‘The Hate That U Give’s’ Angie Thomas presents second sensible e book, ‘On The Come Up’

On The Come Up

Writer: Angie Thomas

Writer: Walker Books, modern younger grownup fiction


On this planet of in style leisure, nice advertising and marketing might be simply as necessary as nice expertise. Many well-known stars have a cleverly-crafted persona they arrange for his or her followers, who gleefully purchase into this picture, and by extension, purchase their merchandise as nicely.

Within the younger grownup novel On The Come Up, 16-year-old Brianna Jackson, or Bri, finds this out the arduous means. She’s a younger black woman with a expertise for rap, identical to her father, who was additionally an aspiring musician earlier than his life was tragically lower quick.

After experiencing an unfair racial profiling incident at her college, Bri offers along with her anger by recording a rap observe stuffed with charged strains comparable to “strapped like backpacks, I pull triggers/all these clips on my hips change my determine”. It’s a fiery rap, questioning why she’s stereotyped as a “hoodlum” simply due to her race and background. Her listeners, nonetheless, ignore that a part of her track, selecting as a substitute to fixate on its photographs of violence and rise up.

Quickly, Bri is notorious as an offended, harmful, gangsta rapper. And, she learns, there’s cash to be created from this darkish persona. The issue is, that’s not fairly her. However why flip down a straightforward strategy to earn cash and be a hit? Particularly when your loved ones is struggling to get by….

On The Come Up was a extremely anticipated second novel from Angie Thomas, a former teen rapper herself. Her first novel, The Hate U Give, was one thing of a phenomenon: It hit the No.1 spot on The New York Occasions younger grownup bestseller listing upon its debut in 2017, the place it remained for over 50 weeks. It gained the Waterstone Youngsters’s E-book Prize, was nominated for the 2018 US Carnegie Medal, and was made right into a characteristic movie in 2018. Phew.

The Hate U Give is, subsequently, a troublesome e book to observe however, wow, does On The Come Up succeed! Whereas it does cowl related floor (each books talk about modern points going through the African-American group as seen by means of the eyes of a courageous younger woman), the latter feels very totally different from Thomas’s debut, however, fortunately, maintains the identical degree of high quality.

Probably the greatest issues of On The Come Up is how trustworthy and genuine it feels. The novel actually grounds itself in actuality, with Bri discovering herself in very lifelike eventualities virtually each reader will be capable of join with. Whereas hip-hop followers particularly will take pleasure in this e book with it’s many references to actual life performers, there’s sufficient different stuff in it to additionally attraction to individuals who can’t inform Cardi B from Likelihood the Rapper. Thomas additionally nails Bri’s voice, making her sound like a plausible 16-year-old with out getting too cringe-worthy as adults writing about teenagers may be typically.

Different characters are additionally extraordinarily well-drawn; every of them is flawed, memorable, and most significantly, really feel very actual. There’s Trey, Bri’s mild older brother who has a school training however struggles to get a job; Supreme, who used to handle Bri’s father, and who presents her that fast path to success; vibrant Aunt Pooh, who’s knee-deep within the gangster life. And maybe most memorably, Jayda, Bri’s former drug-addicted mom who has to make some powerful selections as she struggles to convey up her kids.

This novel tackles a complete vary of powerful subjects, every thing from gang violence and racial prejudices to cultural appropriation, misogyny and homophobia. It’s unimaginable what number of points there are to debate in On The Come Up, and Thomas does an excellent job of condensing all of them right into a readable, entertaining kind. So as to add to that, there are some components which might be very humorous, particularly Bri’s interactions along with her mates Sonny and Malik.

If On The Come Up has any flaws, they’re somewhat minor. It has many modern references (to the film Black Panther notably!) which will make the story really feel dated for readers sooner or later. There are additionally just a few aspect plots that really feel slightly pointless; for instance, the one involving the identification of Sonny’s on-line love pursuits. However I felt that too solely made the e book’s world really feel richer and extra alive.

All in all, Thomas’s second novel proves that she’s extra than simply on the come up – she’s already arrived. This can be a great e book filled with great characters that dares to ask powerful questions.

A film primarily based on the e book is already in growth, and it ought to undoubtedly be one to look out for. Are you able to think about the superior hip-hop soundtrack it would have?

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