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
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseFeb 5th, 2019
PublisherBalzer + Bray
ISBN-139780062498564
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

On the Come Up Review

  • شيماء ✨
    January 1, 1970
    It’s Angie Thomas’ world and she’s just allowing us to live in it.You know when you finish reading a book and there's a 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 was me upon finishing this book. I'm still overwhelmed by the zing of feeling in my heart a It’s Angie Thomas’ world and she’s just allowing us to live in it.You know when you finish reading a book and there's a 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 was me upon finishing this book. I'm still 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. So, what’s this book about? 16-year-old Brianna “Bri” Jackson has channeled all her yearning into one fervent dream: to reach rap stardom. She believes in it with as much certainty as a heart can hold.Bri’s memory of her late father—a legendary underground rapper who was shot dead by a rival gang when Bri was 12 years old—has always been like shadows flitting at the corner of her eye, but Bri’s dream always brought his ghost to stand beside her. Bri held that hope in a desperate grip as her widowed mother, a drug addict eight years clean, ekes out a living on a church secretary salary, and her older brother drudges in a minimum-wage job after years of toil for his college degree. It’s what sustained Bri through the phases of dark, until the return to light. A career in rap could turn the tide of her family’s life. There would be no more gray sift of days where they had to choose between electricity and gas, no more diligent waiting for the dreary future to trickle forth.Bri is also one of the few black students who attend an arts school. Following an incident where she is violently targeted by a security guard, determination burns out Bri’s gathering hurt and lyrics burns bright as tinder in her mind, illuminating the dark corners. Bri speaks of her growing frustration with being discriminated against for being black, of her incontinent ambition, of her family’s grinding financial situation and how her chest is weary from carrying all this repeated hope and disappointment, and the words expanded until they blotted out all else.Bri's song soon goes viral and it was like flying into a tornado. The public wrings out real meaning from her lyrics and assigns it their own. They brand Bri a dangerous, angry black girl and a “hoodlum”—a word like a wall and Bri runs against it and can go no further. Bri’s disgrace is encouragement, lowering her enough that everyone dares to reach up, including her father’s sleazy old manager who insists Bri caters to the false image they painted of her in order to make more money. “You know what white kids in the suburbs love? Listening to shit that scares their parents,” he tells her. “You scare the hell outta their folks, they’ll flock to you like birds.”But Bri's strength and resolution run deep. The trek is arduous but the world's wonders are unrolled like a rug before her, and the future is hers for the taking. Gift. One word, one syllable. I don’t know if it rhymes with anything because it’s a word I never thought could be used when it comes to me. Don’t let the charming exterior dupe you—step into this book and it will step into you.On the Come Up is the kind of story that drags you down so deep that you’re underneath thought, engulfed in a place of pure feeling. It’s a powerful tale—by turns tender and attentive, unyielding and sharp. It made me laugh. It made me crushingly sad. It made me feel like something was growing inside me, like the words were sinking into me and expanding in my chest and it all wanted to spill out in waves of music and silver light.Angie Thomas rolls up her sleeves and tackles Bri’s story with heady mirth. On the Come Up glitters with life, and its conversational, yet profound tone is warm and magnetic when it isn't quietly devastating, and raw as a wound.There’s a prodigious sense of hard, spare wanting in this book that fairly leaps off the page. Bri’s passion is a welter of flame. Just as she is unstoppable and relentless for the ones she loves, she embodies that with her love for rap. She spoke her dream and promptly sealed into the world and woe betide anyone who stands in her way. Her lyrics dug at my bones and made chills shiver across my skin. I absolutely loved Bri’s character. She is always running ahead, never looking to see if she is going to fall—the girl who dances on the trapeze without a net, too young to always know how to keep herself on an even keel. But Bri is a whole character and Angie keeps her struggles energized and absorbing that you can almost feel it in your blood as well: that iron weight Bri had borne so long, that certain recklessness of temper, nourished by the rough world in which she found herself, which had burst thrillingly to steely determination. It was equally harrowing and thrilling to know that Bri was standing at the precipice of something new and it felt like a gift and a privilege to embark with her on this sublime campaign of life-perfecting. “So, who are you?” “What?” “Who are you?” she repeats. “Of the millions and billions of people in the world, you’re the only person who can answer that. Not people online or at your school. I can’t even answer that. I can say who I think you are.” She cups my cheek. “And I think you’re brilliant, talented, courageous, beautiful. You’re my miracle. But you’re the only one who can say who you are with authority. So, who are you?” But even more than that, the novel's strength lies in how it succeeds in being both a delightful romp through teenagedom, packed with charisma, firecracker dialogue and well-crafted characters, while also being a bold and illuminating commentary on racism, prejudice, double standards and homophobia. It’s a difficult feat that marks Angie Thomas as a remarkable author to keep your eyes on. On the Come up is set in the same universe as The Hate U Give and the memory of THUG’s tragic events are emblazoned on this book’s pages. Although Starr’s and Bri’s lives could not be any more disparate, the book highlights how discrimination and racism touches them with the same hand, and how it is a constant feature in the lives of the American black community no matter what their socio-economic standing is. I'm excited to see the conversations this book evokes!But On the Come Up isn’t all grim. The novel loosens the chokehold of anger and frustration on the reader’s soul by making space for moments of comfort and vicarious happiness. It’s imbued with hope like a small, mad flame flaring in a dark place as the characters