On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

On the Come Up

Angie Thomas

fiction Contemporary Young Adult
emotional medium-paced

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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.

What the community thinks

summary of 2227 ratings (see reviews)

Content warnings

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Addiction (2 reviewers), Racism (2 reviewers), and Death (1 reviewer)


Racism (2 reviewers), Drug abuse (2 reviewers), Gun violence (2 reviewers), Violence (1 reviewer), Police brutality (1 reviewer), and Drug use (1 reviewer)


emotional 85%
inspiring 70%
hopeful 57%
challenging 38%
reflective 34%
funny 24%
tense 21%
informative 19%
sad 15%
dark 9%
adventurous 3%
lighthearted 2%


medium 64%
fast 34%
slow 0%

Strong character development?

Yes: 94% | It's complicated: 5%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 90% | It's complicated: 9%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 98% | It's complicated: 1%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 80% | It's complicated: 11% | No: 6% | N/A: 2%

Average rating


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