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.
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On The Come Up is not technically a sequel to The Hate U Give, but it does take place in the same neighbourhood, one year later.
I highly recommend you listen to this book. Not only is the narration excellent, but it allows you to actually hear Bri’s rap as it was intended to be delivered, rather than trying to figure it out as you read.
Personally, I think that (Mom) Jay gives some excellent advice to Bri, that I intend to take to heart:
There will always be people with something to say but that doesn’t mean you have to listen to it.
At times, I was really frustrated with Bri for being so easy to manipulate and continually reacting, rather than acting with intention. This made it a little more difficult to read than The Hate U Give but it was no less enjoyable. I just found that instead of periods of intense sobbing, I experienced mild frustration.
Angie Thomas has become a one-click author for me. I think she would interest teens and adults and wish that more high schools would incorporate these books into their curriculum.
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