learn to lift their arms to hold up their world. I loved Bri’s friendship with Sonny and Malik, and how, despite the occasional quarrel and misunderstanding, they were always supportive of each other. The current of love and hurt and dwindling resentments flowing between Bri and her family also struck me with a deep poignancy.But what sang to me the most is the message that’s wedged deep inside the novel’s heart: Your voice matters. You don’t have to bend in order to fit the world’s mold. You don’t have to omit pieces of yourself to ensure someone else’s comfort. You don’t have to stifle your opinion. You don’t have to back-pedal and soften it up to cater to someone else’s measure. Be wonderfully passionate about what’s right. You will draw hatred and animosity no matter what you do, so you might as well make a stand and make it count for something. You’ll never silence me and you’ll never kill my dream, Just recognize when you say brilliant that you’re also saying Bri. On the Come Up is equal parts heartrending, insightful, and charming, and as long as Angie Thomas continues to work her marvelous magic, she’ll always have a reader in me!BLOG | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | TUMBLR
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  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    Aunt Pooh said I only get one chance to let everybody and their momma know who I am. So I take it. How do you follow a book like The Hate U Give? Reading THUG, I got the impression that I was experiencing something momentous. It was breathtaking. Important. I was witnessing a person using their art to say loud and clear “ENOUGH.” On the Come Up looks at some of the same things, but it is a different kind of book. I think, however, it is a book which shows that Thomas is a great writer, not just Aunt Pooh said I only get one chance to let everybody and their momma know who I am. So I take it. How do you follow a book like The Hate U Give? Reading THUG, I got the impression that I was experiencing something momentous. It was breathtaking. Important. I was witnessing a person using their art to say loud and clear “ENOUGH.” On the Come Up looks at some of the same things, but it is a different kind of book. I think, however, it is a book which shows that Thomas is a great writer, not just someone who can ride the wave of an important issue.Overall, people will probably like this book less than the author's debut. I've already seen some (understandable) comments about how Bri was a tough character to like compared with Starr. And it's true. Starr is a much easier character to like. She's a clear victim of a screwed-up system; clearly in the right for the whole book. She has very basic easy-to-relate-to relationships with her parents and friends and we are never asked to sympathize with hard-to-like characters. Bri is much more complex.For me, though, she was a far more interesting character than Starr. Her story may not make quite the same impact - being largely about hip hop rather than police shootings - but she herself felt like such an authentic teen voice. She's angry, resentful, impulsive, and outright rude at times. She gets into fights and doesn't play nice. She has a difficult relationship with pretty much everyone in the book. She pushes her family and supporters away, but believes she is doing it to get “on the come up” for them. She considers giving up important parts of herself for a shot at fame and fortune.I can see why some people won't like her, but I actually kinda loved her.I felt every bit of her pain and anger as she watches her family scrape together to try to pay the bills, watches her aunt buried deep in the world of drug dealing, watches security at her school targeting black and Latinx students for searches, watches male rappers make sexist jokes or erase her name and voice because she is a girl. And I loved how she turns to hip hop to make sense of her feelings, finding rhymes in her everyday life and spinning clever verses in her head.As someone who finds books about music a bit hit and miss, I have to say this one was a definite hit. I would have welcomed even more rap. You can tell the author used to be a rapper because Bri's songs are genuinely very good. I'd love to hear them recorded. I also love how she addresses sexism and double standards in the hip hop industry, and points out the ludicrous hypocrisy of a white journalist, who is against gun controls, fearing for her children because of the guns mentioned in rap lyrics. I think this is a great contemporary. A mix of music, family dynamics, fun dialogue, social media and activism, with a protagonist who is moody and difficult and everything I love to read about. I can't wait to see what Thomas writes next.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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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
    [4.5🌟]This book was pretty fuckin phenomenal. I wasn't sure how THUG could be topped, but Angie Thomas did that!I fell in love with this story, with Brianna, her friends and family and her love for music. All those aspects were pretty much nailed and I couldn't get enough once I started reading. I'm really liking how Angie Thomas incorporates themes regarding social justice in her stories in order for us to get to know how some black communities are living and opening our eyes to it all. It's ra [4.5🌟]This book was pretty fuckin phenomenal. I wasn't sure how THUG could be topped, but Angie Thomas did that!I fell in love with this story, with Brianna, her friends and family and her love for music. All those aspects were pretty much nailed and I couldn't get enough once I started reading. I'm really liking how Angie Thomas incorporates themes regarding social justice in her stories in order for us to get to know how some black communities are living and opening our eyes to it all. It's raw and real and spoken about so well and I want more. So much more!I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Auto-buy author for sure!Also this is going to become a movie?! Lord, it's gonna be good! --------------------It's haaappening! Buddy-reading with my babygirl Türkan! -----------------I cannot WAIT for this. Cover love. Blurb obsessed!! Angie Thomas is so deserving of the success she's been getting for THUG! Gimme! 😍
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  • Lola
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my, oh my, oh my. This was INTENSE. I have no doubt a movie will be produced. Otherwise, BIG MISTAKE because this is something the world needs and I just really want to see a teen movie with a rap battle + romance + family drama + diverse characters + fierce social involvement. Because YES.
