On the Come Up

On the Come Up

by Angie Thomas


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#1 New York Times bestseller · Seven starred reviews · Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book

“For all the struggle in this book, Thomas rarely misses a step as a writer. Thomas continues to hold up that mirror with grace and confidence. We are lucky to have her, and lucky to know a girl like Bri.”—The New York Times Book Review

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062498564
Publisher: HarperCollins US
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 13,683
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.70(d)
Lexile: HL550L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

Angie Thomas is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of The Hate U Give and On the Come Up. A former teen rapper who holds a BFA in creative writing, Angie was born, raised, and still resides in Mississippi. You can find her online at www.angiethomas.com.

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On the Come Up 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another fantastic, REAL story. Immediately captivating. I loved every emotional moment while reading.
mel-in-tex More than 1 year ago
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas is about sixteen-year old Bri, who is an aspiring rapper. Haunted by the ghost of her father's past, she is trying to make a name for herself in hopes of lifting her family above the poverty line. This young adult novel is set in the same neighborhood of Thomas' debut, The Hate U Give. As such many of the themes, dialect, and characters are similar. It is important to note that while the sophomore book tangentially touches on the first book, it is not required reading to understand the plot. This book was a quick read about an interesting topic. I liked how Thomas demonstrated how the main character came up with her rhymes. I also think the author did a good job of illustrating the internal and external struggles that Bri faced. Some of Bri's actions and obstinance were a little frustrating, but I suspect parents of teenagers reading this book would be able to attest that her behavior was realistic (smile, parents!). Like the first book, I found the characters in On the Come Up to be very real, and I believe this story is another version of Thomas sharing a part of herself. However, I did not enjoy this book as much as the first. The lifestyle and struggles that the protagonist suffer are not relatable to me. Having said that, they are meaningful. Additionally, this is a young adult novel. I am not the target audience, so I don't think it's really a criticism if the book didn't move me as a mid-lifer. Recommendation: I find Angie Thomas to be a talented writer who, in a creative way, exposes some of her own past and vulnerabilities through her writing. This is important for young adults, and I think it would be a great read for mature teenagers, especially those who enjoy poetry and prose. Please note the book does have some violence and a fair amount of curse words. Until next time ... Read on! Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.
Fazila 10 days ago
On the come up was on my list for a while. I am new to Angie Thomas's books. I know.. I know.. I am late to the party and I have missed the brilliance of Angie Thomas. I guess I started with this book as it's the most recent of her works. This book is about the art of hip-hop and using it to give voice and life to a group of people who have had ENOUGH!! I enjoyed the book. I recommend it to everyone interested in books that talk about social problems and their impact on the society we live in. Having read this book and enjoying it immensely, I want to check out her other books as well.
JillJemmett 29 days ago
This is another amazing book from Angie Thomas! I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down. There were some elements of this story that reminded me of The Hate U Give. It is set in the same community, though the characters don’t know each other. They do mention the shooting that happened in THUG a year previously. Bri goes viral with a rap song she wrote, but it gives people the wrong impression of her. It’s compared to an incident that’s she had in school where the security guards threw her down when she was entering the school. Bri has the conflict of being who she is, versus becoming famous for something she didn’t do. Even though this book is similar to The Hate U Give, Bri and Starr come from different backgrounds. Starr comes from a middle class family, and she goes to a predominantly white private school. Bri’s father was shot when she was a child, and her mother is a former drug addict. Though they have different backgrounds, they come from the same community and fight for social justice. I loved this book! I can’t wait to read what Angie writes next!
FreeReadAndWrite More than 1 year ago
I struggled really hard with how to rate this one, especially because I feel like The Hate U Give was nearly perfect. I'll start with the positives. Do the audio - this spoken word game is on point. Angie Thomas manages to weave in so much about the everyday Black experience into all of her stories without ever feeling like she's being heavy handed or doing too much at once, because she just tells the reality of the everyday. And finally, I am so impressed with the way that she can get inside the mind of a teenager. I feel like her books are authentic. As we grow up, we lose the ability to relate back to feeling misunderstood or how we would react to our parents in times of frustration. But Thomas still feels like she always gets it right. For these reasons, I'll probably read anything she puts out. But all that being said, this one is far more predictable than THUG and you can see the plot progression from a mile away. While my husband (a professional musician) has explained to me that the story is actually pretty realistic in terms of coming up in the underground rap scene, I also didn't connect as well to material in a world like that which I really know nothing about. And, the teenage romance is the thing that DOES get heavy handed this time around. All that being said, I still went with 4 stars. Thomas is a phenomenal story teller & as I've been saying regularly about YA these days, I am so hopeful for the generation coming up on these stories as their "normal."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
thaank you
RuthAStiles81 More than 1 year ago
