On the Come Up
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.

On the Come Up Details

TitleOn the Come Up
Author
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN-139780062498571
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

On the Come Up Review

  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    You know when you finish reading a book and there's that moment that feels so remarkable it carves out a space in time and whirls there while the world rushes on around it? In that gap where your real storyline seems very abstract and you're left with such a warm and happy feeling that you're glowing just by being around the book's energy? That's me right now.I'm overwhelmed by the zing of feeling in my heart and I think reading Angie Thomas' books should be honestly classified as an official hu You know when you finish reading a book and there's that moment that feels so remarkable it carves out a space in time and whirls there while the world rushes on around it? In that gap where your real storyline seems very abstract and you're left with such a warm and happy feeling that you're glowing just by being around the book's energy? That's me right now.I'm overwhelmed by the zing of feeling in my heart and I think reading Angie Thomas' books should be honestly classified as an official human emotion. Full review to come.
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  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    "You'll never silence me and you'll never kill my dream,Just recognize when you say brilliant that you're also saying Bri."First of all, HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY and second of all THIS BOOK IS GONNA BE A FILM YOU GUYS. What a birthday present, am I right?Spoiler free!This is the 2019 release I was most scared to read. THUG was such a major, ground-breaking, and emotional book for me that the stakes for Angie’s second books were mile-high. Now I can assure you that there is no need to worry. Angie wil "You'll never silence me and you'll never kill my dream,Just recognize when you say brilliant that you're also saying Bri."First of all, HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY and second of all THIS BOOK IS GONNA BE A FILM YOU GUYS. What a birthday present, am I right?Spoiler free!This is the 2019 release I was most scared to read. THUG was such a major, ground-breaking, and emotional book for me that the stakes for Angie’s second books were mile-high. Now I can assure you that there is no need to worry. Angie will not disappoint. This book is just as essential and spectacular.I don’t think I have ever read a book this black. I can’t think of a single white main or side character just now. And I know this is going to bother people. Just like they are bothered when there is more than one gay character on a show. White people have been the centre of YA (and the majority of other literary genres) for decades. It is time that popular culture makes room for books that represent and celebrate all kinds of cultures as a whole. This will not only help all kinds of teenagers feel represented, but it will also help us understand each other, it will create empathy, respect, and appreciation. I’m not black, I didn’t grow up in a poor part of town where drugs and gangs shaped society, I have never been discriminated against because my heritage or skin colour led others to think less of me. But this book brought me closer to not only understand the struggles of what a life like Bri’s includes, but also how important loyalty, family, friendship, faith, etc. are for a teenager like her.That’s not all, though. Angie addresses a lot of topics that deal with respecting other people’s backgrounds and stories. She does not pretend to know what is going on in a gay teenagers head but she still manages to tell his story with dignity and tact. She outright acknowledges that a gay boy’s story is not hers to tell because she has not made the same experiences as a presumably straight woman. I would love to see more of that in the literature community overall, not just in YA.Let’s talk about Bri while we’re at it. That girl is talented, lemme tell you. I love her family and friends but I often had a hard time connecting with Bri on an emotional level. She likes to jump to conclusions and often acts without thinking about the consequences. Even when people tell her to watch out and lay low because whatever she might say or do will put her in a difficult position, she still doesn’t stop to think. She keeps making that mistake over and over again and I quickly ran out of patience. Then again, she was hilarious and smart and often made me laugh out loud.The writing was great as always. Reading Angie’s books makes you feel things. The lyrics to Bri’s songs gave me goosebumps every single time. The dialogues between the characters were ultimately funny. So. Much. Shade.There are also a few Easter eggs in there. I am sure that I missed some of them and all I am going to say is that I love seeing authors referencing other authors and their books. Or to see them being inspired by other author’s stories.The reason I’m “only” giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because of, as I have mentioned before, the lack of a deeper emotional connection. I seriously wept while reading THUG. That book destroyed me. On the Come Up did not have that effect on me. But as I said, do not let this keep you from reading the book. It is just as compelling as Angie’s debut.I wonder whether we will get to see On the Come Up on the big screen. I would love to actually hear Bri perform her songs. They might become actual chart-toppers, who knows.Thank you to Walker Books for providing me with an advance copy in return for an honest review.Find more of my books on Instagram
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  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    I cannot WAIT for this. Cover love. Blurb obsessed!! Angie Thomas is so deserving of the success she's been getting for THUG! Gimme! 😍
  • Iara
    January 1, 1970
    ANOTHER NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR BEHIND THE PHENOMENAL THE HATE U GIVE?SIGN ME UP.