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  • kat
    January 1, 1970
    listen up folks, angie thomas has done it again
  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    While I didn't enjoy the plot of this one quite as much as I enjoyed the plot of the Hate U Give, this book was still soOoOoOoOo GOOD. Angie Thomas' writing perfectly fits the YA genre and we are truly blessed to be living in the same lifetime as her. SO DAMN GOOD.TW: racism, drug dealing, gun violence
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    This was everything. I loved it completely. RTC! <3 Kael's ReviewBlog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | TwitchBuddy Read with Krystal! ❤
  • Hannah Greendale
    January 1, 1970
    Going to keep this review short because everyone and their rap-loving aunt is going to read and review this book. And, cutting right to the chase, because everyone wants to know how On the Come Up measures up to The Hate U Give, so let me be straight: They're different books. THUG is about a girl, a victim, being shuffled along by something much bigger than her - a socio-political movement hundreds of years in the making. Starr Carter is a quiet girl, a good girl, who tries to keep to herself an Going to keep this review short because everyone and their rap-loving aunt is going to read and review this book. And, cutting right to the chase, because everyone wants to know how On the Come Up measures up to The Hate U Give, so let me be straight: They're different books. THUG is about a girl, a victim, being shuffled along by something much bigger than her - a socio-political movement hundreds of years in the making. Starr Carter is a quiet girl, a good girl, who tries to keep to herself and waits until pretty late in the game to find her voice. That's not Bri. She's anything but quiet. This is her story. Action is driven, not by exterior forces, but by the choices she makes. On the Come Up is an intimate, interpersonal, tight narrative focused on one girl and the consequences of her actions in pursuit of her dream. Bri is flawed, driven, relatable. Her story is inner-city life, hip-hop, self-discovery and self-image rolled into one. THUG is about external conflict. OTCU is about internal conflict. They're different books, but they're both written by a gifted author who boldly explores themes of systemic racism, racial inequality, social injustice, and gang violence and who excels at crafting authentic voice and believable characters. Milez glares at me as he raps. Something about how much money he has, how many girls like him, his clothes, his jewelry, the ganster life he's living. Repetitive. Stale. Prewritten. I gotta go for the kill. Here I am, going at him as if I don't have any manners. Manners. A lot of words rhyme with that if I deliver them right. Cameras. Rappers. Pamper. Hammer - MC Hammer. Vanilla Ice. Hip-hop heads consider them pop stars, not real rappers. I can compare him to them. I gotta get my signature line in there - you can only spell "brilliant" with Bri. Aunt Pooh once pointed that out right before teasing me about being such a perfectionist. [. . .]Milez lowers the mic. There are a couple of cheers. Supreme claps, yet his face is hard. "Okay, I see you, Milez!" Hype says. "Bri, you better bring the heat!" The instrumental starts up again. Aunt Pooh said I only get one chance to let everybody and their momma know who I am. So I take it.
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  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    January 1, 1970
    I ACTUALLY CANNOT DEAL WITH HOW GOOD THIS WAS.
  • Lilith Black
    January 1, 1970
    DISCLAIMERI get that some people might not see some of my words with good eyes, but these are the things that this book made me think about. So please, respect my opinion. It's against no one, but if you have a different opinion than mine, or you totally disagree with my thoughts, feel free to say your opinion. I will respect it, no matter what.When I found out about this book, I think it was a couple of months ago or something like that. Obviously, I wanted to read this one too after I loved "T DISCLAIMERI get that some people might not see some of my words with good eyes, but these are the things that this book made me think about. So please, respect my opinion. It's against no one, but if you have a different opinion than mine, or you totally disagree with my thoughts, feel free to say your opinion. I will respect it, no matter what.When I found out about this book, I think it was a couple of months ago or something like that. Obviously, I wanted to read this one too after I loved "The Hate U Give". I was wondering what new story Angie will give us this time. I didn't want to know anything about this book, so I just got blind on it, knowing that the chance to not like it was almost inexistent.The way she puts on the paper problems like racism, drugs, poverty, police brutality against black people, and other things like this, is outstanding. She gets us to understand why black people are doing some things, how they think, why they react in the way they do it to the most atrocities against them. In this masterpiece, she shows us that black people have feelings too, even if they are drug dealers, rap artists or gang members. They are humans with feelings, with dreams, with expectations, just like the rest of us. True, they may have more "balls" than the rest of us, sometimes, but this doesn't mean they have to be put in the corner just because their skin color is not white.This is a brilliant insight into their lives, their minds, and their hearts. They can cry and love and hope, just like the rest of us. And you know what? We also can be drug dealers, gang members and what other bad things we put them on the corner for, just like them. Sometimes even with more "talent" than them. But you know what we can't really do like them? We can't really stick to our family like them. Because black people, no matter what, they stick and support their families, exactly how Angie shows us in her book. We can say about us, white people, the same thing? Yes, there are white people like this too, a lot of them, but the big majority can easily leave their family behind for various reasons. And about this, we, white people that can so easily judge black ones, and put them in the corner even for the thing that they speak their mind, I think we have some things to learn from them. The only thing that separates us, is just the skin color. This is all! And Angie Thomas shows this to us in one of the most beautiful and brilliant ways. I am waiting for her next book, the way I am waiting to have my next breath when I am underwater.
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  • R.K. Gold
    January 1, 1970
    Honestly trying to give this book 6/5 stars. I love how it was completely different from THUG while taking place in the same neighborhood.You can tell Angie Thomas is a true student of all writing, breaking down syntax, rhyme scheme, diction and all other aspects of language throughout the story.Each character had a very clear conflict for the reader to follow so no point felt like it was convenient or forced to keep the story moving forward.I also loved how it ended with an over emphasized less Honestly trying to give this book 6/5 stars. I love how it was completely different from THUG while taking place in the same neighborhood.You can tell Angie Thomas is a true student of all writing, breaking down syntax, rhyme scheme, diction and all other aspects of language throughout the story.Each character had a very clear conflict for the reader to follow so no point felt like it was convenient or forced to keep the story moving forward.I also loved how it ended with an over emphasized lesson in clear Neon Lights telling readers “in case you can’t tell authenticity > everything”
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  • Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
    January 1, 1970
    I’m going to be bold about this and say that I loved this more than THUG. Angie Thomas had a hard act to follow, but this was spot on in every possible way.
