Even better than The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo is shaping up to be one of my fave YA authors !!
When I think of this book, I think of happiness. Emoni is such an unbelievably strong character who creates joy for herself despite a world that is often hard on her. She is complicated, flawed and fierce. The family aspect of this book was incredible. The diversity in it, especially in its nuanced and respectful depiction of a teen mom, was excellent. Not to mention, the food described sounded delicious.
I read Acevedo's novel in poetry form earlier in the year, just as this book was coming out, and, though I liked The Poet X, I had a feeling I would like this better, and I was right.
All the things that Acevedo does really well in The Poet X - the focus on certain perceptions about a girl based on her body or her background, her relationships with her friends and family, her interest in the opposite sex, and the focus on her origins/community/racial identity - are even more nuanced when she has the space to spread out that the novel form gives. The Poet X didn't wrap up in a fully satisfactory way for me, but I felt that this book was rounded out, and relationships followed through in a much more complete way.
Particularly touching were Emoni's relationships with her daughter and her best friend. There's a real sense of camaraderie between women that is wonderful to see. I also really liked how the novel dealt with the men in her life, her own distant father Julio, her daughter's father Tyrone, and her friend/love interest Malachi. There's a depth to their stories and Emoni's interactions with them that's nice to see.
Of course, the focus on Emoni's dreams of being a chef was a highlight. I liked how Acevedo had her learn to be a chef, aside from her almost magical flair for cooking. I also really loved how the cooking was connected with the women in her family, her grandmother and her lost mother.
There was also, surprisingly, quite a bit about identity and the place you come from in this book. Acevedo has Emoni feel pride in both her Philadelphia neighbourhood and her Puerto Rican/South Carolina roots. She educates certain characters and the reader about her race and culture, and I can imagine girls from that same neighbourhood and sharing Emoni's ethnicity being happy about that. It's certainly refreshing to see better representation in YA literature.
This is a really enjoyable book. I'll be interested to see what Acevedo writes next.
This book filled me with so much joy and pleasure and happiness. It was a wonderful story and I highly recommend it to everyone. It also made me experiment more in the kitchen with is always a pleasure.
This book has teletransported me to every possible scenario while i was reading it. I smelled the food while Emoni was cooking it, i felt everything she felt and even more as i was reading the book. It describes perfectly how is to be a teen-mom, a student and an employee while you have almost no support at all. Emoni has her Buela who helps her a lot, and in some way, she reminded me of my grandma, so loving and caring about everything. Emoni grows up, not only she becomes older, but she grows up in a mental way that you may think the girl from the beginning of the book is a different girl than the one from the end of it. It talks about topics that most people would not know how to write in such a perfect yet detailed way.
This was another one of my June reads and I absolutely loved it!
It follows Emoni, a senior in high school, who is juggling the responsibilities of finishing high school, raising her 2-year old daughter and dreaming of becoming a chef.
The characters felt real, the story had a lot of depth to it and Emoni is a character that you immediately start to root for.
I am happy I finally read one of Elizabeth Acevedo’s novels, her writing is truly as good as everyone is saying and the audio version of this book is just magical.
So if you haven’t already read this one and enjoy YA contemporaries I would recommend you to pick this one up soon
While I did enjoy The Poet X more than this one, this is still an excellent read by Elizabeth Acevedo. She does such a wonderful job of using her characters to address difficult issues that teens are forced to face daily.
I loved the addition of the recipes in this story. It made everything seem more real.
Great read for teens.