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.
Angie Thomas has this way of creating a world so vivid that you feel like you are literally sitting on the hood of a car listening to Bri rap. She incorporates so many touchy subjects in her books but handles them in way that is real & also respectful. Same with the diversity she brings into her stories. Even though she isn’t own voices for all of the diverse characters she writes, she handles those diversities in a super respectful & tactful way. She doesn’t pretend like she knows what it’s like, but incorporates them in a way that works.
I absolutely adore her writing and she has become and auto-buy author for me. Seriously, she could write a guide to polishing furniture and I would read it.
The main issue that I usually have with contemporary books is that I get bored. 100% not the case with Angie Thomas. The plot is gripping and action packed but in a realistic way. She doesn’t just through crap at the main character simply to create interesting points. Everything just flows & makes complete sense to what is going on.
Now Bri actually isn’t my favourite person. She did frustrate me at times as she was very hot headed, stubborn & would jump into things without thinking of the consequences. But I appreciate that she was meant to be that way and I enjoyed her as a character, just not as a person.
Really there isn’t a character in the book I can fault as a character. Yes some are horrible people, but that is the point & they were written amazingly.
I friggen loved this book! Not quite there compared to THUG but still amazing. I would give THUG a 5 stars & OTCU a 4 3/4 stars if I could. They are both amazingly written, deal with important topics really well, have amazing characters & amazing diversity. I can’t fault this book at all.
You can purchase a copy for yourself at any of the links below.