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On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
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On The Come Up

by Angie Thomas

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3621544,859 (4.4)16

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
What a great second novel! This story is excellent because while the characters are definitely going through tough times, they are portrayed as just regular kids - which is truly a breath of fresh air. ( )
  echoechokg | Apr 13, 2019 |
Raw, gritty,and real. Loved it! ( )
  DMPrice | Apr 3, 2019 |
While there were a lot of parts I liked, there were also a bunch of times where the YA-ishness killed it for me. ( )
  jakebornheimer | Mar 27, 2019 |
I loved The Hate U Give and could not wait to read On the Come Up! Loved it! Even when your life seems crazy and things will never change, stick to being you! "Refuse to be a puppet, refuse to be a clone." Highly Recommend! ( )
  lflareads | Mar 26, 2019 |
The author of The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas, has written another YA hit in On the Come Up. 16 year old Bri's father was a hip-hop legend, killed by gang violence when she was young. She's hoping her rapping skills can get her a record deal and help her family (mother Jay and brother Trey) out of poverty. Keeping gas and electricity going, and food in the fridge, is a challenge, and her mother is determined that Bri will do well on the ACTs and go to college. Bright Trey has dropped out of college to work at a pizza place to bring some money in.

Like The Hate U Give, this one is set in Garden Heights, a mirror of downtrodden urban areas across the country. Thomas is so good at capturing realistic dialogue and daily dilemmas, including the risks of choice and the costs of bad choices. Sometimes a bad choice seems like the only choice there is.

Race, gender, class and poverty issues all affect the characters' daily lives. Bri is a battler, which often gets her into trouble her white classmates don't experience, even for similar behavior. Her mother is an ex-drug addict who loses her job, and has to scramble to make ends meet. At the same time she's working to restore her daughter's trust from her time of despair and addiction.

It may sound like a grim book, but it's actually the opposite. There's hope and humor and love and romance, even amid dire circumstances. Bri is a dynamic rapper, and we experience the excitement of her first competitive bout, and all that comes after. The end seemed a bit "tidy" to me, but this is a YA book. Bri is a wonderful, imperfect character learning what's important to her, and how to live with integrity in a difficult world. Another winning book from Angie Thomas. Four and a half stars. ( )
  jnwelch | Mar 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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For the kids with the SoundCloud accounts and the big dreams. I see you. And for my mom, who saw it in me first.
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I might have to kill somebody tonight.
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"Who are you?" she [Jay/Mom] repeats. "Of the millions and billions of people in the world, you're the only person who can answer that. Not people online or at your school. I can't even answer that. I can say who I think you are." She cups my cheek. "And I think you're brilliant, talented, courageous, beautiful. You're my miracle. But you're the only one who can say who you are with authority. So, who are you?" (p. 397)
You see, I'm headstrong (and petty) like Grandma. I'm creative like Granddaddy. I speak my mind like Mom. I might be as strong as her, too. I care so much that it hurts. Like Trey. I'm like my dad in a lot of ways, even if I'm not him. And although Kayla isn't family (yet), maybe she's a glimpse at who I could be. If I'm nothing else, I'm them, and they're me. That more than enough. (p. 425)
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