On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

on the come up

“But there’s only so long you can blame what you’ve been through for what you do. At some point, you gotta blame yourself.”

4.5/5 stars


Fiction – Young Adult

Goodreads Summary

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s 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.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.


I have been anticipating Angie Thomas’s second novel ever since I first heard it was in the works. I absolutely loved The Hate U Give when I read it last July! Since that was a definite five star read for me (I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t!), I had high hopes for this book.

Well, On the Come Up definitely delivered! Angie Thomas is such a gifted writer! Her stories flow well and are so entertaining while also being informative. The story of Bri covers so many issues—coming of age, poverty, death, education, dreams, racism, and sexism. Thomas covers these sensitive topics in such a gracious and unbiased way. The development of her characters is exceptional. I felt like I knew the main character, Bri, and loved feeling like I could hear and understand her thought process and her heart behind it all.

On the Come Up was also filled with amazing raps that I was so into! I have always loved rap and hip-hop, which made this book all the more enjoyable for me. I also got some serious Save the Last Dance vibes! (This is a good thing!) I loved how I could picture Bri at the club rapping, doing her thing, totally in her element. The lyrics were gold and I found myself creating a beat to them and getting it stuck in my head!

I hope you’ll consider picking this book up because it was excellent and I would highly recommend it! Angie Thomas has officially become an auto buy author for me. If she writes a book, I’m picking it up!

Have you read On the Come Up or The Hate U Give? I would love to hear what you thought!

Author Angie Thomas’s website

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