Straight to the top

Thrilling new Angie Thomas novel exceeds expectations


Annika Pepper

Angie Thomas’ second book, “On the Come Up,” lives up to expectations set by her first book, “The Hate You Give.” Through her new protagonist, Bri Jackson, Angie Thomas is once again able to tackle heavy-hitting topics while keeping her readers entertained.

Jordan Owens, Staff Writer

Through the riveting story of a young woman following her dream of becoming a rapper, Angie Thomas’ latest novel shows how one decision can completely change your life and what people think of you.

When Bri uploads her song to the Internet and it goes viral, she believes she’s finally on her come up.

— Staff Writer Jordan Owens

“On the Come Up,” the newest book released by Angie Thomas, came out on Feb. 5. This book follows Thomas’ previous bestselling novel, “The Hate U Give,” which was released in February of 2017. Though “On the Come Up” follows most of the same moral points given in Thomas’ first novel, the central theme is less dedicated to fitting in and more focused on standing up for yourself.

Through “On the Come Up,” Angie Thomas tells a coming of age story with unique details that are not usually seen in many books. She has strong female leads of color that youth today can look up to, takes issues that no one addresses and speaks on them, and creates an entertaining novel that everyone can enjoy.

“On the Come Up” has been at the top of the New York Times Bestseller list for the past two weeks, and with all its great responses, this novel has already gotten a movie deal with Fox 2000. The film will have the same director and producers as the movie adaptation for “The Hate U Give.”

The contemporary fiction novel is about sixteen-year-old aspiring rapper Bri Jackson. When Bri’s mother, Jay, loses her job, and Bri goes through a traumatic event at school, she does what any songwriter would do and writes about how she feels. When Bri uploads her song to the Internet and it goes viral, she believes she’s finally on her come up. That is, until Bri realizes that her song had gone viral for the wrong reasons. Now she must decide between trying to maintain a good image or living up to negative stereotypes to help her family through this hard time.

‘The Hate U Give’ is about finding your voice, and ‘On the Come Up’ is about using that voice to help bring positive change to the world.

— Staff Writer Jordan Owens

These characters go through obstacles of violence and injustice, but they also go through obstacles that every teenager can relate to. One minute Bri and her friends are studying for the ACT. The next minute, they are being harassed by school security. This tactic brings realism to the story.

Angie Thomas also uses the tactic of having both negative and positive characteristics in her characters to bring them to life for the reader even more. For example, Bri is shown as a stubborn person willing to do anything for her family. This can be seen throughout the book as she struggles to realize that protecting her family is important, but as a teenager, the weight of it does not need to fall solely on her.

There was never a dull moment in this book. This novel kept the reader interested in the plot while also talking about racism in America. Thomas was able to intertwine different subplots in her story while still furthering the main plot in a way that never detracted from either.

This book shows how important it is to stand up for yourself and the others around you that are seen being oppressed or wronged. It constantly displays this as the students at Bri’s school stand together and protest because of how students get treated.

For me “On the Come Up” is a sequel to the “The Hate U Give” in a way. “The Hate U Give” is about finding your voice, and “On the Come Up” is about using that voice to help bring positive change to the world.