Full Pour Review: With The Fire On High

Oh my god. I can’t believe it took me so long to read this book! YA is honestly a genre that never really piques my interest, but because I read so many rave reviews about this one on Bookstagram, I decided to give this one a shot. I’m so glad that I did, because this story was absolutely wonderful and is the best YA book I’ve read in a really long time.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “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.”

Elizabeth Acevedo is a very talented writer and absolutely kills it with a captivating storyline, well developed characters, and addressing delicate topics in such a beautiful way. Acevedo does an incredible job at crushing the stigma and societal hypocrisy around teenage pregnancy with the main character, Emoni, who is an incredibly brave, strong, hardworking, loyal, talented, creative and loving mother/daughter/granddaughter/friend, etc. I loved being able to watch her mature as she overcame several challenges and fears with grace throughout this book. Emoni is an incredible role model and her character made me so proud, wishing I could step into the story and give her a huge hug. I also loved the supporting characters that played such a crucial role in Emoni’s life and senior year- ‘Buela, Angelica, Malachi, Chef Ayden, Chef Amadi, Ms. Fuentes, and even Tyrone. It was refreshing being able to watch Emoni and Tyrone handle their unique relationship in such a mature way, and seeing them grow throughout the book and increasingly support one another as co-parents in order to best raise Emma and support one another in achieving their own personal goals was beautiful.

I also loved that this book centered around Emoni’s passion for cooking and her natural skills at creating incredible meals that are known for eliciting so much emotion from others and bringing people together. I loved the recipes placed throughout the book and Acevedo’s attention to detail in describing Emoni’s culinary experiences to the reader was mouth-watering. I was truly captivated by Emoni’s passion and perseverance when it came to chasing her culinary dreams.

I truly can’t recommend this book enough, especially for those like me who aren’t as into YA novels. If you’re looking for a feel-good story with a wonderful storyline and inspiring characters that will stick with you for a long time, you need to read this. This was the first book I’ve read by Elizabeth Acevedo and it absolutely lived up to all the hype. I am officially looking forward to moving the other books I own by her at the top of my TBR list.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo is best paired with Nitro Crème Brûlée by Southern Tier Brewing Company. This delicious imperial milk stout is like liquid dessert-smooth, creamy and sweet with flavors of burnt sugar 🍻

Full Pour Review: Know My Name

FUCK, man – talk about another incredible book to start off 2021! Know My Name by Chanel Miller is a moving, powerful and heart-wrenching memoir that left me absolutely speechless. Chanel is such an impressive human being and it was a privilege to hear her story. This book will captivate you from the beginning and take you on the emotional roller coaster ride you didn’t realize how much you needed.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “Universally acclaimed, rapturously reviewed, and an instant New York Times bestseller, Chanel Miller’s breathtaking memoir “gives readers the privilege of knowing her not just as Emily Doe, but as Chanel Miller the writer, the artist, the survivor, the fighter.” ( The Wrap). Her story of trauma and transcendence illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicting a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shining with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.”

First off, Chanel is a very talented writer and I want to applaud her for approaching her trauma in such a beautiful and hopeful way. This was a very emotional read and I was utterly moved by her resilience as I watched her grow through her pain and find herself again through the pages of this book. I am in awe of her strength, passion and commitment to fight for justice and hold predators accountable for their sexual assault. This story should absolutely be required reading for everyone, not just those who know of, or work with, sexual assault victims or predators. Brock Turner’s sentencing is a truly embarrassing example of how far we still have to go as a society to not only encourage victims to share their truths, but completely overhaul the way we currently address these crimes in the justice system. Because of Chanel’s courage and perseverance, I am hopeful that one day we will eventually get to where we need to be. Because of Chanel, I know we will be better.

Hands down, Know My Name is the most memorable and powerful memoir I have ever read and it goes without saying that this one will be on my mind for a very long time. If you haven’t read this book yet, please do yourself a favor and move it to the front of your TBR list- I promise you will thank me later.


BEER RECOMMENDATION: Know My Name by Chanel Miller is best paired with Savage IPA by Burley Oak Brewing Company, a deliciously smooth and crushable New England IPA 🍻

Full Pour Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Oh my god… what a beautiful, intriguing and mind blowing story! I wanted to kick off 2021 with something magical and that is exactly what The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab is – pure fucking magic.

BOOK DESCRIPTION: “France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.”

I can honestly say that this is one of the most beautifully written stories I’ve ever read. I’m normally not a fan of fantasy, so I was admittedly anxious about reading this one, but the storyline was so captivating and well put together, I was instantly drawn in to the magic of the blended fantasy/historical realism. The characters in this story are absolutely brilliant and I really enjoyed how the story bounced back and forth between timelines, locations, and even character perspectives at random times as we got to know more about Addie’s and Henry’s unique stories. I was so fascinated by this book that I slowly read it over the course of eleven days because I didn’t want to rush through any of it. This story was so incredibly gratifying and went down like a satisfying sip of champagne.

Needless to say, this book absolutely lived up to the hype that we’ve all been seeing online and I will happily add to it- I truly cannot recommend this book enough and already know that this will fall in my top 10 for 2021. This was the first book I’ve ever read by V. E. Schwab and I look forward to reading more by her 💛


BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab is best paired with Sour Me Unicorn Farts by DuClaw Brewing Company and Diablo Doughnuts. This incredibly unique glittered sour ale is brewed with fruity cereal mashed in, bringing forward a bouquet of fruit flavors & a hint of biscuit 🍻