On the Come Up, by Angie Thomas is a story about one girl’s struggle between doing what is best for her family and following her heart. Bri, a high school teenager, loves to rap and feels most comfortable when writing lyrics. Her father has died, her mother is eight-years drug free, and her older brother works at a local pizza place to help pay the bills while putting grad school on hold. As the story unfolds, readers are immersed into the struggles of an inner-city family who cannot make ends meet and every corner seems to offer a new struggle instead of a window of opportunity. Much can be inferred from the grit and determination of the character,s and Thomas does not disappoint when it comes to character development. Thomas really does an excellent job connecting the reader to her characters, and at times I felt like I was in the same room as them, observing their ups and downs. Secondary characters play major roles in the development of the main characters, and I could truly identify with the inner turmoils Bri faced. She knew that she had potential as a musical artist, that others had her back because of her rapper legend dad, and that one day she would break through the daily struggles of not knowing where the next meal would come from. As those around her try to run her life and make decisions for her, she falls back on her talents and abilities. Unfortunately, On the Come Up by Angie Thomas was a letdown after reading The Hate U Give. Although this book held my attention, it was not a “can’t-put-it-down” type of book like her debut novel. Themes of teenager love, drug abuse, inferred gang violence are minor themes in this book, and add to rather than take away from the plot. Strong language is used throughout the book, but I believe it aids the reader in feeling more connected to the characters. I give On the Come Up 3 out of 5 stars.
Stacy_Renee More than 1 year ago
I applaud Angie Thomas for writing about the difficult and very real stuff that teens live and deal with, sometimes daily; from poverty and broken families to addiction and crime. It's important to have books that depict different aspects or ways of life, so everyone has a voice, something to relate to, or something to learn from. This book didn't have quite the impact that THUG had on me but I still think it's just as important of a read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookShelfChronicles More than 1 year ago
{Review}- On the Come Up by Angie Thomas Hello Book Tribe, I honestly don’t know where to start with this book. There’s so much to say about On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. This is Angie Thomas’ second book and I must say she outdid herself with it. The book has three parts; Old School, Golden Age, and New School. On the Come Up is very appealing to the young audience giving hope and encouragement to the sound cloud rappers. A few references were made to her first book and I thought it was clever to tie the two books in to one another. Mix these details with the fact that her mother is the typical African American mother, her friends are more like siblings, she feels invisible until she displays her talent, and a chuckle or two is easily given because it was so relatable for me. “The Come Up” was explained in the book eventually, “We aint letting it stop the come up. That’s what we call our goal, the come up. It’s when we finally make it with this rap stuff.” (On the Come Up, pg. 84). Overall I loved the book and I eventually hit the point where I couldn’t put it down, the pages just turned and turned. If you’re looking for an interesting, enticing pick, The Come Up it is! Welcome to my bookshelf, it’s well deserving. “Admitting that you’re weak is one of the strongest things you can do.” -Angie Thomas, The Come Up (pg.362) Overall Review: 10 out of 5 Question of the week: What do you consider to be your “come up” in life? Until next time book tribe! And remember, you’re bound to find more. -Sandra Pamilton The Book Shelf Chronicles To keep up with my book review posts, please check out my website and subscribe to the newsletter. www.theebookshelfchronicles.com Also, follow me on my social media accounts: Twitter- @shelfchronicles FB- The Book Shelf Chronicles Instagram- @shelfchronicles1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
If you were expecting Angie Thomas to have "sophomore syndrome," you are sadly mistaken. On the Come Up is another hit! Bri's story wasn't an easy one to read, but definitely one I could relate to. This book shows the dedication, commitment, and just everything that both Bri and Angie embody. Bri and her family are going through so much. Bills are piling up, there's hardly any food, and it seems like its one thing after another. Since her father was killed before he made it, Bri is determined to become the next rap legend that her father never could. And with all the money problems her family is facing, it doesn't look like she has much of a choice. Just like with Thomas' first novel, the thing I loved most about this book was the family and friend relationships. They felt so real and so special. It was so weird that I related to them so much. It was such a real life look at Black families and the realness that they go through but how strong they have to remain to ensure their family stayed afloat. Thank you Angie Thomas for sharing this story with us. The ONLY issue I had was the plot. It kind of slowed a bit in the middle, but it picks right back up. To be honest, I don't think it's ever really an issue about the plot, it's just that she seems to be setting the tone for Bri's family and how desperate she was to find a way to help. Like she made a bit of the story about other things to make sure the reader knew that times were really dire. As for what the book is about, its definitely something that is relevant and moving and SO. REAL. I can't wait for all teens and adults alike to read this and get to see what its like to be on the other side of a situation like Bri's. The racial profiling is unfortunately common and I hope that everyone can see how these things affect teens and how they can help them fight these injustices. And last but not least, the hip hop part of this story. Which is undoubtedly the best part. I LOVED reading some of Angie's raps. I was so glad we got to see some of her raps in the book. And seeing the clips of it being performed on Instagram live was such a treat! I loved everything about this ode to hip-hop and I really hope the greats that are still alive to cherish it pick it up! (And I mean those with a record deal and those that battle rap....) Overall, I LOVED Bri and her story and it took A LOT for me to keep tearing myself away from her story. I hope this emotional story gets even more love than her first book, because it deserves all that and then some. And let's be honest, anything that is an ode to hip hop should own your heart without even having read a line....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliant writing, just like the hate u give. I loved the character development, emotion, and bit a romance. I didn't doubt this book for a minute and neither should you!! If you like books like the hate u give, where society issues are confronted I highly recommend this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago