Synopsis from Edelweiss:
The highly anticipated second novel from Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give, returns to the world of Garden Heights in a story about an aspiring teen rapper.
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.
About: On the Come Up is a young adult fiction written by Angie Thomas. It was recently published on 2/5/2019 by Balzer & Bray, an imprint of Harper Collins, hardcover, 464 pages. The genres are young adult, fiction, and contemporary. This author is also known for her debut The Hate U Give.
My Experience: 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, humor
I rate it 5 stars!
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About the Author:
Angie Thomas made her debut with the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning The Hate U Give. A former teen rapper who holds a BFA in creative writing, Angie was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, MS. You can find her online at http://www.angiethomas.com (Photo and info obtained from Edelweiss).
***Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from my local library and my opinions are honest.