Well, we all knew the Queen of YA, Angie Thomas, would gift us with another incredible story.
So brb, I am just feeling so many things about On The Come Up. I also really love Angie Thomas’ style and her passion and love that you can absolutely feel in every single page of the book. This one is about Bri who is a rapper and her family is facing possible homelessness and she’s trying to be herself…but she doesn’t know who that is yet. Her murdered dad was this Big Rapper Legend and everyone expects her to be him.
The story is about finding where you fit.
It’s not as dark as The Hate U Give, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful or needed. (I did like THUG more, but I also don’t want to compare them, because they’re different!)
Thank you Walker Books AUS for the review-copy! On The Come Up by Angie Thomas came out Feb 5th, 2019
➸ so first things first: it’s about rapping.
Bri’s #1 dream is to be a rapper and she’s super good at it. Her dad was a rapper and could’ve been really famous…except he was murdered when she was really little. Bri loves him, but doesn’t really remember him…but also doesn’t want to be him. She wants to make it as a rapper on her own talent.
So she writes a song that gets misconstrued and everything takes off from there. Kiiiind of out of her control.
There are so many powerful lyrics in what Bri raps and how she thinks up lyrics all the time. I noticed when she was particularly happy or stressed, she found a way to mentally put it in a rap. Also I think Angie Thomas herself is a rapper? So I can imagine the heart and talent that went into this part of crafting the book. (Also the movie is going to be EPIC.)
All these folks I’ve never met became gods over my life. Now I gotta take the power back.
➸ Bri and her family were my favourite thing in the book!!
Bri is amazing and so loving and protective of her family. She’s also a total geek (and so tired of how nobody gets her references) and finds school exhausting and is really done with people treating her badly because of her neighbourhood and being black. She absolutely takes NO shenanigans and has a really sharp temper…which lands her in a lot of (unfair) trouble too. And she’s flawed…I loved that about her. YA is all about teens who are learning what is to be themselves while they tumble through decisions and grow up. This had the heart of YA so so well.
➸ I love her realtionship with her family!! Her brother Trey is a total softie and takes such good care of her. And her mum lost herself to drugs for years and basically had to give up Bri and Trey to their grandparents and it took forever to get custody back. Their family is fractured but so close. I love them!! The banter was A+!! That uno game was WILD.
➸ And Bri’s friend squad of Sonny (who is gay and a graffiti artist) and Malik (a budding documentary maker and Bri’s long time crush…which goes badly) are EPIC together. They’re not perfect and they have some bitter fights. But I love tight-knit friend groups.
Jay’s a people person. I’m more of a “yes, people exist, but that doesn’t mean I need to talk to them” person.
➸ the romance was so smol but so cute
It was a tiny side-dish, which I appreciated, because Bri has a heck of a lot going on here. And it’s not the ship you originally think it will be….I just liked it a lot!!
➸ the themes are so so good.
This book arrived to raise its voice, which is something we’re all grateful for. It unpacks discussions on racial profiling and prejudice, it talks about what it really means to be poor, and it’s about defining yourself even despite others assuming things about you. It’s also about consequences: whether earned or not. Agh, so much unfairness hits Bri’s life, so you end up aching with her.
➸ I adore the writing in Angie Thomas’ books!
It’s always immediately captivating and Bri’s voice was just THE BEST. I also laughed out luod and got twisted up in anxious nerves, so like: get you a book that can do it all. (Although, unlike in THUG, I didn’t feel wrecked reading this…but it still had so much emotion.) Also for a 450 page book…it went by fast!
Obviously this is one you don’t want to miss! I loved it so much and seriously cannot wait for Thomas’ next book announcement. (pls be soon…) It’s a complex story with so many layers and it wraps a tight hug around family, friends, dreams, and fears. It’s about defining yourself and speaking up with art and passion and talent.
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.