The award-winning author of The Hate U Give returns with a powerful story about hip hop, freedom of speech – and fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you.
Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But when her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, Bri finds herself at the centre of controversy and portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. And with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it – she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.
After reading and loving The Hate U Give, I was really looking forward to reading On the Come Up.
We meet teenager Bri who wants to follow in her dead father’s footsteps and become a famous rapper. Her home life isn’t the easiest with a mother who is a recovering drug addict who is struggling to make ends meet and an older brother who was A star student of which her teachers are expecting the same from her. There is a lot of pressure on her shoulders and I felt for this young girl who doesn’t want to upset anyone but also wants to follow her dreams.
I also felt for Jay, Bri’s mum in the story. She is trying to do the best for her kids but never seems to get a break or enough money to pay all the bills. It’s a toss up between no food or having heat and electric. It really hit home at how many families find themselves in this sort of situation. It was interesting to see how this family unit worked together to try and make ends meet.
The author touches on many topics within the story and it all makes for a very up to date read with issues that are present in the here and now. Whilst I think this story is more aimed at young adults, I think older adults can still very much appreciate this story of a young girls struggles to follow her dreams.
On the Come Up was a story that I had no problems getting caught up in. I did slightly worry that it might not be for me as rap music isn’t quite my scene but I really got into it and was routing for Bri to come out on top. It’s not just about following your dreams but about family and there was plenty of drama going on that had me worrying about Bri and certain members of her family. Whilst it didn’t have as big an impact on me as The Hate U Give, it’s a good read that kept me turning the pages.