Teen mother Emoni Santiago struggles with the challenges of finishing high school and her dream of working as a chef.
Honestly, I only checked this book out based on its cover alone. So naturally, I was dragging my feet about this one. The cover itself is amazing, but once I took the time to actually read the synopsis, I was still a bit apprehensive. I mean, it is a teen fiction book and well, I’m an adult. But nonetheless, once I started reading it, I was glad I did.
Elizabeth Acevedo is a brilliant writer who captured and embodied a black Latina teen living in the climate of the world today. She makes it a point to explain, in detail, the difference between race and ethnicity for those who are confused and may believe that they are the same thing – which they are NOT! Also, I enjoy how Elizabeth put the main character in adult situations, but still allowed the main character to be the teenager that she is that is juggling adult responsibilities, love and most importantly, her dreams.
Now back to the main character of the book – Emoni Santiago. Emoni is a teen we’ve all seen or known at some point in our lives. She was dealt a bad hand, but at the end of the game, she had a full house. She is extremely relatable and makes some delicious food – based off of the descriptions. Emoni can create beautiful love songs about taste and flavors that make you want to try dishes you’ve never had before. Although Emoni was forced to grow up early, she never let that stop her from being the teenager with hopes and goals. She is very strong, yet vulnerable at the same time.
Basically, I would recommend this book to any teenage girl who has a dream that they may feel is unattainable. I’d also recommend this book to anyone who just wants to read a great book about some real life stuff that is more common than it should be.