It took me a whole year but I finally read On the Come Up! *throws confetti* I know I’m late to the party but who shows up on time?
I’ve mentioned before that I was going through a bit of a reading slump before remembering that audiobooks existed. My library does a fairly good job of getting audiobooks onto the CloudLibrary app and On the Come Up has been in my list of saved books for a while now. Every time I think about starting it, something comes up to distract me. Thankfully this time around, I actually started it.
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.
Trigger Warnings: racism, violence, death of a parent, reference to drug addiction
This was so dang good. I love Bri. She’s so dope. She’s so outspoken and even if that gets her in trouble sometimes, you can depend on her speaking her mind above all else. Bri is authentically herself and I love that.
The character development was on point. I love how we get to see Bri’s journey. It’s also nice seeing how her environment and the things she’s witnessing affect her actions. Bri always has a reason for the things she’s doing, even if they aren’t the best reasons.
Angie Thomas has this great way of showing multiple angles of people’s situations. I felt like I knew a character and then she’d throw in something from another angle and I’d just be like “dang, I wasn’t expecting that.”
These characters were so real. I just love the realness of it all.
The Not so Good
I didn’t love this quite as much as I loved The Hate U Give but that was three years ago so… I feel like if this had been out when I was 16 I would’ve ate it up in two days instead of two weeks.
There were a couple times I got annoyed with Bri but then I thought of my 16 year old self and knew I probably would’ve done the same thing.
All in All
This is such a great book and one I highly recommend. I really enjoyed reading it and I’m happy I finally got around to it.