On the Come Up by Angie Thomas | Book Review


Hi everyone. I’m rincey and this is
rincey reads. Today i’m going to be doing a book review on the come up by Angie
Thomas. This is the follow up, well, I mean her second book after publishing the hate
you give a couple of years ago, which I’m sure everyone knows about at this point
because it’s been adapted into a fantastic film. It’s been on the New York
Times bestseller list for over a hundred weeks. The hate you give and on the
come up are, is currently as of this recording like the number one and number
two spot on the New York Times bestseller list for like young adult
literature. So great job Angie Thomas. And so I’m pretty sure I don’t need to do
too much of an introduction to who she is and those books. So in this story you
are following this character named Bri. I think you say Bri. I don’t know if it’s
Bri or Bree. I’m gonna go with Bri. She is a 16 year old black girl who has
dreams of becoming a rapper. Her father was a rapper and was like pretty popular
in terms of the underground rap scene. But he got killed before he could really
like blow up. And so Bri is sort of following in his footsteps and wanting to become a
rapper herself. However her mom wants her to do things like focus in school and
she’s gonna be taking like the ACT soon. So her mom wants her to focus on things
like that so that way she can go to college like her brother. Her brother
just graduated from undergrad and has moved back home and is now working at a
local pizza place while he’s trying to find a job. Their mom is a former drug
addict and so she herself has a job but it’s not necessarily like the best
paying job. And when people you know ask about her gap in employment history and
things like that and they find out that she is a former drug addict, they you
know dismiss her and things like that. Bri is living in a poor part of town
but she gets shuttled into a nicer school. And so there’s a lot of tension
there as well. Bri often gets in trouble with her teachers for poor attitude, rolling
her eyes. She gets sent to the principal’s office a lot. She gets
suspended quite often. So one day she gets the opportunity to partake in this
rap battle and she ends up doing really, really well. And then after that point an
incident happens and she ends up recording a song based on the incident
that happened. And the song ends up going viral but it also kind of goes
viral for the wrong reasons. And so Bri has a lot of decisions that she has
to make in terms of who she is, who she wants to be, how she wants to be
seen, what she’s willing to do or sacrifice in order to fulfill her rap
dreams while also like assessing just the situations that she’s having to deal
with on a day-to-day basis living in the neighborhood that she lives and having
family members who are parts of gangs who don’t have a lot of money.
Her family herself like not being able to pay the bills, not being able to have
electricity, things like that. So I love this book. I will say right off the bat I
gave it a 4 to 5 stars and I really, really enjoyed it. I think that this is a
really great book that a lot of people are probably gonna love. There’s a
something about Angie Thomas’s writing style that is so, conversational
isn’t quite the right term that I want to use. But there’s something about it
that’s so easy to fall into. Like from the very beginning, I was pulled into the
story, I was pulled into this world and I like cared about what was happening with
Bri and her family and her friends. I will say that this is probably a book that
people won’t like quite as much as they liked the hate you give if only because
Bri is a less “likeable character.” Obviously I’m using air quotes there
because I think that’s a stupid way to judge books but I know that’s a way that
some people judge books. One of the ways that I feel like I connect to “less
likeable characters” — I’m gonna use air quotes around it every time I say it — is
when I understand their motivations for the way that they’re acting. And I feel
like Angie Thomas does a great job of explaining Bri’s motivations. She does
make a lot of really stupid choices in my opinion. But it’s completely
understandable why she makes all of those decisions. And looking at her life
and looking at her circumstances, you understand like why she wants the things
that she wants and why she chooses the path that she chooses. And even though
you know as a reader you can see things happening and you know that they’re bad
ideas and bad decisions, you also understand as a reader why someone in
that position would make those choices. So I really, really enjoy Angie Thomas’s
writing for that reason alone. The fact that she’s able to provide that point of
view to the main character I feel like adds a lot to the story.
I think that she also does a really good job of fleshing
out the side characters and fleshing out the rest of the family, things like that.
And you really get to know them as characters and they feel really real.
I think a big thing with all books in general if you want people to connect
with your characters, you have to make them as three-dimensional as possible in
terms of their emotions and motivations. And I feel like in this book it’s very,
very clear like why all the different characters make the choices that they
make. There are a lot of characters in here who don’t make great decisions, but
again, it’s very clear why they make those decisions. Another thing that I
absolutely adored about this book is the amount of rap and hip-hop that is in
here. Obviously since Br is a rapper herself, she is a huge rapper head. And so
she talks about artists and songs that if you’re just like a casual rap
listener you probably won’t know or you may not know. And I feel like even if
you’re someone who doesn’t listen to rap at all, the way Angie Thomas writes this
book makes you want to listen to rap or give rap a chance. I posted about this
on my Instagram page but there is a Spotify playlist, like an official
Spotify playlist made to go along with this book which I highly recommend
because it’s a great playlist. I got maybe like two or three chapters into
this book before I was craving hip hop. And so I was just gonna go and like find
my own playlist to listen to, but then I remember like because they follow Angie
Thomas on Twitter, I remember a while ago she mentioned something about making a
Spotify playlist for this book. And so I just like looked it up on Spotify. Really
easy to find, just search on the come up I’ll try to remember to leave a link in
the description but if I don’t and you have Spotify, just search on to come up
and you’ll see it right away. So yeah, I highly recommend listening to that while
you read this book because it really does add something to it. But yeah, I
think that, again, another great thing about Angie Thomas’s writing is that
even if you don’t know that much about hip-hop, I feel like this book would make
you care about hip-hop just a little bit or make you want to
give it a try even if you feel like it’s not your jam necessarily. This isn’t a
perfect book for me partially because, and I felt this way about the hate you
give as well, there is a lot of it that feels very like happily-ever-after.
Specifically things that happen at the end, so obviously I’m not gonna go too much
into details cause spoilers. But the way that some of the storylines wrap up feel
really neat. There are certain plot points that felt really obvious to me.
I won’t say exactly what but if you read the book, the stuff that happens with
miles I 100% saw that coming from like as soon as
like other details were mentioned, I was like oh that’s how that’s gonna turn out.
That’s me trying to talk about it without spoilers. But anyone who’s read
the book probably knows what I’m talking about. So yeah, I wouldn’t say like this
is a perfect book by any means. But again, I think that if you really like the hate
you give, you’ll like this one as well. It has a very similar vibe. It talks about
the issues facing a lot of black teens today who are growing up in these
lower-income neighborhoods, the struggles that they deal with, the balance that
they have to make on a regular basis and the choices that they have to make that
are really, really difficult and sometimes the circumstances that force
them into making bad decisions. So yeah, like I said, I gave it a four out of five
stars. Really, really enjoyed it. Really recommend it especially if you enjoyed
the hate you give. Put this one on your radar. This definitely will not disappoint you. So that is everything I have for this
video. Let me know down below if you’ve read on the come up your thoughts on it.
Or if you have any questions about the book, definitely feel free to leave that
down in the comment section as well. So yeah, that’s all I have for now and
thanks for watching.

