- Hardcover: 447 pages
- Publisher: Balzer & Bray (5 February 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062498568
- ISBN-13: 978-0062498564
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.6 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 540 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 88,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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On the Come Up: 2 Hardcover – 5 Jun 2018
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★ "On the Come Up truly shines in its exploration of Bri's resilience, determination, and pursuit of her dreams. In this splendid novel, showing many facets of the black identity and the black experience, Thomas gives readers another dynamic protagonist to root for."--ALA Booklist (starred review)
★ "This honest and unflinching story of toil, tears, and triumph is a musical love letter that proves literary lightning does indeed strike twice. The rawness of Bri's narrative demonstrates Thomas' undeniable storytelling prowess. A joyous experience awaits. Read it. Learn it. Love it."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
★ "While acknowledging that society is quick to slap labels onto black teens, the author allows her heroine to stumble and fall before finding her footing and her voice. Thomas once again fearlessly speaks truth to power; a compelling coming-of-age story for all teens."--School Library Journal (starred review)
★ "With sharp, even piercing, characterization, this indelible and intricate story of a young girl who is brilliant and sometimes reckless, who is deeply loved and rightfully angry at a world that reduces her to less than her big dreams call her to be, provides many pathways for readers."--Horn Book (starred review)
"This book beckons young readers and music lovers alike with an homage to the forefathers of hip-hop that also assures the feminine voice is never dismissed from the cypher."--Washington Post
"On the Come Up is earnest and warm-hearted, a careful examination of social issues that's built around an immensely endearing main character. It's likely to assure Thomas's continued and well-deserved dominance on the best-seller lists."--Vox
"For all the struggle in this book, Thomas rarely misses a step as a writer. Thomas continues to hold up that mirror with grace and confidence. We are lucky to have her, and lucky to know a girl like Bri."--New York Times Book Review
"On the Come Up offers a complicated, imperfect heroine who lives and breathes her truth on every page."--Entertainment Weekly
"Bri's story is utterly compelling from first to last."--USA Today
About the Author
Angie Thomas is the #1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of The Hate U Give and On the Come Up. A former teen rapper who holds a BFA in creative writing, Angie was born, raised, and still resides in Mississippi. You can find her online at www.angiethomas.com.
From the Publisher
On The Come Up Q&A with Angie Thomas
What would you like to share about your new novel, On the Come Up? The main character of Bri seems to have a lot in common with Angie Thomas.
There are bits and pieces here and there that Bri and I have in common, but it’s mainly our love for hip hop. I was a lot quieter than Bri was when I was a teen, but similarly to Bri, I used hip hop to express myself.
The Hate U Give and On the Come Up take place in the same town. Is this a reflection of the town you grew up in? And do you foresee more novels based in Garden Heights?
Garden Heights the neighborhood is based on my own childhood neighborhood, down to the landmarks and businesses and even the characters. My third book will be set in Garden Heights as well. After that, I don’t think I will return to that neighborhood.
Who were your greatest influences in hip hop? How important do you feel the storytelling aspect of hip-hop music is as a form of expression and a way of spreading knowledge?
Some of my biggest hip-hop influences are 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., TLC, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Lauryn Hill, and Rapsody. Hip hop showed me myself when books didn’t, and it told the stores I connected with the most. That’s extremely important for young people especially, because it often reminds them they aren’t alone. Plus, hip hop helps make more people aware of societal issues. We wouldn’t know the truth of what happens in urban America if it weren’t for hip hop.
What will The Hate U Give fans be surprised by in On the Come Up?
I think THUG fans will be surprised at how different Garden Heights can be through someone else’s eyes. That’s one of the main things I wanted to show. I also think they will be surprised at how Starr’s story affects Bri’s.
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I love Bri, her family, and her friends so damn much. She feels like a real person and not just a character, and her personality and voice are so strong. Even when she's stubborn and wrong you just can't help but root for her. The family, friends, and other supporting characters are similarly compelling and well fleshed out - even down to the judgemental turds at church!
