Tag Archives: ***

With The Fire On High (review by Anya W. ’20)

With the Fire on HighWith the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ever since she got pregnant with babygirl, Emoni’s life has been about deciding right: she knows better than to mess around, because she’s got babygirl to look after and money to save. College, mistakes like boys, and even the new cooking course that could let her pursue her dreams as a chef seem so far beyond her reach.

The snappy dialogue of Emoni’s internal monologue is easily matched by the well-crafted plot and brilliant characterization of the novel. Acevedo spins a fun, thought provoking tale of hope, responsibility, success, and picking yourself back up after you fall down. The romance is better handled in than many other books I have read in the genre, and the author does a stellar job of handling difficult topics. While the novel my be a little more mature than most YA works, it is still accessible enough to resonate with teen readers and honestly better written than many a YA beach reads.

With the Fire on High is a stunning piece, just as good if not better than Acevedo’s earlier work on The Poet X. Her characters are realistic, complex, and likable, and while I can see her writing style developing in some similarities in her protagonists, Acevedo has clearly proven she is not a one trick pony. -Anya W. ’20

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The Birds, The Bees, and You and Me (review by Anya W. ’20)

The Birds, The Bees, and You and MeThe Birds, The Bees, and You and Me by Olivia Hinebaugh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

WARNING: Opinions presented herein may be skewed by the fact that I was reading this book at two in the morning.

While not the most memorable book I’ve ever read, Hinebaugh’s novel is founded upon a strong premise: when a school’s curriculum is misinforming students to a level of danger to their safety, what’s a girl with the know-how to do? Of course, then people come and just make things more complicated.

In a tale of secrets, friendship, and self discovery, Hinebaugh uses a compelling premise to clearly send her messages. While the romance seems at times an easily shed distraction from the drama, it is well written enough not to disappoint fans of romance. The drama is on point, the injustice enough to move hearts and the writing clear enough to read but complex enough to enjoy, even while sleep deprived. -Anya W. ’20

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Nemesis (review by Sofie K ’20)

Nemesis (Project Nemesis, #1)Nemesis by Brendan Reichs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Every two years, Min dies.

It’s always the same man, time and time again. He appears sometime on her birthday, kills her, then she wakes up the next day as if nothing happened. She doesn’t know why, or what Noah, subjectively the town’s most attractive (and rich) boy, has to do with it, but it happens. On top of it all, a giant asteroid called the Anvil is threatening to destroy Earth… in like a week.

I really wanted to like this book. I hadn’t seen this premise too often before in books, so it seemed that it would live up to the hype. But it just didn’t make sense. The twists came out of nowhere (they were barely hinted at), so they felt super jarring, and the storyline with the asteroid seemed really separated from the plot. When Reichs tried to tie it all together at the end, it just felt really forced. It’s overall not a terrible plot, it just seemed disappointing compared to what it could have been.

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