  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    ANGIE THOMAS!!!I am so in love with your words.Damn, she's good.This story follows, Bri Jackson, who also lives in Garden Heights like Starr from THUG. But that is pretty much where the similarities end.Bri lives with her mother and her older brother. Her father, a once successful rapper, was gunned down in the streets, a victim of gang violence. Bri's mother is a recovering addict who is doing her best to be able to provide for her children alone.Bri has plans to follow in her father's footstep ANGIE THOMAS!!!I am so in love with your words.Damn, she's good.This story follows, Bri Jackson, who also lives in Garden Heights like Starr from THUG. But that is pretty much where the similarities end.Bri lives with her mother and her older brother. Her father, a once successful rapper, was gunned down in the streets, a victim of gang violence. Bri's mother is a recovering addict who is doing her best to be able to provide for her children alone.Bri has plans to follow in her father's footsteps but she definitely wants to do it her own way and struggles to find her identity apart from him. She is a super talented rapper and spends most of her time thinking of rhymes and putting together lyrics. She is singularly focused on finding success in order to better the living conditions of herself and her family. To make them 'good'.Bri is a great kid but she does have a short fuse. She puts a lot of pressure on herself and I enjoyed getting some insight into her thought process and how she sees the world around her. There is always something that seems to be going wrong in her world. It's tough. Troubles at school, troubles with bills, being behind in rent and she feels compelled to do something to make it different.I loved this story. The incorporation of Bri's lyrics gave the story such depth. I loved that angle, seeing her try to make it and channel her talents for good. Learning to stand her ground and be true to herself. I love stories with music or musicians and this one utilized that trope so well.I have read some reviews where readers commented on not enjoying this story as much as THUG. That doesn't surprise me at all but for me, I sort of feel the opposite. I think I actually enjoyed this one more. While Bri, as a character, may seem contentious, to me, she was perfect.As a 16-year old, many aspects of your life can be extremely frustrating. You can feel like you aren't being heard, like your desires are pushed aside or seen as not important, and that may cause you to act out in socially unacceptable ways. I get that. Bri was struggling with some heavy shit and she let it get the best of her sometimes but that happens when you are a kid.I liked how this book focused on a variety of hard-hitting issues that can often be brushed over or ignored. The reality of living in poverty is something that millions of Americans, and people around the world, deal with on a daily basis, and while it isn't pretty, it is important to shine light on and discuss.Examples: the fact that Bri's mom was a recovering addict. The fact of the limits that places on her options to provide for her family. The way Bri, and other black and brown kids, were treated at her school. The lifestyle Bri's aunt lives and how that affects her entire family. Bri's brother's options for a job after college. All of these things are tough issues. I appreciated how much substance Thomas put into this. This was far from a one issue story. This was the whole cake and I was eating every bite!I can see why this format may not sit well with everyone. It punches the whole way through but it is an exceptionally told story. Thomas is a true wordsmith. Her writing leaps off the page with realness...is that a word? Realness? You know what I'm saying. As you can tell, I loved this. I want everyone to read it and seriously, I am on the EDGE of my seat until Angie Thomas puts out another book. I am really hoping for another story set in Garden Heights!!!
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  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    Well we all knew the Queen of YA would gift us with another incredible story...so brb, just feeling so many things about this one. I also really love Angie Thomas' style, her voice, and her passion and love that you can absolutely feel in every single page of the book. This one is about rapping and being poor and figuring out who you are, no matter what the world is saying or where it's telling you that you fit. It's not quite as dark as The Hate U Give, but that doesn't make it any less powerfu Well we all knew the Queen of YA would gift us with another incredible story...so brb, just feeling so many things about this one. I also really love Angie Thomas' style, her voice, and her passion and love that you can absolutely feel in every single page of the book. This one is about rapping and being poor and figuring out who you are, no matter what the world is saying or where it's telling you that you fit. It's not quite as dark as The Hate U Give, but that doesn't make it any less powerful or needed! (I maybe liked THUG more, but I also don't want to compare them, because they're different!) ➸ So first things first: rapping.Bri's #1 dream is to be a rapper and she's pretty downright good at it. But she writes a song that gets misconstrued and her career sort of snowballs from there. Now, I know zero about rapping ok. So I wont' pretend to have an opinion on this except (1) there are some powerful lyrics going on in this book, (2) I cannot frikkin' wait for the movie version, and (3) I believe Angie Thomas herself is a rapper, so I can imagine a lot of talent and love went into this part of the story! There were a lot of volleying opinions about Bri's rap too: like her family was not happy about her talking about guns and defiance, but Bri was writing about what the world expected her to be anyway.➸Also can we just appreciate Bri for a second???She's amazing. She is a geek (and SO TIRED of how most people in her neighbourhood have zero clue what any of her geek culture references are) and she's so protective and loving towards her little messed up family. I mean they're massively struggling. They're super poor (to the point of sometimes there is no food), her mum is struggling to get a job because of her past addictions, Bri's dad got murdered when she was little and she got abandoned by her mum who fell to drugs and took a long time to rebuild. But their family is EPIC and tight and the banter and dialogue is my favourite thing. A+++ to how Angie Thomas always gives us such epic families!! Trey is such a big brother sweetheart with a tough side, and her mum is badass as well as being vulnerable.And Bri has a whip-sharp temper and she's so passionate. I loved this about her. But of course this lands her with the labels of being "that sassy black girl" (which she is furious to be stereotyped) and being aggressive...just for having an opinion. She's definitely not perfect of course. She's 16 and she doesn't know everything and she makes crappy decisions. I really felt for her afjdslkafd. And omg I love her friend squad!! So we have Bri and her two besties, Sonny (who is gay and an artist) and Malik (who loves film and Bri has a Secret Crush on him but that goes...badly lolol). They've been friends since forever, but they're all changing, and I just loved their dynamics. They joke and they fight and I just wanted them to be good !!! friendships get me every time in books. The BEST.➸ Also the romance was so smol but so cute.It was definitely a tiny sidedish of the story, but I loved it! And it was a budding romance, so it was cute to see it unfurl amongst the other messes happening for Bri.➸ The themes are so so good for this too.I mean, but of course. This book has arrived to talk, and it's talking loudly. It unpacks racial profiling and prejudice, it talks about what it really means to be poor, and it talks about defining yourself even though others try to do it for you. There's also a lot of talk about consequences here...ahhh, they often hurt. I'm not American or black, so I definitely want to step back and not pretend to know everything about how Bri felt with living in the hood and struggling with hating stereotypes but wanting to be herself and speak out. I just wanted to quietly read this and absorb it from an #ownvoices author.➸ Also the writing?! YES.Dude, I laughed out loud. And I felt all twisted up with anxious nerves. Like, again it wasn't as dark as THUG, so I didn't feel wrecked reading it. But the emotion was palpable. And some of the lines just totally cracked me up. Also it felt like the 450 page book just swished by so fast?! The book is addictive and Bri's voice is so easy to love.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...)
