Mini reviews: Deck of Omens, With the Fire on High

Hi friends! ☀️ I’m back to share some short and sweet reviews of two of my latest reads, hope you’ll enjoy them!

There are no spoilers in these reviews.

The Deck of Omens, Christine Lynn Herman

Read the full synopsis ▼

The teenagers of Four Paths must save their home.

Though the Beast is seemingly subdued for now, a new threat looms in Four Paths: a corruption seeping from the Gray into the forest. And with the other Founders preoccupied by their tangled alliances and fraying relationships, only May Hawthorne seems to realize the danger. But saving the town she loves means seeking aid from the person her family despises most–her and Justin’s father.

May’s father isn’t the only newcomer in town–Isaac Sullivan’s older brother has also returned, seeking forgiveness for the role he played in Isaac’s troubled past. But Isaac isn’t ready to let go of his family’s history, especially when that history might hold the key that he and Violet Saunders need to destroy the Gray and the monster within it.

Harper Carlisle isn’t ready to forgive, either. Two devastating betrayals have left her isolated from her family and uncertain who to trust. As the corruption becomes impossible to ignore, Harper must learn to control her newfound powers in order to protect Four Paths. But the only people who can help her do that are the ones who have hurt her the most.

With the veil between the Gray and the town growing ever thinner, all of the Founder descendants must put their grievances with one another aside to stop the corruption and kill the Beast once and for all.

But maybe the monster they truly need to slay has never been the Beast…

☂️ TRIGGER WARNINGS: click here to see them.

death, attempted murder, PTSD, depression, blood and gore, grief, violence, trauma, brief physical abuse.

☂️ DIVERSITY: Bisexual main characters (Violet, Isaac, Augusta – #ownvoices queer rep), queer side characters, side f/f relationships, a main character with a physical disability (missing arm).

After really enjoying The Devouring Gray, I was curious to see how this sequel would hold up and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. If it took me a little bit to get back into the story (where are book summaries when we need them?), I still fell in love with those characters again.

There are two strong suits in this book and this duology as a whole: the atmosphere the author creates and the characters. One of my favorite things in The Deck of Omens was, one again, the small town, its forest, its beast and its gripping atmosphere as strange things happen. I’m always finding myself transported by it all.

Another favorite thing in this book were the characters. I loved how we got to know them even deeper in this sequel, how we grew to care for them even more, how each character and point of view stood out with its individuality, motivation and personality. I loved seeing them grow in this strange town, regaining strength, power, standing up for themselves and just, they’re wonderful.

Overall, if you’re looking for a gripping fantasy duology with a great cast of characters you’ll fall for, I’m definitely recommending this one!

Final rating: 4 drops!

A million thanks to Titan Books for sending me a copy of this book for reviewing purposes. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating.

☂️ Read my review of the first book in the series, The Devouring Gray.

With the Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedogoodreads-badge-add-plus-fad3b68d35050280ea55d50f17c654b5

Read the full synopsis ▼

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

☂️ TRIGGER WARNINGS: click here to see them.

Teen pregnancy and motherhood, abortion (brief mention), childbirth (mentioned), alcohol consumption, throwing up, bullying (mentioned), hurricane and storm (mentioned), racism, sexist comments, colourism, coming out themes, mentions of death of a mother and grandfather, use of the word g*psy (explicitly challenged).

☂️ DIVERSITY: Black Puerto Rican main character and side characters, lesbian side-character, f/f relationship, POC side characters (black, latinx, biracial/multiracial).

You know this kind of book that shoots straight for your heart? With the Fire on High was this kind of book and I fell for it so, so hard.

I don’t even know where to start with this one, or what I loved the most. Emoni, the main character, a teen mom, and her journey as she embraces, little by little, her dreams while handling everything life has thrown at her. With the Fire on High is very very much a character driven story and Emoni, her growth, her journey, is hopeful and heartwarming and just, made me HAPPY. That’s it.

I loved the cast of characters surrounding her so much and the relationships they had and developed, too. The friendship between Emoni and Angelica was wholesome and wonderfully supportive and I adored it and need way more friendships like that one in books. The growing romance between Malachi and Emoni was so kind and respectful and beautifully developed. Oh and Emoni and her Abuela were adorable and just made my heart so happy.

