Title: On the Come Up
Author: Angie Thomas
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 5, 2019
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.
This is another amazing book from Angie Thomas! I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down.
There were some elements of this story that reminded me of The Hate U Give. It is set in the same community, though the characters don’t know each other. They do mention the shooting that happened in THUG a year previously.
Bri goes viral with a rap song she wrote, but it gives people the wrong impression of her. It’s compared to an incident that’s she had in school where the security guards threw her down when she was entering the school. Bri has the conflict of being who she is, versus becoming famous for something she didn’t do.
Even though this book is similar to The Hate U Give, Bri and Starr come from different backgrounds. Starr comes from a middle class family, and she goes to a predominantly white private school. Bri’s father was shot when she was a child, and her mother is a former drug addict. Though they have different backgrounds, they come from the same community and fight for social justice.
I loved this book! I can’t wait to read what Angie writes next!
What to read next:
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
Jackpot by Nic Stone
Have you read On the Come Up? What did you think of it?