‘On the Come Up’ by Angie Thomas – Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

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.

My Review


Felt like crying when I saw there was an epilogue because I just needed it to be over already!!!!!!

This was overwrought, insanely drawn out, laden with stereotypical characters rather than characters that felt visceral in any shape or form.

The writing was sub-par, the plot was borderline nonexistent, the side characters were bland and interchangeable and I couldn’t cope with the stupidity that the MC Bri frequently displayed. She was such an irritating character with how she basically disrespected her mother and brother at every opportunity which could have made for an interesting person to read about…

But frankly she just annoyed me too much to even value those attributes of hers and consider her an interestingly flawed lead character.

Such a disappointment after the powerful character that was Starr in THUG and especially when this book had such an important message about the disgusting racial discrimination shown to black and latinx teenagers by authority figures.

But sadly that message got lost amidst the less than mediocre writing. Nope. This wasn’t at all to my liking.

The one positive aspect was the inclusion of Bri’s raps.

Typically I hate when books include lyrics of songs, poetry etc etc that are supposedly written by one or more of the characters in the book but this was an example of when the rap lyrics were truly much more powerful than anything else said in this book. I was firmly able to believe in Bri’s talents and really wished that the emotion of these raps was more evident in the rest of the novel.

So I’ll give an extra star for them and say two stars overall….

An hour and a half later…. nope. I’m bitter. One star it is OOOPS!!!!!!!!!

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27 thoughts on “‘On the Come Up’ by Angie Thomas – Book Review

  1. LMAAOOO EMER, your review!! I can’t 😂😂😂 I think the reason why I haven’t read this book is coz I’m worried it’ll be nothing on the scale of THUG, which was incredible and so brilliant. I’ve had this sitting on my shelf since it came out and I don’t know when I’ll get to it. Honestly, I might’ve even forgot it was there until this review 😂😂😂 Definitely in no rush to be gettin to it now! Lmaaoo this review. Yeowch… 🙈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well let’s try that again shall we!!! Lol I accidentally hit send. What I was saying is that it doesn’t have the same gravitas of THUG and therefore any quibbles that I would have had re Thomas’ writing style, character development etc in THUG were magnified in On the Come Up


  2. Haha! You go ahead and be bitter! We will be bitter together. xD To be honest, I’ve heard others not like this one and if you don’t like it then I have no interest in picking it up, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your negative reviews make me laugh lol. Only this morning I moved it from my TBR shelf to my TBR pile on my bedside table. Now I’m wondering whether to move it back to the shelves again 🤔

    Liked by 2 people

    i…have like no interest in reading this book at all and your review has reinforced that completely. whew i’m laughing so hard right now emer this is amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ugh, I’m sorry this one wasn’t good enough 😦 . I didn’t read this book just because I didn’t want to be disappointed, but I had it on my TBR. I don’t think I’ll read it anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This review… can I just say I’ve missed reading how you don’t hold back at all with negative reviews!! 😂🙌 I’ve had this book on my TBR but the part where you mention her being disrespectful has me reconsidering. I really, really dislike that in characters. Glad to know that the raps are worth reading though! Do you think this book could have been told completely verse/rap style and been better? 😄 Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol you’re more than welcome!!! I just can’t help but rant can I. I don’t think a verse novel would have made this feel any more authentic because when the raps were incorporated into the storyline they really popped out, felt memorable. So if the whole book had been one long verse style novel that uniqueness would have been lost.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. HAHA nothing wrong with a some ranting every now and then 😛 I see your point about taking away its emphasis if the whole book is in verse. It’s a shame that it’s not easily fixable since this book had so much potential!

        Liked by 1 person

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