I don’t know what to add, except that I just really enjoyed this book and 200% recommend it to everyone okay.


Final rating: 4,5 drops!

Did you read The Deck of Omens or/and With the Fire on High? Do you want to?

What are some of the latest books you’ve read that you would recommend? I’d love to hear from you in comments!






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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

44 thoughts on “Mini reviews: Deck of Omens, With the Fire on High

  1. I’m so glad you loved With the Fire on High! It was one of my favorite books of last year, it made me so happy too. Just the kind of quiet and beautiful contemporary I’m always looking for (and that friendship… perfect). Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I also absolutely adored With the Fire on High! The only thing I thought was kind of weird was that Emoni never used her daughter’s name, but apart from that, I thought the book was pretty much flawless 😊 And it made me sooo hungry!

    Liked by 1 person


    Okay other than that I’d love to read The Devouring Gray series. I mean the cover for the first book’s really pretty (especially the blue and pink colours combination one).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve been meaning to read both of these so I’m happy to see such high ratings from you! I started Deck of Omens a while ago but got into a reading slump around that time but still haven’t finished it. I loved book 1 though so I will def be reading it at some point.

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  5. I’m so happy you enjoyed With the Fire on High, Marie! I read it a while ago so I feel like my thoughts on it are a little all over the place now, but I remember really loving it and enjoying every second of it. I’m a sucker for a character driven story.🥰 Lovely reviews!❤️

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  6. I love With the Fire on High!!! I listened to it on audiobook last year, and I absolutely loved it! I LOVE Emoni’s character, and I love the representation of Emoni being such a good, loving mother to her daughter. I feel like a lot of times in YA (at least in the books I’ve read) teen pregnancy is addressed as someone becoming pregnant, but I had never seen a story about a teen mom who has had her baby and is being a great mother. I thought that was just an important story to tell, and I really loved it! I also really loved her other relationships with Malachi, Angelica, and her abuela- I totally agree with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh so happy you loved it so much as well ❤ I so agree with you, I feel like more often than not, we see books about pregnancy, but not so much about being a teen mom, I loved that.
      Thank you so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Marie, you raving about these have made me EXTREMELY excited. The Devouring Gray duology sounds so up my alley (Stranger Things meets TRC is ME in a book), but I’ve heard mixed things. Anyways, our taste and rating system is very similar so I know I’ll love. And I’m incredibly pumped about getting to Elizabeth’s newest books, hoping to listen to them this month <3<3

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  8. I LOVE With the Fire on High 😀 It’s such a beautiful story and one I plan on rereading. I just finished You Should See Me in a Crown today and it was so good! It had such a wonderful platonic friendships in it and the romance was really sweet

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    1. Agree, it was such an amazing story, it will stay with me for a while ❤
      Ahh I've heard amazing things about You Should See me in a Crown. So happy you enjoyed it so much! 🙂

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  9. I’ve started With the Fire on High and it’s really good so far! I am so glad you liked it and I hope I will enjoy it as much as you did. The Deck of Omens seems really good too! Thanks for these mini-reviews!

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  10. I haven’t read either of these, but With the Fire on High has been on my TBR for a while. Both books sound SO AMAZING and your reviews make me want to read them as soon as I can 😊

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  11. I really want to read With The Fire On High. It sounds so lovely! I also love to cook so I like that me and the character have that in common. Plus I just really need to read some Elizabeth Acevedo because no one can stop talking about how amazing she is

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  12. Oh my god I HAVE BEEN DYING TO READ With The Fire on High, Mariee!! Everyone seems to be raving about it and your beautiful review has greatly to my excitement for it! ❤️😍😍 AND THAT COVER IS JUST TOO GORGEOUS TO IGNORE!! 😍😍😍😍

    And wow! I didn’t know about The Deck of Omens! But it’s definitely a good sign that you enjoyed it soo much!! I am going to have to look for the first part now! 😍😍😍

    Lovely, lovely reviews AS ALWAYS, Marie!! 😍😍

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