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  • Hamad
    January 1, 1970
    This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription“There’s only so much you can take being described as somebody you’re not.” 🌟 If Angie Thomas taught me something is that I should use my voice if I have one and I am going to do exactly that. If you think you will be offended by this review or by this not being my favorite book of the year then don’t continue this review!🌟 A thing I have noticed lately is that it is always a bit harder to view diverse books. For me p This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription“There’s only so much you can take being described as somebody you’re not.” 🌟 If Angie Thomas taught me something is that I should use my voice if I have one and I am going to do exactly that. If you think you will be offended by this review or by this not being my favorite book of the year then don’t continue this review!🌟 A thing I have noticed lately is that it is always a bit harder to view diverse books. For me personally I am going to be fair to a book regardless of who wrote it and just because a book is diverse does not make it good.🌟 I loved THUG and I got both an E-book and a hardcover of that book, so you bet I was excited for this. Unfortunately it did not live to the hype for me! I know writing a second book can be harder than the first one specially when it gets the recognition that Angie’s debut got (A 100 weeks as a NYT Bestseller and most as #1, that’s just crazy awesome).🌟 I felt that the writing in this one was mediocre, I did not have that feeling of wanting to read the book non-stop. I am also starting to get annoyed by the HP references in many YA books. I used to enjoy them but now they are kind of a bookish pet peeve for me in writing. I know many authors were affected by that series but I think of them as a shortcut to being relatable which annoys me.🌟 I am not the biggest fan of Hip-Hop so I knew I won’t relate as other readers. That being said I expected it to be more enjoyable. I did not know where the story was going. I felt like it is a milder version of THUG ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .🌟 I also did not have that connection to the characters as I did in THUG. There was no emotions on my part while reading this. I was annoyed by Bri’s actions. I like when YA characters act their ages and are stupid and do things wrong. But Bri’s insisting on being an outlaw was bothersome.🌟 Summary: I ma have had higher expectation from the book which resulted in my being disappointed. The book was not bad but was no where as good as THUG for me personally. The characters, writing and plot were just too meh for my taste. I can’t believe I am saying this but this is a book that I think will be better as a movie!
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  • Angelica
    January 1, 1970
    Angie Thomas can do no wrong. That much has been made obvious in this book.I loved Bri and her personality and watching her overcome her struggles, and just the whole book in general.I don't know how Angie Thomas can put so much personality into her characters. Even the side characters have so much to them. They are so real, so interesting to read about. Each character is so well defined in their background and personality. What's even better is the relationships they have with one another.Angie Angie Thomas can do no wrong. That much has been made obvious in this book.I loved Bri and her personality and watching her overcome her struggles, and just the whole book in general.I don't know how Angie Thomas can put so much personality into her characters. Even the side characters have so much to them. They are so real, so interesting to read about. Each character is so well defined in their background and personality. What's even better is the relationships they have with one another.Angie Thomas is a master at writing character relationships. Especially complicated family relationships. It was the family aspect of The Hate U Give that really made the novel, how their love for one another was the foundation of Starr's story and moral backbone. The family dynamic here isn't simple and it isn't perfect. And yet, these people belong together so much. They love each other so much and it was so beautiful to read.I will say though, while I did rate The Hate U Give higher than this one, I think Bri is a far more memorable, complex and interesting character.This and other reviews can be found on my my blog The Book Cover Girl Follow Me Here Too: My Blog || Twitter || Bloglovin' || Instagram || Tumblr || Pinterest
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  • Nenia ☠️ Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Protector of Out of Print Gems, Mother of Smut, and Actual Garbage Can ☠️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestSo apparently giving supporting details about your arguments = spoilers. I thought I was pretty vague, apart from mentioning a few potentially triggering situations, but just in case: I talk about the book in this review of the book(!), please consider yourself warned. I've been looking forward to ON THE COME UP ever since I heard that Angie Thomas was writing a new book. THE HATE U GIVE was one of those life-changing books for me, in that Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestSo apparently giving supporting details about your arguments = spoilers. I thought I was pretty vague, apart from mentioning a few potentially triggering situations, but just in case: I talk about the book in this review of the book(!), please consider yourself warned. I've been looking forward to ON THE COME UP ever since I heard that Angie Thomas was writing a new book. THE HATE U GIVE was one of those life-changing books for me, in that it was a pitch-perfect book that came out at a time when the subject material was relevant and necessary, and delivered an emotionally-charged story about institutionalized racism, as well as the importance of movements like Black Lives Matter that shine a much-needed spotlight on racial injustice.ON THE COME UP is a similar story in that it also features a girl in Garden Heights who comes from a low-income family and deals with gang violence and gang activity on a day-to-day basis. Bri's mother is a recovering drug addict and her aunt is in the local gang, the Garden Disciples. Her father was a famous up-and-coming rapper who was murdered. People make assumptions about her just because of the color of her skin and where she comes from, and a racially-targeted bag search that ends in violence inspires Bri to write a rap song that ends up going viral.I really wanted to like this book, but it didn't have the same strength in writing that THE HATE U GIVE had. Starr was a compelling protagonist and it was a really emotional read. ON THE COME UP was emotionally distant, by comparison, and Bri was such an awful heroine. She made one terrible choice after another and treated her friends and family like garbage. I hated the way she talked to her mother, and how she called her mother by her first name with such a lack