Books

On the Come Up

A novel by Angie Thomas.

Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri's got massive shoes to fill.

But it's hard to get your come up when you're labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral... for all the wrong reasons.

Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down, Bri doesn't just want to make it — she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.  

Insightful, unflinching and full of heart, On the Come Up is an ode to hip hop from one of the most influential literary voices of a generation. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; and about how, especially for young black people, freedom of speech isn't always free. (From HarperCollins)

From the book

I might have to kill somebody tonight.

It could be somebody I know. It could be a stranger. It could be somebody who's never battled before. It could be somebody who's a pro at it. It doesn't matter how many punch lines they spit or how nice their flow is. I'll have to kill them.

First, I gotta get the call. To get the call, I gotta get the hell out of Mrs. Murray's class.

Some multiple-choice questions take up most of my laptop, but the clock though. The clock is everything. According to it, there are 10 minutes until 4:30, and according to Aunt Pooh, who knows somebody who knows somebody, DJ Hype calls between 4:30 and 5:30. I swear if I miss him, I...

Won't do s--t 'cause Mrs. Murray has my phone, and Mrs. Murray's not one to play with.


From On the Come Up by Angie Thomas ©2019. Published by HarperCollins.

More books by Angie Thomas

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