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On the Come Up ~ Angie Thomas

February 12, 2019

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Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

ISBN: 9780062498564

464 pages

Source: Half Price Books

At this point, a new Angie book just makes me nervous.

I mean, in a good way, but I know it’s going to drag me through an emotional pit of despair and empathy overload. Which I actually find delightful, so, again it’s a good kind of nervous.

Bri is trying her best. She lost her father to a shooting when she was younger and she almost lost her mother to addiction.

She didn’t, though. Lose her mom, that is.

Bri, her brother Trey, and her mom (who, by the way, is in school to become a social worker and in long term recovery, heeeey!) are doing their best to make ends meet, on their own. But when things begin crumbling (like, to the tune of an eviction notice) both women start scrambling.

For Bri, that means using the talent that God gave her: rapping like an angel. she’s waited her whole life to be in the spotlight and knows it’s her only way out of the hole she’s found herself in.

It’s hardly smooth sailing, though, especially in Garden Heights (this isn’t a sequel but takes place in Starr’s neighborhood and the “recent riots” are mentioned a lot), and Bri finds herself with more trouble than fame. Angie has an incredible way of getting behind the media storm, behind the public opinion, and into the hearts of the people who need to be heard the most.

Where her first protagonist was an observer of physical racism (though quite at the center of verbal and institutional racism), Bri is thrown right into the middle of it, as the primary victim which made the entire book far more intense.

As always, Angie has a knack for cutting right to the heavy pieces. there is a lot to love about the story a few of my favorites centered around the hypocrisy of gun control as it pertains to white people versus people of color and what counts as “aggression” or “attitude” depending upon the color of your skin and what’s in your bank account.

This was a quick read, for me, not because it’s small or easy to read, but because it’s gripping in a way that insists that it has to be finished before you can even dare to put it down.

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