There’s something about Bri that is just so relatable. This book will speak volumes to kids in similar situations, but I honestly think there’s something in Bri that everybody can relate to no matter what walk of life you come from. Whether it’s how she’s treated as a woman, losing her father, her mother’s history, chasing her dream, forging a name in a male-dominated industry, or going through rough times financially, there’s something that will speak to everyone. (If not, soz you’re probably Voldemort)
I liked how On the Come Up references THUG but was very much its own story. Angie Thomas references Khalil’s murder and the subsequent riots, and the discourse about police brutality and racism continues, but Bri is allowed the space to have her own journey. The events of THUG obviously touched everybody, but the community is so vast, has so much going on, and even more story to tell.
(And on the subject of references, I SEE that subtle reference to Simon vs the Homosapiens Agenda! ;______;)
In addition to continuing the police brutality and racism conversation, the book explores themes of poverty, drug addiction, drug dealing, absent parents, gang activity, and classism and privilege within the Garden Heights community. It also explores themes of hope, using your voice, knowing yourself and not sacrificing your identity for someone else’s vision, and knowing that it’s okay to ask for help.
Along with well-rounded characters and interesting themes, the story itself is strong and well paced. You can anticipate the beats that it’ll hit (no pun intended), but the way in which Angie Thomas gets there is just a joy to read. I loved her writing style and it had the perfect amount of happiness and sadness, peaks and troughs, tension and relief.
I was really worried about how this would measure up to THUG, but I can confidently and truthfully say I love On the Come Up even more. It's a strong novel that stands on its own two feet and I would give this a billion stars if I could. ;___; MY HEART.
The Hate U Give (2018) is about a girl of 16 who lives in a poor black urban area but attends a prestigious school in an upmarket white area. She witnesses a black youth shot dead by cops. Stuff happens as a result. It was the best book I read last year.
On The Come Up is about Bri, a 15-year-old girl and aspiring rapper, who attends a performing arts high school. Her father was a successful local rapper gunned down in gang violence when she was an infant. Her mother is a reformed addict struggling to make ends meet. Inspired by Michelle Obama, confectionary is banned at school, so Bri hustles Snickers bars until white security guards at school forcibly search and assault her. Her rap about the incident goes viral.
This is another gem. If you want to understand what it is like to be black in America today, forget Colson Whitehead and Ta-Neshi Coates. Check out Angie Thomas.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In any case, it is another fantastic, relatable book, especially for the kids I have here at the JDC. They can relate to the themes, characters, and experiences, as most have grown up in complicated family systems and in communities not dissimilar from Garden Heights. Thomas is a great writer, and with "On The Come Up," I think she captured the language (her characters sound like my kids--even more so than in THUG). Well done, and we'll be eagerly waiting her third novel.
This book shows the author's growth. The charactes are all gripping and there is not a dull moment. I read the book in two days. The message of the story will stick with you. This is definately worth the read and one I will probably return to in the near future.
Here, high-school student Bri's passion to perform is tested by the pressures of her deceased dad's rap legacy, as well as the music industry's own demands (along with its misogynistic attitudes), and Bri's own preparations for college entrance exams. As the story progresses, Bri's lyrics vent against campus racism. But will this result in her music being censored, and her being virtually labeled a hoodlum? More urgently, will a music career prove a ticket for her family to escape compounding financial hardships?
While I more strongly favor the author's first novel, don't misunderstand -- this book, too, turned out enjoyable for me. The ending here may have seemed a bit ideal, but true to life, not all turned out rosy for everyone. I felt grateful to get acquainted with Bri's family and each of her closest peers. I grinned at some lyrical "sick burns" and I laughed seeing how gossip was prized at the church that Bri's family attended. I welcomed the implied ties to "The Hate U Give" and even a nod to a certain Becky Albertalli novel.
Bri is, as she says, brilliant, and as a character, one of the most unique and complex I’ve ever read. She’s tough and vulnerable, talented and sensitive, yet hot-headed. I love her voice, and being taken on the ride of her confusion feels genuine and was so much fun.
I love how Thomas doesn’t shy away from so many social lessons with this novel, more so than with THUG. Gun violence, racial stereotypes, welfare, systemic poverty, drug abuse, drug distribution, police brutality, and so much more are all discussed while also weaving in a bit of romance and the right amount of family drama.
This is a fast-paced read and I really want Trey to be my big brother, too. I just felt like it wasn’t as tight as I’d like it to be, and the pacing was off at times. Minor issue.
An incredible story. My kids will love it.