of respect. I hated the way she treated her friend, and how she made a move on her taken friend who was in a relationship. She also wrote a song with very vivid references to gang activity, which is fine, but then she tried to deny that that wasn't what the song was about when she was called on it. Um, what?Here's the thing, ON THE COME UP was trying to tackle some weighty issues just like THE HATE U GIVE did. This book was about the hypocrisy of white people when it comes to guns (OK when white people have them, thuggish and scary when black people have them), cultural appropriation (white people listening to and consuming rap but not wanting to think about the deeper issues and sociocultural suffering and struggles endemic to the black community due to oppression and injustice), and, of course, institutionalized racism leading to the disenfranchisement, abuse, and even murders of black people over infractions that white people would get minor consequences for.The issue with Bri and her school was not resolved in a satisfactory way. They gave her mother a job, sure, but that felt more like they were trying to buy the family's silence and not a moral turnaround. Bri didn't really advance as a character. She ran around doing and saying whatever she wanted and didn't want to take ownership for her actions or the consequences of her actions. At the end of the book, she's basically rewarded for acting like a total shit because of her raps, and the other problematic aspects of her behavior - getting involved in gang wars, siccing her aunt on a rival gang member despite knowing it could end up in murder, failing in school and treating her tests like they're unimportant, ghosting her friends and/or snapping in their faces, and bitching at her mom - are all basically ignored, because oh, she belatedly became part of a movement and then capitalized on it for financial gain and fame, isn't she a good person? Lmao, her friends basically did all the work getting that movement started, and in the beginning she treated them like trash for it. What in the ever-loving heck? Am I supposed to root for this girl? I mean, I get the fear of wanting to get involved against the same authority figures that oppress you and mistreat you, but letting her friends take the fall for her and then jumping on their shit was totally disgusting and I hated her for it. The writing in this book was a real step-down from THE HATE U GIVE, and seemed unpolished and clunky in comparison. Starr was such a great character, and I loved her so much. Bri was a brat, and the best moment in this book was when her mother gives her a real dressing down over her behavior. #TeamJayHonestly, Jay(da) was the star of this book. I loved Bri's mom. She had so much to deal with, and some of her quotes in this book about racism and police brutality and inequality really reminded me of Starr. I almost wish that this was an adult book about parenting and that Jay(da) had been the heroine, because I was much more interested in hearing about her story than Bri's. Yes, the raps were great and had good flow, and I enjoyed them, but I hated that Bri wrote them because I hated Bri. Jay had to deal with lingering biases over her drug use (including her own daughter), despite being eight years sober. She's in college trying to better her education so she can get a good job, while taking care of two kids and dealing with her deceased husband's younger sister, who's a leader in a gang. The most emotional parts in this book all involved her, especially when she goes to Bri's school to speak up about the racist treatment of her ungrateful shit of a daughter. That packed a punch.Huge disappointment. I was wondering why more of my friends hadn't reviewed this book already and I'm guessing maybe they either didn't like it and didn't want to say so, or they were leery about reading the follow-up book from a successful debut author without reading advance reviews. Well, I didn't like this book and I'm flummoxed at the people saying that this was better than THUG. It really wasn't. If anything, this reads like a debut novel, because of how unsteady it is on its own two legs.I'm so bummed that I can't say great things about ON THE COME UP. :/2 stars
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  • Christy
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars! Angie Thomas' debut novel 'The Hate You Give' blew me away. I hate to compare it to this, because they are totally different stories, but I couldn't help myself. For me, this was good, but not near as good as THUG. Angie Thomas is an amazing writer and there was lots I loved about this book, but there were also things that missed the mark a bit. Bri is a teenager and an aspiring rapper. She wants to make it big not only because she is talented and wants to be famous etc, but because s 3.5 stars! Angie Thomas' debut novel 'The Hate You Give' blew me away. I hate to compare it to this, because they are totally different stories, but I couldn't help myself. For me, this was good, but not near as good as THUG. Angie Thomas is an amazing writer and there was lots I loved about this book, but there were also things that missed the mark a bit. Bri is a teenager and an aspiring rapper. She wants to make it big not only because she is talented and wants to be famous etc, but because she wants to help support her family. Times are hard, and now that her mom lost her job they're even harder. Bri feels a lot of pressure. Most of it she puts on herself, but her life is far from easy. I could sympathize with Bri. Growing up in poverty is not easy and I understood why she made a lot of the choices she made. While on the come up, Bri has a lot of hard choices to make. There are people that want to take advantage, to use her to get ahead themselves. She finds out really fast who she can trust and that people will see you the way you portray. This was a tough lesson for her to learn. “There's only so much you can take being described as somebody you're not.” There were so many great moments in this book and characters I loved. Bri's mom was probably my favorite. Jay had been through so much and overcame so much. She was genuine and only wanted what was best for her kids. I also loved Bri's brother and friends. This is one of those books, like THUG, I could see on the big screen. Overall, I did enjoy this one. There was no huge thing that was wrong with it, it just didn't hit me like THUG did. It was still a worthy read and I'm glad I read it. It had emotion, humor, and a good message. Also, the audio book was excellent. Bahni Turpin (the narrator) killed it. If you're going to read it, I would highly recommend listening!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Damn, I loved this book! The Hate U Give was one of my favorite reads in 2017 and it looks like On the Come Up is going to make my 2019 list. Angie Thomas absolutely nails "voice" and "characterization " in her storytelling and in 16 year old Brianna, an aspiring rapper, she creates a protagonist that I was cheering for from page one. That's what we call our goal, the come up. It's when we finally make it with this rap stuff. I'm talking get-out-of-the-Garden-and-have-enough-money-to-never-wo Damn, I loved this book! The Hate U Give was one of my favorite reads in 2017 and it looks like On the Come Up is going to make my 2019 list. Angie Thomas absolutely nails "voice" and "characterization " in her storytelling and in 16 year old Brianna, an aspiring rapper, she creates a protagonist that I was cheering for from page one. That's what we call our goal, the come up. It's when we finally make it with this rap stuff. I'm talking get-out-of-the-Garden-and-have-enough-money-to-never-worry-again make it. This will most likely not be a shock to anyone but I don't know a lot about the hip hop industry and the only time I really listen to rap music is when one of my high school students plays it during basketball in the gymnasium. But Angie Thomas was a teenage rapper at one time and the way this story unfolds certainly makes me wonder how much of the story is her actual story. So many characters remind Brianna to be true to herself, but I liked how Thomas really flicks the microscope on the industry, its artists, and social media.Another clear winner for me is that there are so many types of relationships in this story. Brianna and her mother, Jayda. The tight sibling relationship between Brianna and her big brother, Trey. Probably one of my all time favorite characters was Brianna's Aunt Pooh( Katricia), a member of a local gang who has always been Brianna's chief cheerleader when it comes to her music. So many characters and even though Brianna is the main lead, as a readerI felt really get to know so much about each of them and a sense of their importance in Brianna's life. There are just so many incredible scenes of dialogue between Brianna and the other characters. Without spoiling too much, there is this incredible scene between Jayda and her sister Katricia that still gets me a bit misty eyed.Like The Hate U Give Thomas also looks at racism in our society. Brianna's rap aspirations come head to head as she is dealing with something that happens at her school and in her home. When her fellow students use one of her songs in their peaceful protest, Brianna finds her identity struggles to now be interwoven with the music she writes. But I don't want people thinking that this book is just heavy because there is plenty of laughter to be found too. Especially between Brianna and her pals Malik and Sonny. Tweety Bird? The love of my life. Big Bird? I don't trust that ho. Plus, have you seen his nest? He probably hides bodies in it. But I guess Curtis is cute in the same way rodents are weirdly adorable. You know how you'll see a baby mouse and will be like "Aw, cute! Until that bitch is raiding your cabinet, eating the Halloween candy you hid from your little sisters. So I definitely loved this book. I certainly would recommend it to others. Even if you weren't a fan of The Hate U Give, give it a shot. Lastly, I would love to hear what other readers have thought and would appreciate a good discussion.
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  • Iara
    January 1, 1970
    ANOTHER NOVEL FROM THE AUTHOR BEHIND THE PHENOMENAL THE HATE U GIVE?SIGN ME UP.
  • Laurie Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    Angie is the best! I loved this book.
  • 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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  • destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
    January 1, 1970
    Why isn't this in my hands yet? *sob*
  • Azrah
    January 1, 1970
    To be honest I was afraid this book wouldn't live up to The Hate U Give. But it did and I loved every second of it. The audiobook was brilliant guys. No joke. The narrator did such a good job and her rapping was fire. I even had the tunes stuck in my head. This is a story about a girl with a dream to be a rapper. But living in Garden Heights is not easy and becoming successful enough to leave the Heights is even harder. I thought this was just going to be about Bri becoming a rapper and the rap/ To be honest I was afraid this book wouldn't live up to The Hate U Give. But it did and I loved every second of it. The audiobook was brilliant guys. No joke. The narrator did such a good job and her rapping was fire. I even had the tunes stuck in my head. This is a story about a girl with a dream to be a rapper. But living in Garden Heights is not easy and becoming successful enough to leave the Heights is even harder. I thought this was just going to be about Bri becoming a rapper and the rap/ Hip Hop culture. It was so much more. On the Come Up tackled many topics: police brutality, prejudice, misconceptions, poverty etc..The flow of the writing was perfection and I lived for the normal moments in Bri's life. Her time spent with her family and friends was so authentic. Angie really knows how to create characters that you immediately relate to, connect with and are sad to let go of when you finish the book. I'm so glad the film rights to this book has been sold. I think it will be a great book to adapt.I'm just so happy with this book and it's message. I know this is probably a crappy review, but it's late and I'm tired. ✨____Pre-readSo I heard that this book is set in Garden Heights, the same place as THUG. WHY WAS I NOT AWARE OF THIS?? WILL THERE BE THE HATE U GIVE CAMEOS? AND I heard that this book is best in audio because the narrator's rapping is on point 👌 dear lord I need to read this soon. ______February 25th, 2018iAMREADYFOR THIS
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  • ✨ jamieson ✨
    January 1, 1970
    THAT IS A COVER AND A FUCKING HALF. LOVE ITCan't wait for this Queen Angie can do no wrong
  • Trina (Between Chapters)
    January 1, 1970
    So good! I had Bri's songs stuck in my head the whole time I was reading this. Loved how this unpacks the "angry Black woman" stereotype through Bri's school experience and music. Audiobook review: Narration is great. It's the same voice actor who did Children of Blood and Bone for reference. There is some yelling, which is always a pet peeve of mine for volume control, but I'd still recommend the audio!tw: racial profiling, gangs/gang wars, drug dealing, addiction (character is recovered, but t So good! I had Bri's songs stuck in my head the whole time I was reading this. Loved how this unpacks the "angry Black woman" stereotype through Bri's school experience and music. Audiobook review: Narration is great. It's the same voice actor who did Children of Blood and Bone for reference. There is some yelling, which is always a pet peeve of mine for volume control, but I'd still recommend the audio!tw: racial profiling, gangs/gang wars, drug dealing, addiction (character is recovered, but there are references and flashbacks to when she was using), death of parent (in the past but referred to often)
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    I devoured this book in a single day - that's how good it was! Angie Thomas has a magnificent way of writing characters you truly connect with and i was so invested in how things turned out for Bri.
