Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill.
But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral…for all the wrong reasons.
Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.
Insightful, unflinching, and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn’t always free.
buy it : amazon
I read this a few months ago, so these thots aren’t fresh.
I didn’t know what to expect reading this. I loved The Hate U Give and was pretty excited for the second. And I liked it.
It was just so chaotic. SO SO SO SO Much was going on.
I thought I’d love it more. Bri does not go to a prep school, she attends a regular high school. She’s not dating a white boy. That’s always great. Especially in a genre that loves interracial romances in their black books (that’s a personal dislike of mine lmao).
But halfway through, I just wasn’t into it! I say it all the time, I hate long books. Either they’re long for good reason (The Hate U Give was hella long, and hella good! Each part was necessary), or they’re just long and confusing (On The Come Up).
If this was a book JUST about a poor girl with dreams of becoming a rapper, it’d probably be way shorter. But it’s a book about a girl who wants to be a rapper, and like 94488033 other things. So when all those reviewers on Youtube said they couldn’t get into the book cause they don’t like hip hop, I was confused. Because this book isn’t JUST about rapping. Actually, after a couple pages I started skipping the scenes with rapping because I didn’t care.
There were so many other things going on, that her wanting to become a rapper became a side thing, and not a large part of the novel. It went from her wanting to become a rapper, to a story about gangs, poverty, security guards, and activism.
Which is fine. But all those ideas were introduced in the book and they don’t feel quite closed out. Like they’re big topics that deserve more attention, and that’s not gonna happen in one big book.
I don’t know. It was just WEIRD.
But one thing that kept me holding on when I wanted to close the book, was the pure passion I felt in Angie Thomas’ words. This is why I don’t really read books by white authors these days. Wow that…sounded blunt. They may write about characters who are black, but it’s not the same as reading a black author. This book came straight from Angie Thomas’ heart, and it definitely shows.
Bri’s story also felt very close to home, compared to Starr’s. If anything I related to Starr more than Bri, but I know more people who live like Bri than Starr. Yeah Bri’s dad died, but I know a ton of people who never knew their dad and only have a mother. And kids who only have the food they’re given at school. They deserve a story like this!
AND…at this point… in this year…during THIS current state of YA…this is super original and hasn’t been done before. So as much as I disliked the storyline, I respect the author for stepping out of the box and creating something YA needs.
Dang. I said the book is chaotic…so is this review.
Oh. YEAH. I read reviews that said Bri was rude to her mother, and called her by her first name. I didn’t have a problem with that. I thought she was justified in that. Like…she spent so many years with her mother not acting as a mother, I think referring to someone as mother is gained and not just given. Example : If my dad popped up in my life after years of not knowing him…I’d call him by his first name. Does that make sense? Anyone can have a kid, but not everyone is a father. yOU KNOW?
It was worth reading, and I’m still going to read Angie’s next book. I just think The Hate U Give, considering all of its success, was going to be hard to outdo. Not even from just a writing standpoint. From a social justice standpoint. I wonder if Angie feels like she has to write about social issues. Like I realize that when you’re writing black characters you can’t really shy away from social issues, because they are inherently apart of being black. But I wonder if she has any anxiety about writing happy go lucky, books. I wonder the same thing about Jordan Peele. Get Out was insanely successful, does that success dictate his future projectS? And what people are willing to invest in him for?
Follow Angie on twitter. She’s like the only YA author on there who isn’t messy, and when she talks shit, her writing can definitely back it up.