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On the Come Up by Angie Thomas book review


On the Come Up by Angie Thomas book

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas book review

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas This is the follow up, well, I mean her second book after publishing the hate you give a couple of years ago, which I'm sure everyone knows about at this point because it's been adapted into a fantastic film. 

It's been on the New York Times bestseller list for over a hundred weeks. The hate you give and on the come up are, is currently as of this recording like the number one and number two spot on the New York Times bestseller list for like young adult literature. So great job Angie Thomas. 

And so I'm pretty sure I don't need to do too much of an introduction to who she is and those books. So in this story you are following this character named Bri. I think you say Bri. I don't know if it's Bri or Bree. 

I'm gonna go with Bri. She is a 16 year old black girl who has dreams of becoming a rapper. Her father was a rapper and was like pretty popular in terms of the underground rap scene. But he got killed before he could really like blow up. 

And so Bri is sort of following in his footsteps and wanting to become a rapper herself. However her mom wants her to do things like focus in school and she's gonna be taking like the ACT soon. 

So her mom wants her to focus on things like that so that way she can go to college like her brother. Her brother just graduated from undergrad and has moved back home and is now working at a local pizza place while he's trying to find a job. 

Their mom is a former drug addict and so she herself has a job but it's not necessarily like the best paying job. And when people you know ask about her gap in employment history and things like that and they find out that she is a former drug addict, they you know dismiss her and things like that. Bri is living in a poor part of town but she gets shuttled into a nicer school. 

And so there's a lot of tension there as well. Bri often gets in trouble with her teachers for poor attitude, rolling her eyes. She gets sent to the principal's office a lot. She gets suspended quite often. 

So one day she gets the opportunity to partake in this rap battle and she ends up doing really, really well. And then after that point an incident happens and she ends up recording a song based on the incident that happened. 

And the song ends up going viral but it also kind of goes viral for the wrong reasons. And so Bri has a lot of decisions that she has to make in terms of who she is, who she wants to be, how she wants to be seen, 

what she's willing to do or sacrifice in order to fulfill her rap dreams while also like assessing just the situations that she's having to deal with on a day-to-day basis living in the neighborhood that she lives and having family members who are parts of gangs who don't have a lot of money. Her family herself like not being able to pay the bills, not being able to have electricity, things like that. 

So I love this book. I will say right off the bat I gave it a 4 to 5 stars and I really, really enjoyed it. I think that this is a really great book that a lot of people are probably gonna love. 

There's a something about Angie Thomas's writing style that is so, conversational isn't quite the right term that I want to use. But there's something about it that's so easy to fall into. Like from the very beginning, 

I was pulled into the story, I was pulled into this world and I like cared about what was happening with Bri and her family and her friends. I will say that this is probably a book that people won't like quite as much as they liked the hate you give if only because Bri is a less "likeable character." 

Obviously I'm using air quotes there because I think that's a stupid way to judge books but I know that's a way that some people judge books. One of the ways that I feel like I connect to "less likeable characters" — I'm gonna use air quotes around it every time I say it — is when I understand their motivations for the way that they're acting. 

And I feel like Angie Thomas does a great job of explaining Bri's motivations. She does make a lot of really stupid choices in my opinion. But it's completely understandable why she makes all of those decisions. 

And looking at her life and looking at her circumstances, you understand like why she wants the things that she wants and why she chooses the path that she chooses. And even though you know as a reader you can see things happening and you know that they're bad ideas and bad decisions, you also understand as a reader why someone in that position would make those choices. 

So I really, really enjoy Angie Thomas's writing for that reason alone. The fact that she's able to provide that point of view to the main character I feel like adds a lot to the story. I think that she also does a really good job of fleshing out the side characters and fleshing out the rest of the family, things like that. 

And you really get to know them as characters and they feel really real. I think a big thing with all books in general if you want people to connect with your characters, you have to make them as three-dimensional as possible in terms of their emotions and motivations. 

And I feel like in this book it's very, very clear like why all the different characters make the choices that they make. There are a lot of characters in here who don't make great decisions, but again, it's very clear why they make those decisions. Another thing that

I absolutely adored about this book is the amount of rap and hip-hop that is in here. Obviously since Br is a rapper herself, she is a huge rapper head. And so she talks about artists and songs that if you're just like a casual rap listener you probably won't know or you may not know. 

And I feel like even if you're someone who doesn't listen to rap at all, the way Angie Thomas writes this book makes you want to listen to rap or give rap a chance. I posted about this on my Instagram page but there is a Spotify playlist, like an official Spotify playlist made to go along with this book which I highly recommend because it's a great playlist. 

I got maybe like two or three chapters into this book before I was craving hip hop. And so I was just gonna go and like find my own playlist to listen to, but then I remember like because they follow Angie Thomas on Twitter, I remember a while ago she mentioned something about making a Spotify playlist for this book.

And so I just like looked it up on Spotify. Really easy to find, just search on the come up I'll try to remember to leave a link in the description but if I don't and you have Spotify, just search on to come up and you'll see it right away. 

So yeah, I highly recommend listening to that while you read this book because it really does add something to it. But yeah, I think that, again, another great thing about Angie Thomas's writing is that even if you don't know that much about hip-hop, 

I feel like this book would make you care about hip-hop just a little bit or make you want to give it a try even if you feel like it's not your jam necessarily. This isn't a perfect book for me partially because, and I felt this way about the hate you give as well, there is a lot of it that feels very like happily-ever-after. Specifically things that happen at the end, 

so obviously I'm not gonna go too much into details cause spoilers. But the way that some of the storylines wrap up feel really neat. There are certain plot points that felt really obvious to me. 

I won't say exactly what but if you read the book, the stuff that happens with miles I 100% saw that coming from like as soon as like other details were mentioned, I was like oh that's how that's gonna turn out. 

That's me trying to talk about it without spoilers. But anyone who's read the book probably knows what I'm talking about. So yeah, I wouldn't say like this is a perfect book by any means. But again, I think that if you really like the hate you give, you'll like this one as well. It has a very similar vibe. 

It talks about the issues facing a lot of black teens today who are growing up in these lower-income neighborhoods, the struggles that they deal with, the balance that they have to make on a regular basis and the choices that they have to make that are really, really difficult and sometimes the circumstances that force them into making bad decisions. 

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