  • Jasmine from How Useful It Is
    January 1, 1970
    I started reading On the Come Up on 3/16/2019 and finished it on 3/28/2019 at 12:30am. This book is an excellent read! I love that it takes place in the same neighborhood as the author’s first book and the bits and pieces of the first book were mentioned on here. I can’t recall if Bri’s dad was mentioned in The Hate U Give since I read it awhile ago. The characters are likeable. I like Bri’s older brother, Trey. He’s such a caring brother and a good son. I like Bri’s friends Sonny and Malik, esp I started reading On the Come Up on 3/16/2019 and finished it on 3/28/2019 at 12:30am. This book is an excellent read! I love that it takes place in the same neighborhood as the author’s first book and the bits and pieces of the first book were mentioned on here. I can’t recall if Bri’s dad was mentioned in The Hate U Give since I read it awhile ago. The characters are likeable. I like Bri’s older brother, Trey. He’s such a caring brother and a good son. I like Bri’s friends Sonny and Malik, especially Sonny and his out of this world specific examples and cute love life. I like Bri’s mom, more on how she protects her kids. I’m disappointed in her when she retreats into her room like a turtle hiding inside its shell. Despite their hardship, Bri’s mom wants no free handouts from her in-laws and wants her daughter to experience her teen life without worrying about bills. I like learning little life lessons from reading books and books by this author definitely has them.This book is told in the first person point of view following Brianna (Bri) Jackson, 16 as she attends an ACT prep class with her best buddies Malik and Sonny. Bri isn’t worry about the ACT, instead she’s waiting for a phone call. She wants to take part in the Ring, a place to give wannabe rappers a chance to be heard through a battle. Bri’s father was a rapper, known as the underground King until he was killed and Bri’s mother is a recovering drug addict. Bri’s older brother Trey, 22 graduated with honors but have a hard time finding a job. Their home life is hard especially when Bri’s mom loses her job. All Bri wants is to make it big as a rapper to improve her family’s life, but with what little she has to rely on, there will for sure be challenges. This book is divided into 3 parts.On the Come Up is very well written and hard to put down. I enjoy reading this book almost as much as the author’s debut, though, her debut makes me laugh more. That competitiveness between Bri’s family on the UNO game and Michael Jackson Wii game is fun to read. I like the bit of romance and flirting though I thought Bri shouldn’t let his hands wander on their first kiss. I like when books are written in the first person point of view because it feels realistic. I like learning how Bri experience discrimination and racism being an African American, either going to a store or attending a school that has fewer students of the same race. It reminds me of why I often stay away from entering those stores with few customers because I don’t enjoy the sales associates’ eyes on my back either. Another winner from Angie Thomas and I highly recommend everyone to read this book!Pro: fast paced, page turner, couldn’t put down, rap music, poetry, family, friendship, diversity, humorCon: noneI rate it 5 stars!***Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from my local library and my opinions are honest.xoxo, Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details
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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    This was really good! I wasn't as big of a fan of this book as I was of The Hate U Give, but this book contains the same amazing writing and calling people out on their white privilege. The main character Bri lives in the same neighborhood as Starr from The Hate U Give (which is pretty cool). Bri wants to become the next best rap artist, and this is a story of her rise to fame, but it's also a drama about her family and all the hardships they have to deal with, mostly due to the color of their s This was really good! I wasn't as big of a fan of this book as I was of The Hate U Give, but this book contains the same amazing writing and calling people out on their white privilege. The main character Bri lives in the same neighborhood as Starr from The Hate U Give (which is pretty cool). Bri wants to become the next best rap artist, and this is a story of her rise to fame, but it's also a drama about her family and all the hardships they have to deal with, mostly due to the color of their skin. This book was very eye-opening to me in the same way The Hate U Give was, it pointed out some aspects of white privilege that I once again had never considered. Angie Thomas's writing is so freaking amazing. That is something that is obvious to me, even though I didn't absolutely love this story the way I did with her first book, there's no question in my mind that Angie Thomas is one of the best writers out there today. Her sense of humor is amazing and there were several moments in this book where I laughed out loud. I wasn't a huge fan of the rapping portion of this story. I'm actually a pretty big fan of some rap and R&B music, but I'm not a huge fan of freestyle rap. However, it was kind of fun reading Bri's verses that she would come up with, she is pretty clever. Overall, I really enjoyed this one and I will read everything Angie Thomas writes ever. This was one of my BOTM picks for February and this is the 3rd and final book I finished during the Contemporaryathon. :)
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