On the Come Up by Angie Thomas – Book Review

Set in the same community as Thomas’s first book, The Hate U Give, On the Come Up follows Bri, a teen who loves to rap, lost her father in a gang shooting, spent much of her youth living at her grandparents because her mother was a drug addict, and is trying to find a place for her voice. When she records a track which goes viral, she finds that the message that she is trying to send isn’t necessarily the same message that will be taken.

I really love Thomas’s writing. The world that she depicts is a lot different from that which I’ve experienced, but I get taken there and live with her characters for a while. I was so cross at Bri for her naivety, and I was so cross with the whole world for not listening and taking advantage. And for being so unfair.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas – Book Review

Starr Carter lives in a poor neighbourhood with gangs and drugs and violence, but attends a private school with a very different crowd. She is being driven home by a childhood friend, Khalil, who is more recently known around for selling drugs, when they are stopped by police and he is shot, despite doing nothing wrong. The book follows Starr as she deals with her own grief and guilt, her family and community, and the world of her school.

This is an amazing book which covers so much in a single story while being engaging every step of the way. It’s heartbreaking and, in the US, depressingly common.