C.G. Drews's Reviews > On the Come Up

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
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really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, contemporary, read-2019, young-adult

Well we all knew the Queen of YA would gift us with another incredible story...so brb, just feeling so many things about this one. I also really love Angie Thomas' style, her voice, and her passion and love that you can absolutely feel in every single page of the book. This one is about rapping and being poor and figuring out who you are, no matter what the world is saying or where it's telling you that you fit. It's not quite as dark as The Hate U Give, but that doesn't make it any less powerful or needed!

(I maybe liked THUG more, but I also don't want to compare them, because they're different!)

➸ So first things first: rapping.
Bri's #1 dream is to be a rapper and she's pretty downright good at it. But she writes a song that gets misconstrued and her career sort of snowballs from there. Now, I know zero about rapping ok. So I wont' pretend to have an opinion on this except (1) there are some powerful lyrics going on in this book, (2) I cannot frikkin' wait for the movie version, and (3) I believe Angie Thomas herself is a rapper, so I can imagine a lot of talent and love went into this part of the story! There were a lot of volleying opinions about Bri's rap too: like her family was not happy about her talking about guns and defiance, but Bri was writing about what the world expected her to be anyway.

Also can we just appreciate Bri for a second???
She's amazing. She is a geek (and SO TIRED of how most people in her neighbourhood have zero clue what any of her geek culture references are) and she's so protective and loving towards her little messed up family. I mean they're massively struggling. They're super poor (to the point of sometimes there is no food), her mum is struggling to get a job because of her past addictions, Bri's dad got murdered when she was little and she got abandoned by her mum who fell to drugs and took a long time to rebuild. But their family is EPIC and tight and the banter and dialogue is my favourite thing. A+++ to how Angie Thomas always gives us such epic families!! Trey is such a big brother sweetheart with a tough side, and her mum is badass as well as being vulnerable.

And Bri has a whip-sharp temper and she's so passionate. I loved this about her. But of course this lands her with the labels of being "that sassy black girl" (which she is furious to be stereotyped) and being aggressive...just for having an opinion. She's definitely not perfect of course. She's 16 and she doesn't know everything and she makes crappy decisions. I really felt for her afjdslkafd.

And omg I love her friend squad!! So we have Bri and her two besties, Sonny (who is gay and an artist) and Malik (who loves film and Bri has a Secret Crush on him but that goes...badly lolol). They've been friends since forever, but they're all changing, and I just loved their dynamics. They joke and they fight and I just wanted them to be good !!! friendships get me every time in books. The BEST.

Also the romance was so smol but so cute.
It was definitely a tiny sidedish of the story, but I loved it! And it was a budding romance, so it was cute to see it unfurl amongst the other messes happening for Bri.

The themes are so so good for this too.
I mean, but of course. This book has arrived to talk, and it's talking loudly. It unpacks racial profiling and prejudice, it talks about what it really means to be poor, and it talks about defining yourself even though others try to do it for you. There's also a lot of talk about consequences here...ahhh, they often hurt. I'm not American or black, so I definitely want to step back and not pretend to know everything about how Bri felt with living in the hood and struggling with hating stereotypes but wanting to be herself and speak out. I just wanted to quietly read this and absorb it from an #ownvoices author.

Also the writing?! YES.
Dude, I laughed out loud. And I felt all twisted up with anxious nerves. Like, again it wasn't as dark as THUG, so I didn't feel wrecked reading it. But the emotion was palpable. And some of the lines just totally cracked me up. Also it felt like the 450 page book just swished by so fast?! The book is addictive and Bri's voice is so easy to love.


Obviously this is one you don't want to miss!! I loved it so much and seriously cannot wait for Thomas' next book announcement. (pls be soon...)
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Reading Progress

December 7, 2017 – Shelved
December 7, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
February 17, 2019 – Started Reading
February 17, 2019 –
page 78
17.93% "I'm so hyped to be reading this!!!"
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: 4-star
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: contemporary
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: read-2019
February 19, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 19, 2019 – Finished Reading

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