I’ve ceased to have words for what an amazing author Angie Thomas is. First The Hate U Give and now On the Come Up?
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 a story about family and sacrifices. It asks us exactly what we will do to be successful, what we will do to stand up for what we believe in, and what we will do for the ones we love. There are moments where I had to step away from this book because of how powerful and emotional it was. While it’s a story abour Bri and her journey, it’s also about her own family’s ‘come up’ or big break.
One of my favorite elements in On The Come Up is Bri’s family. It’s a book that examines grief and the different paths we take when tragedy strikes. At the same time it’s a story that focuses on Bri’s character development. Growing up in the shadow of her infamous father and smart older brother, Bri struggles to figure out who she is. What does she want when she doesn’t focus on the external?
On The Come Up tackles serious issues – how black people are treated after rehab, rules they have to follow to stay safe – all through the eyes of Bri. In many ways, it’s about finding out how the world works, how we can’t make people change if they don’t want to, and how we can fight for something more.