14 thoughts on “On the Come Up by Angie Thomas | Book Review

  1. I also really enjoyed this book and in many ways I liked Bri as a main character a lot more. Starr and her story were very important and well done, but Bri's personality really shone through here and she had a really strong voice. Angie Thomas also does a great job of writing family relationships, which is one of the strongest parts of this story. I think the main letdown for me and the reason I rated it 4 stars instead of 5 was the weird pseudo love triangle, which felt unnecessary to me and how some storylines wrapped up too neatly, like you pointed out.

  2. On a side note – I loved the fact that you were able to speak about the book for 8 minutes without resorting to a synopsis to pad the run time. Amazing! Enjoyed the review as well.

  3. Enjoyed The Hate You Give(your review sold me) wasn’t sure about this one but AS USUAL, your review has sold me again lol. Great wrap up- can’t wait to read now

  4. Just finished this yesterday. I absolutely loved it! It was an education for me. I loved Bri! I like how she is a nerd. Loved the MANY issues the book talks about. A must read!

  5. I watch your videos every week so when you posted this vid I was so excited because I had just started the book! I literally just finished it and immediately watched your review. 🙂 I liked On the Come Up better than the Hate U Give too which surprised me! I agree with you that Angie Thomas is excellent at hooking you in from the start and that she flushes out all of her side characters really well. Thanks for another awesome review!

  6. Overall it was okay to me, the hate U give was better but Angie Thomas can WRITE and that’s what saved me and kept me reading til the end. I also didn’t like the weird love triangle, I felt like in YA the published are like put that in your book the kids will like it. 3 stars for me.

  7. Just finished, "On the come up, " I liked this better than , "The Hate U Give." I liked that Bri was making mistakes and reacting to things in her environment. I found the character to be very relatable, because when I was a teenager I definitely made a ton of mistakes. I grew up very similar to Bri so I found a lot her emotions relatable.

  8. I'm about to start this book and I'm so glad I stopped to watch your review first! I'm definitely going to be listening to the playlist alongside.

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