On the come up by Angie Thomas – YA book review

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least get some streams on her mixtape. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But when her mom unexpectedly loses her job, food banks and shut-off notices become as much a part of her life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it, she has to make it.

The pressure was on award-winning author, Angie Thomas, to produce a second book that lived up to the (well-deserved) hype surrounding her first book, ‘The Hate U Give‘. It won a number of awards and was released as a movie in 2018. Read our review

Book cover for On the come up

On the Come Up‘ did not let her fans and new readers down. It is a brilliant portrayal of teen rapper, Bri, and her life with her ex-drug-addict single mum, drug-dealing aunt and high-achieving but working in a pizza shop to pay the bills brother. Bri feels the shadow of her father hanging over her and everyone sees her as his hoodlum daughter, when she is a talented writer and rapper in her own right. She is led to believe that she will have to play that “ratchet hood rat” role if she is to ever make it big and help her mother get the electricity back on, or buy shoes that aren’t falling apart.

Bri’s struggle with herself and her friends and family over who she wants to be perceived as versus the ability to pay the bills is told in an authentic voice that reflects the author’s own life as a teenager. Her mother, Jay, and brother, Trey, are so well-written and believable and I looked forward to every page they featured on. This book is excellent and I’m excited to see how it comes to life on the big screen.