On the Come Up
By Angie Thomas
Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.
On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.
I was anxious, and slightly nervous, to see what Angie Thomas would do as her follow up to The Hate U Give, and this novel did not disappoint. Angie Thomas is a master storyteller that uses all the tools she has to tell a good story. Every aspect of the book tells you something about Bri, from the way she structures her sentences to the diction and more. On the Come Up is a wonderful and relevant coming of age novel that will inspire and challenge readers.
Brianna “Bri” Jackson is one of a kind, but she’s also just like millions of other teenage girls. Stubborn, impulsive, thinks she knows better than her mother. Bri makes mistakes—lots of them—and I love her all the more for it. When she dominated Milez in the Ring, I celebrated with her. When she broke down in Sal’s pizza shop, I broke with her. I never stopped rooting for her. Not once.I loved living inside Bri’s brain. As she deals with racial profiling, poverty, and hardship, Bri funnels her ambitions, frustruation, deepest fears and most heartfelt desires into her song-crafting, and we get to be there as her thoughts flow together into lyrics and out into a mic. This book is an education on hip hop and a love letter to the artists and songs that have helped many young persons through hard times. Bri also just has such a vivid voice, and in moments, some of her lines and actions jumped off the pages for how true-to-character they felt. I mean, when she calls someone out as a f*ckboy? Yes, please, and thank you! She’s got no time for fools, and no time to temper her voice – even as society keeps telling her, that as a young black woman, she’s got to be “less agressive.”
I expected something completely different from what this book turned out to be, but I am so happy with what I got.
If you get the chance to read , PLEASE DO.
Book published by Walker Books