On the Come up

On the Come up

Book - 2019
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When sixteen-year-old Bri, an aspiring rapper, pours her anger and frustration into her first song, she finds herself at the center of a controversy.
Publisher: New York, NY : Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062498564
Branch Call Number: Fiction Thomas TEEN
Characteristics: 447 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Recommended by Tenecia @ Sahuarita

"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 ... Read More »

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Gina_Vee Mar 02, 2020

I loved this story! It's like The Hate U Give in the way that it tells the story of an African American girl growing up in the same city as The Hate U Give, except the story is different. Just those aspects alone depict the diversity existent in minority groups in the U.S.. The story and main characters have their own flavor and own way of thinking without taking away from overall themes. I also like the fact that Bri wants to be a rapper; she defies gender norms in her aspirations, and I love that. Overall, the book is definitely unique in its writing.

Jan 26, 2020

This is a story rich in characters and the exploration of a teenager finding herself, her community and her journey. I enjoyed Thomas’ ability to develop many characters and a storyline that kept me wanting to turn the page and know more.

Oct 31, 2019

Enjoyable, even if the characters were too deeply flawed to like. Looking forward to Angie Thomas' next. Her voice and stories are raw and reach across any demographic lines.

Sep 04, 2019

I actually really liked this book, but the reason I'm going to say this book is "JUST OKAY," is because it took me around three fourths of this book, to actually decide that I liked this novel. If this book wasn't required reading for me, I probably wouldn't have finished it... Angie Thomas spent a lot of this book hyping up the plot lines, and eventually towards the end all the pieces come together, but this book was just a little too slow for me. Also I will say that this book was really hard for me to relate to because the main character Bri is an aspiring Rap artist. There were A LOT of Rap song references throughout the Novel... In all honesty I just didn't get all of the references. There was a particular scene where Bri is involved in a rap battle and in this battle Angie Thomas kept referring to beats from other rap songs to use as her back drop for the battle. I didn't have a clue what Angie Thomas was talking about! I mean I could have looked up a couple of music videos on YouTube in order to get the references... but I'm just too lazy to do that. I probably only got 1 reference out of the like 20 references she uses through out this novel... I want to say this is still a good book and that it had A LOT more going on, then just Bri pursuing a career as a female rapper. For example there is high school drama, a really cute love interest, and a lot about her family dynamic, which was all really interesting. This book is really good, it's just not going to be a book everybody can relate to easily, especially if your not really that into rap. Lets just say the rap career was the least interesting thing in this novel, I personally found all the "side plot lines" much more entertaining. Also I think if I had listened to the Audio Book version, instead of reading the physical book, I probably would have had a better experience with this book.

sjpl_rebekah Aug 26, 2019

This is an exceptionally well-written coming-of-age story about staying true to yourself and following your dreams. What I really loved about it is that Thomas was able to touch upon a lot of hot topics without this book feeling like it was issue fiction. Another book I read this year touched upon a lot of the same issues, but I did not like that the controversial topics were laid out in a very one dimensional fashion. Angie Thomas managed to avoid this pitfall by exploring the issues from many different angles. I think this is a very socially responsible approach, and gives the story more power with a wider audience. I, for example, grew up with very different challenges than the main character, Bri, and though I do not agree with all of her choices and opinions, I can completely understand how her life experiences have shaped her perspective on and reaction to the events that take place in the story. I think this speaks volumes about Thomas’ skill as a writer, and it makes me very excited about whatever projects she may have coming up in the (hopefully) near future.

Jul 07, 2019

When you write something as seminal as The Hate U Give, how do you follow it up? I don't envy Thomas having that pressure, but she met it head-on and did very well. I think this is better-written and more complex than THUG; Thomas' already great skills have only improved. This is the story of Bri, a 16-year old rapper who begins to make a name for herself. She is desperate to make it big, for the fame, sure, but even more to rescue her family from poverty and to enable her beloved aunt to leave the gang/drug dealing life. Bri faces challenges and choices and often, infuriatingly, inevitably, makes the poorest choice possible. Bri is often unlikable and exasperating and downright rude, but she is a fascinating, fully realized human whose voice I won't get out of my head anytime soon. This didn't have the breathtaking heart of THUG for me and sometimes the music biz stuff left me cold, but it's a great read and Thomas is an exciting writer. Can't wait to see what she'll serve up next.

Jul 04, 2019

Lacking the emotional heft of The Hate U Give, I found that I didn't care as much about the characters in this particular book. It felt bloated, and like it could have used a better editor - I don't really see a need for this book to be nearly 500 pages. Still, Thomas is a good writer and this is a perfectly good read, you'll likely enjoy it - though you might find yourself skimming parts.

May 28, 2019

I found the character to be a bit abrasive, but the book was interesting enough and flowed so fast I finished it in an entire day.

Chapel_Hill_MegM May 26, 2019

After The Hate U Give, I had high hopes for On the Come Up, and I wasn't disappointed. The best part of this book is the character development of Bri as the book goes on. I also think this story has a strong message about the stereotype threat that some folks face and Bri navigates this as well as any teen could. Definitely read this book.

May 14, 2019

A successful sophomore novel taking place in and around Garden Heights, following the events of Thomas' debut "The Hate U Give." The story was just as realistic as THUG but left a little something to be desired in character development and story closure. It took me a while to get really vested in the character's stories and by the time I did, there were so many things not tied up in the ending that I just closed the book with so many questions still lingering. I hope that Thomas continues to write books centered around this geographic area with different characters as the focus as I really enjoyed that part of the story, and I think the unanswered questions left her could be answered in a nod to these characters from another book.

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Feb 20, 2020

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May 10, 2019

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Mar 07, 2019

ReadItOutLoud thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

OPL_KrisC Feb 22, 2019

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Mar 14, 2020

“There's only so much you can take being described as somebody you're not.”

jpainter Mar 18, 2019

"I'm starting to think that it doesn't matter what I do. I'll still be whatever people think I am." Bri Jackson.


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