  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    THAT IS A COVER AND A FUCKING HALF. LOVE ITCan't wait for this Queen Angie can do no wrong
  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    Why isn't this in my hands yet? *sob*
  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    YESSSSSSSS!!! BOTM Club picks are up people! This is NOT a drill. I repeat, this is NOT a drill!I am so happy they had this as one of their selections!
  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    Hmmm, I don't know what to say about this one!RTC
  • Kate Olson
    January 1, 1970
    Angie Thomas didn't just live up to the expectations I had after reading and loving The Hate U Give, she went to an entirely new level with On The Come Up. As a school librarian and reviewer of a great deal of young adult literature, I can tend to feel a bit of ”been there, read that" with many stories. This isn't a knock on YA, it's simply a result of being an adult reading a lot of YA. However, with On the Come Up, Angie Thomas brings a fresh and vital story to the genre, and also one of the m Angie Thomas didn't just live up to the expectations I had after reading and loving The Hate U Give, she went to an entirely new level with On The Come Up. As a school librarian and reviewer of a great deal of young adult literature, I can tend to feel a bit of ”been there, read that" with many stories. This isn't a knock on YA, it's simply a result of being an adult reading a lot of YA. However, with On the Come Up, Angie Thomas brings a fresh and vital story to the genre, and also one of the most amazing voices I have ever read in any level of literature.This story is about the systemic racism (and poverty) that prevails in America and the realities of so many Black youths in our country. It hits rap culture, racism, police brutality, gangs, drugs, and more. Thomas doesn't hold back in her scathing criticism of the current state of things (and many of the people) in fictional Garden Heights and the surrounding wealthier neighborhoods, projecting to the cities of the US as a whole. What impresses me the most is her ability to build empathy in readers for characters who so often are written as villains - she digs deep into why drug dealers are dealing, why addicts are using, why parents abandon their children, why families are living in poverty, why gang members are in gangs, why some rappers are using the lyrics that they do, and more. The why is honestly the most important part of all of those issues when reading through a critical lens with the knowledge of the systemic racism that has always plagued the US.Reading this book at the same time as The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration and immediately following Heavy: An American Memoir gave me such important context to bring to the story. I also recently read Rap Dad: A Story of Family and the Subculture That Shaped a Generation which helped me immensely as a reader who listens to NO rap music, but holds a very healthy respect for the genre as a cultural standard.On the subject of issue book vs. non-issue book - this is a capital-I-issue book. And it's the gold standard of such. If you get a chance to listen to Angie Thomas' interview on the podcast "It's Been a Minute", please do. It added such a rich layer to my reading of this book because it made me understand completely who this book is for and the motivation for writing it. Thomas makes it blatantly clear this book is for the Black kids in neighborhoods like the one she grew up in in Jackson, Mississippi and how closely the neighborhood of Garden Heights is based on this same neighborhood. Sure, this book is a window for suburban white kids and middle-aged white women like me, but that's not who she's really doing the work for.In addition, her words in the interview about the attempts to ban The Hate U Give are spot on. When she describes how an 8-year-old wrote to her after reading it and said his mom gave it to him and he loved it, she talks about how some white moms are worried about their 13-year-olds reading it. She lays it out that if a Black mom feels that her young son needs this story because of his reality, then white moms shielding their teens from even reading about it is absolute privilege. That hit me so hard. The attempts to keep OTCU out of hands of teens will surely come, and I guarantee Bri would have words to throw back about it. This is the life and circumstances that teens are living, and the very least white parents and teachers/librarians can do is encourage more privileged kids to read it, rather than shield them from it. As for the kids that Thomas is writing for, let's all do our part to get this book to them. In any way possible.If you are a white adult who claims to "not read YA because I'm an adult", I challenge you to READ THIS BOOK. Open your mind. Listen. Learn. You don't need to review it, but know that Thomas is speaking her truth, as well as the truth of a vast number of people in our country. Honor them and hear the story.
