4 Star Reads, Book Review

On The Come Up – Angie Thomas

On the Come Up

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On The Come Up is the second book by Angie Thomas and it is set in the same place as The Hate U Give. We are introduced to a new character, Bri, who is coping with the world she knows (much like Starr did) and sees the changes in the aftermath of Starr’s actions from a year earlier. The Garden is still reeling and yet, nothing has changed.

Angie Thomas’ work is a reaction to the world that we live in, the prejudices, violence, and horrors of abuse of any kind. She creates compelling characters and shows you the world through their eyes, good and bad in the hope that it will be eye-opening. It is the characters that shine for her, in particular. They are real, flawed, strong and weak, dichotomies of traits and yet they come alive on the page. I particularly enjoyed the family dynamic in the story, as it was incredibly real. They could be unbelievably supportive and protective of one another, but they could also drive each other crazy. I loved the mother in this story because she wasn’t perfect, she wanted what was best for her family, and realized that sometimes she needed to swallow her pride to ensure that her family were taken care of.

Bri wants to be a rapper, like her dad – but also not, because she wants to build her own name and legacy, not just be known because of the legend that her dad was. The legend that was never able to make it because he lost his life too soon. One of the best elements of the story was Bri’s raps, which Thomas wrote herself (and occasionally has performed at events, which are a must watch). I listened to the book as an audiobook, so I was also able to experience Bahni Turpin’s version of the raps and it brought the story to life.

The story itself is quite engaging, with Bri’s journey to become a rapper, her new song and the infamy that it gives her, and how she must struggle to keep herself free from the confines of the gangs (and their actions) in the Garden. I personally liked Bri, but thought that she made a lot of ridiculous decisions – that being said, as a teen reader you might think that Bri was doing what was best (most of the time). But I think that’s what made this story so poignant and real. If you enjoyed the Hate U Give, you will also be entranced by On The Come Up’s characters and story.

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