beautiful writer, so I can’t tell you which scenes I think should have been cut!
I also thought that Emoni had it kind of easy. Everything worked out. Maybe she should have gotten rejected from every school she applied to. I don’t think teen moms have to go through every struggle possible, but this entire book was like…smooth sailing. The only blip I can think of, was when her phone was taken and she missed out on her daughter being taken to the hospital.
But that made no sense to me because if EVERYONE knew she had a kid, wouldn’t it be approved for her to actively use her phone? If I were on staff at that school, I’d be PISSED.
It became predictable, and by the time the Spain trip came, I didn’t even read it. I understood why it was important to put emphasis on Emoni perusing her goals, but selfishly…I wanted more moments of her being a mom.