ON THE COME UP
This is the highly anticipated second novel by Angie Thomas, the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning The Hate U Give.
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.
On The Come Up has the readers revisiting Garden Heights (same world that Ms. Thomas’s first book -The Hate U Give – was situated). This time our heroine, Bri, is a high schooler rapper.
Bri’s ‘on the come up’ when she gets herself in a rap battle that shows off her skills. She emerges as someone who is filled with talent and promise. But life in Garden Heights isn’t easy. There are times when money is scarce which makes having electricity and food a luxury.
Bri’s motivation for a better life for her family has her facing some tough situations. Living her dream creates strife among her family. And yet, her talent can’t be squashed no matter which outside force tries to tear her down.
Bri’s strength and perseverance moves the story forward in a way that is both intriguing and inspiring. Peers look to Bri as someone who is a voice for their generation. Her words resonate with them – even if they interpret them differently than she intended them to mean.
Ms. Thomas created another standalone book where each character is flawed but their situations were handled in a way that made the book feel authentic. Everyone had stuff they had to work through and in doing so they were becoming the best version of themselves.