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  • Kate (GirlReading)
    January 1, 1970
    After the phenomenal success of The Hate U Give, it would be easy to sit back and compare the two novels. However, On the Come Up is a utterly brilliant book in its own right and very much stands on its own two feet. It was superb.I adore the way Angie Thomas’ writing pulls you in from the get go. Her ability to write complexly, whilst at the same time, making reading the raw and heart pounding stories she creates easy, is awe inspiring. The characters and voices in On the Come Up, are full of s After the phenomenal success of The Hate U Give, it would be easy to sit back and compare the two novels. However, On the Come Up is a utterly brilliant book in its own right and very much stands on its own two feet. It was superb.I adore the way Angie Thomas’ writing pulls you in from the get go. Her ability to write complexly, whilst at the same time, making reading the raw and heart pounding stories she creates easy, is awe inspiring. The characters and voices in On the Come Up, are full of so much warmth and depth, you can’t help but want to hold onto their story for as long as possible. They’re funny, powerful, passionate, vulnerable, strong, flawed and real. I loved them. The setting was wonderful, as was the connection and mentions of the events of The Hate U Give, proving how big of a lasting impact shootings have on a community. I equally loved the addition of Brianna’s lyrics, which were full of depth and talent.The marvel references were everything and I loved the little but definitely not unnoticed nod to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.In short, Bri’s story is one I will remember for a long time to come.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Need.WANT.After T.H.U.G... I'm eagerly awaiting!We have a cover and a blurb, please please please. I need this.
  • Nadia
    January 1, 1970
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WHY???? I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL 2019!!!!!~~~LOOK. AT. THAT. COVER. WHY IS THIS BOOK STILL NOT IN MY HANDS???
  • Yusra ✨
    January 1, 1970
    so ready for this 😍😍 didn’t even know the cover was out, but it is exactly what I need also.... the hype is deserving
  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars!! 🌟🌟🌟🌟 “There's only so much you can take being described as somebody you're not.” Whew- I started reading this and literally after only a few pages- I knew this would be another movie. It just had that "it" factor, and a dialogue that you can not help but get lost in because its so raw and REAL. Angie Thomas has once again proven that she knows what she is talking about, and has lived the life of her characters. The emotion and feels she is able to magically portray is so outstanding 4 Stars!! 🌟🌟🌟🌟 “There's only so much you can take being described as somebody you're not.” Whew- I started reading this and literally after only a few pages- I knew this would be another movie. It just had that "it" factor, and a dialogue that you can not help but get lost in because its so raw and REAL. Angie Thomas has once again proven that she knows what she is talking about, and has lived the life of her characters. The emotion and feels she is able to magically portray is so outstanding - I think she needs a standing "O"! In, On the Come Up- we follow Bri, whos life is far from perfect. She knows what it is to struggle and to live through dark days. But all Bri wants to do is put her past behind her and make something of herself. She doesn't want to walk in her late fathers (who was an upcoming popular rapper) footsteps. She wants to just be Bri, but some people make it hard to forget that she's not her dad. "You'll never silence me and you'll never kill my dream,Just recognize when you say brilliant that you're also saying Bri." Throughout the book we see Bri make bad decisions but also get to see her growth. I absolutely loved her character and could feel her pain through the pages. The pacing was great and the message was amazing. I enjoyed reading her lyrics and connecting to the story she was trying to tell through them.I wont compare this to THUG- bc this is on another level and another topic- but one that needs to be told. This book is full of perspective and wisdom. There is a lot to take in and learn. I'm just so humbled and blessed after reading this book and really hope that more books like this get into the hands of our youth today! I 100% recommend this one!
