March 2019 Book of the Month: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Published: February 5th, 2019
Episode Seven: On the Come Up
[WORDS ABOUT WORDS THEME]
ANNOUNCER: This review is brought to you by Words About Words.
BREE: Thank you for tuning in! Today we will be discussing our March book of the month, On the Come Up by Angie Thomas.
TREE: So, what are your initial thoughts about this one?
BREE: I liked it overall, but I guess I had a hard time connecting to it on a deeper level.
TREE: Yeah, I definitely could not relate to Bri in almost any way (expect for her love of Harry Potter and Star Wars), but I loved her as a character. We don’t see characters like her and with her experiences very often.
BREE: That’s true. I love how the #ownvoices authors are diversifying fiction and making it relatable to a wider audience. Another thing I liked about On the Come Up was how Angie intertwined Bri’s raps into the book’s format, but that might just be because I listed to the audiobook.
TREE: I read the eBook and the raps did not have the same impact. It was fine, but not really memorable. But, I also do struggle with reading song lyrics. I am weirdly into rap history so I loved learning more about both real and fictitious rappers.
BREE: (laughs) Did you do a Wikipedia deep dive on the subject?
TREE: I did not.
BREE: (laughs) Anyways, back to the matter at hand. I really like all the character detail that was put into this book! The entire neighborhood was interesting, diverse, and realistic.
TREE: I really enjoyed that we are in the same neighborhood as The Hate You Give. I appreciated seeing the impact of the events of that novel. But the references were not super overt which was nice. I also, loved the family dynamics. Seeing Bri and her mom’s relationship was probably my favorite part of the novel.
BREE: Yes! I really enjoyable their chemistry and affection for each other. As for THUG, I still haven’t read it, but it is higher on my TBR now.
TREE: The entire Jackson family experiences growth–both on their own and together. I love seeing novels expand on family dynamics and Angie does a great job making this family seem authentic. The discussion on poverty and how it impacts this family was important and something that is not common in Young Adult novels.
BREE: I also, liked how Angie showed the diverse levels of poverty within the same socioeconomic class. It really painted an accurate picture of the different types of struggles people go through. Although, I do feel like the plot of the book lacks something to make it truly stand out.
TREE: I also struggled with the plot a bit. I expected a certain plot point to happen way earlier in the book and that sort of put a damper on my enjoyment. Since I prefer character driven stories it wasn’t a huge issue, but it still irked me.
BREE: I did enjoy the Love, Simon reference that Angie snuck in though.
TREE: Yes! I love Angie and Becky’s friendship so much. Okay what is your rating?
BREE: Of their friendship?
TREE: Yes, but that is clearly 10/10. So what about the book?
BREE: (laughs) I would say the book is a 3.75/5 stars. How about you?
TREE: It’s a solid 4/5 stars for me. Okay, that’s all the time we have for today.
BREE: See you next time!
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for tuning in for this review of On the Come Up by Angie Thomas.
TREE: Make sure to tune in next month when we review The Blood Spell by CJ Redwine!
BREE: I can’t wait. I’m on a bit of a fantasy kick right now.
TREE: I’m always down for a retelling and I believe this is a Cinderella retelling. Thanks for listening!
xoxo, Bree & Tree