On The Come Up: A Bold YA Read

On The Come Up

“See, for the first time in my life, I know exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. Hell, what I was made to do. The crowd could be silent and I’d still know that.”

-Angie Thomas, On The Come Up.

The voice of Contemporary YA

If you haven’t heard of Angie Thomas I don’t know where you’ve been. I read her debut novel, The Hate U Give with my sister when the book first came out, before all the buzz around the movie. We even got my mom to read it. We were the OG readers and told Angie it was our favorite book. She even liked our tweet.

Similar to THUG, Bri’s character is strong. Right off the bat, Bri is brave. She’s already battling in The Ring and has insane original material. As someone who struggles with sharing her creativity with the world, Bri was inspiring. Not to mention Angie’s talent! It was so refreshing to see an author marry her art of storytelling with one of her personal passions. I think that’s what makes Angie Thomas such a great writer. You can always tell how personal these stories are, how passionate she is about the voices she resonates.

Bri is brave and true.

In On The Come Up, Bri uses music to express herself. Throughout the book, no matter the plot, Bri comes up with lines and uses them for new material. These moments of inner dialogue show her creativity and insight into how someone’s creative mind works. Every time I would read a line of freestyle in this book, I could hear a beat in the back of my head. This book essentially comes with its own soundtrack while you read it.

Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time but in a world where labels come first, her music starts to be defined by others as people begin to paint her into a stereotype. Meanwhile, things at home start to fall apart and there’s nothing Bri can do about it. What I liked most about this book, was that through all the stereotypes and life events, Bri stayed true to herself. It didn’t matter if she was going to be one of the greatest rappers of all time, what mattered most was that she found herself and kept it true.

Time to find your come up.

I love how Angie Thomas writes contemporary YA. It’s real, relatable and shows kids how to break out and find their voice. Often times, reading Angie Thomas doesn’t feel like you’re reading a book. As fictional as it can be, it seems real. She encourages people to keep going and go out into the world to find their own voice. She inspires me to keep going.

As we all continue to find a lovely life, I would recommend reading this book if you’re looking to see someone go out and get it. Life will throw you curve balls you can’t control and people will always label you how they decide to see you. At the end of the day, when you realize you don’t need their approval and you’re doing what you love, you’ll find the joy you’ve been searching for is within you and not out in the world. Now, go out and get your come up lovely.

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