On the Come Up is about a sixteen-year-old named Bri who wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least to make it out of her neighborhood one day. She has to live up to her dad’s name, the name of an underground rap legend who died before he had the chance to make it big. She has some big shoes to fill. But her mom lost her job, they’re struggling to keep food on the table and the lights on in the house. Bri feels like she doesn’t just want to make it, she has to. To keep her family above water.
This is Angie Thomas’ second novel, following her debut that was released in 2017, The Hate U Give, which quickly became a NY Times Bestseller. It received the National Book Awards in 2017 for Young People’s Literature. And for good reason; that book was absolutely heartbreaking considering it was about the main character witnessing a police shooting her best friend.
On the Come Up is just as heartbreaking. And it was a book that I was looking forward to reading since it came out this year. And I’m so glad that I did. I didn’t know much about what it was about until I started reading it; I didn’t need to know much since it was by Angie Thomas and I loved her debut novel. They aren’t in a series, so you wouldn’t have to read them in order, but I would definitely recommend reading both of them. They’re both powerful and hard-hitting. On the Come Up was such a fantastic read. Like I honestly have no words for how great this book is.
I listened to it on audiobook, and I definitely would recommend it. Something about listening to it made the reading experience so much more impactful. It almost felt like I was watching a movie as I listened. I liked the way that the narrator, Bahni Turpin, told the story because she was able to give the story and the characters more life. I was able to hear the dialect of the characters, and it just felt more engaging that way.
I only read this book in three days, which says something about the book itself. That, and the fact that I listened to it on audiobook. I haven’t read a book that fast in a while, and I know a book is good when I can’t stop reading it. Overall, I really enjoyed this book, and I would strongly suggest you pick it up. It deserves all the hype that surrounds it.