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  • Taylor
    January 1, 1970
    UPDATE MARCH 2018:*sees that the release date has been pushed to 2019**shakes fists and screams at the sky*WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!?????Goddammit.*puts money in Sekani's swear jar*...This cover is SO BADASS. I absolutely loved The Hate U Give and I just know I'm gonna love this too. I'M SO EXCITED!!!
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  • Sol ~ TheBookishKing
    January 1, 1970
    There is not a single page in this that I didn’t love.RTC.(also I half listened to this on audio and wow the audiobook is so so good)
  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Part of me is like, "FUCK YEAH! MUST READ! ANGIE THOMAS!"And part of me is like, "...but what if it's not as good as THE HATE U GIVE"?I've been burned before... but I really, really need this to be good.
  • Alfredo (Fred)
    January 1, 1970
    "They can’t stop you, so get your come up."Esse livro foi incrível. Assim como O Ódio que Você Semeia, temos aqui uma história sobre usar sua voz e levantar a bandeira daquilo que você defende. É mais uma história profunda, complexa e cheia de camadas a serem destrinchadas. Só Angie Thomas poderia fazer algo assim.O livro não tem tantas músicas quanto eu imaginei que teria, mas todas elas são de arrepiar e tirar o fôlego. É impossível não querer aplaudir a personagem de pé. O processo criativo d "They can’t stop you, so get your come up."Esse livro foi incrível. Assim como O Ódio que Você Semeia, temos aqui uma história sobre usar sua voz e levantar a bandeira daquilo que você defende. É mais uma história profunda, complexa e cheia de camadas a serem destrinchadas. Só Angie Thomas poderia fazer algo assim.O livro não tem tantas músicas quanto eu imaginei que teria, mas todas elas são de arrepiar e tirar o fôlego. É impossível não querer aplaudir a personagem de pé. O processo criativo dela é magnífico. Ela sabe o que está fazendo, então só precisa seguir sua intuição. "Silencer is a must, they ain’t heard us. / We don’t bust, yet they blame us for murder. / You think I’m a thug? Well, I claim it. / This Glock, yeah, I cock it and aim it. / That’s what you expect, bitch, ain’t it? / The picture you painted, I frame it. / I approach, you watch close, I’m a threat. / Think I bang, think I slang, claim a set. / Cops can draw, break the law, ’cause you fret. / Yet I bet you won’t even regret. / But you can’t stop me on the come up."Assim como no livro de estreia, Angie Thomas aborda muitos assuntos durante o decorrer da história. Ela sabe da responsabilidade que tem, principalmente depois de ficar 100 semanas na lista de mais vendidos, e não decepciona. Mesmo com tantas abordagens e discussões, On The Come Up não se perde em nenhum momento.Se você quer um livro do mais alto nível, escrito por uma das maiores e mais elogiadas autoras do momento, com personagens complexos, um enredo original e um lembrete sobre o poder de usar sua voz, você definitivamente deveria ler esse.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    Compelling and immersive, Thomas's sophomore novel suffers no slump. Bri is a 16-year-old who dreams of rap stardom and who gets her break after a battle, wherein she writes a song that captures the attention of rap fans in her community. She's not sure she wants to release it, but she's also sure she doesn't want to continue living in a situation where her mom's job loss and brother's suspension of his own dreams means that they have no power or food in the fridge. This book takes a hard look a Compelling and immersive, Thomas's sophomore novel suffers no slump. Bri is a 16-year-old who dreams of rap stardom and who gets her break after a battle, wherein she writes a song that captures the attention of rap fans in her community. She's not sure she wants to release it, but she's also sure she doesn't want to continue living in a situation where her mom's job loss and brother's suspension of his own dreams means that they have no power or food in the fridge. This book takes a hard look at economic challenges, as well as police surveillance and treatment of black and brown people. Many of the themes present in THUG are present here, but they're explored on an even more micro level. Bri is a fabulous, fully-rendered character who is by turns hilarious (she loves fandoms and Tweety and isn't afraid to school anyone on her love for these things) and challenging (she is, at times, utterly frustrating because she does things that she shouldn't -- as is the case with teenagers and in her case, teenagers in situations they want nothing more than to help make better, even to their own detriment). There's a light romance in here which feels well-earned, but it's not the star of the book. Bri is. Romance? It's just a slice of who she is. Same with burgeoning rap star. Same with someone growing up with a father who was killed and a mother who has previously struggled with addiction. Bri realizing she is pieces of these, but not defined by any of them wholly, is a big part of what makes her journey so engaging.I may like this one better than THUG. It'll mean so much to so many young readers who will see themselves in Bri's story.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    hollllllly shit, THAT COVER 😍
  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    EVERYONE! We have a title (thank you YallFest!): On the Come Up! See the original tweet here.
