On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Also by this author: The Hate U Give, The Hate U Give
Published by Balzer + Bray
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, Audiobook
Reading Challenges: 2019 GoodReads
Source: Personal Collection
Add to: Goodreads
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. - via GoodReads
I adored The Hate U Give when I read it in 2017 and I knew that when On the Come Up by Angie Thomas was released that I would be buying and reading it as soon as I could. Angie Thomas knocked it out of the park again!
Bri was such a character! I really do feel like she was a tougher character than Starr from The Hate U Give. I was actually glad for this as it gave us a completely new story. While Thomas still does an amazing job telling Bri’s story, it is completely different and separate from The Hate U Give. In Bri’s struggle to survive, Thomas showed an entire new generation that you can come from a hard life and still come out on top and remain true to yourself.
Bri’s life has been far from easy. She’s dealt with more than most adults, myself included. She is so much stronger than most of the people I know. The amazing thing is that she doesn’t see it in herself. She thinks that it’s just what you have to do. I think that she also realizes that life isn’t fair and that there are others who most definitely have had it easier than she has. But Bri doesn’t get caught up in it. She just takes on more of the responsibility to make her own way and life better. Bri was an inspiration for a 34 year old woman. I can only imagine what her story will do for those who can identify with her more closely.
Bri has hopes and dreams but she wasn’t waiting around for someone to deliver them for her. Bri had more hustle and drive than a lot of full grown adults. I think one of the best things about young adult novels from an adult perspective is watching a teen figure their lives out. I think it gives us hope to see someone younger than us doing something. It reminds us of where we were and keeps us young at heart. If they can persevere in the face of bad odds and work for it then as a grown ass woman I should be able to as well.
I like reading Thomas’s work because I have grown up in and lived in small MidWest towns my entire life. Diversity in these towns has changed over time but it is nothing compared to a neighborhood in a big city. I like being able to expand my cultural horizons and see things from a perspective that I wouldn’t otherwise. I can read or watch the news but the news always has a reason for reporting the way they report. I love being able to see it from the perspective of a character who lives it.
Angie Thomas is an auto-buy author for me. She makes me think outside of my box and comfort zone. I think we all need that, particularly in today’s political climate.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2019 GoodReads