  • Fables&Wren
    January 1, 1970
    Look at that cover! I’m so excited I may pass o..u-*passes out*
  • Stacy Fetters
    January 1, 1970
    "I lost my cool so bad that I’ve lost more than I realize. I’m lost. I’m so lost that I’m exhausted from trying to find my way."The Hate U Give is one of my all time favorite books and I couldn’t recommend it enough. When she announced that a second book was on the way, I was stoked and couldn’t wait for Bri’s story. It pains me to say this but this was hyped too much and this didn’t hit me the way THUG did. I remember being emotionally crushed after reading that and this one just left me conten "I lost my cool so bad that I’ve lost more than I realize. I’m lost. I’m so lost that I’m exhausted from trying to find my way."The Hate U Give is one of my all time favorite books and I couldn’t recommend it enough. When she announced that a second book was on the way, I was stoked and couldn’t wait for Bri’s story. It pains me to say this but this was hyped too much and this didn’t hit me the way THUG did. I remember being emotionally crushed after reading that and this one just left me content. It took me a lot longer to connect with the characters in this book then with her first. Bri’s character didn’t have that emotional attachment like Starr did. Plus I was flabbergasted at how Bri treated and disobeyed her family. I would have gotten the shoe if I did something like that. Angie hits a lot of strong subjects in this book. It makes some references to the first book and it leads to larger problems at the school. Scenes will leave you shocked because this actually happens in the real world as people turn a blind eye to it. This will make you open your eyes and look at things differently. We need to support one another and not let these people of hate get away with it. 😭😭😭😭 RTC
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Yes!!! Loved it! RTC
  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    The cover design matches the cover design of The Hate U Give almost exactly and it's making my OCD so, so happy.
  • Courtney
    January 1, 1970
    In the words of Bri Jackson: “Ho.Ly. Shit.” This book is so freaking good. The voice is a masterclass. I want kids everywhere to read it. Every. Where. Bri’s life is far from perfect. She has been traumatized in her childhood and gets traumatized at school. But the love and joy she has in her life despite us challenges is breathtaking. Talk about resiliency. She’s also a brilliant rapper, and her lyrics were some of my favorite passages. The pop culture, Black culture, and hip-hop references are In the words of Bri Jackson: “Ho.Ly. Shit.” This book is so freaking good. The voice is a masterclass. I want kids everywhere to read it. Every. Where. Bri’s life is far from perfect. She has been traumatized in her childhood and gets traumatized at school. But the love and joy she has in her life despite us challenges is breathtaking. Talk about resiliency. She’s also a brilliant rapper, and her lyrics were some of my favorite passages. The pop culture, Black culture, and hip-hop references are perfect. PERFECT. And it’s set in Garden Heights a few months after Khalil was murdered by 115. Everyone pre-order it. Trust me.
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  • Kael
    January 1, 1970
    YAAASS this the third black girl I’ve seen slaying a book cover for 2018 releases (see also: Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson & Dread Nation by Justina Ireland)! It does my heart good to see someone who looks like me represented in a positive light gracing the cover of a bestseller. Keep it up publishing companies. #diversecovers
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  • Noha Badawi
    January 1, 1970
    I'll read anything this woman writes.
  • Ashley Collins
    January 1, 1970
    yallfest spoiler: it's called On The Come Up, y'all 😱
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