Sixteen-year-old Bri is the daughter of underground rap legend, Lawless. She dreams of making it big as a rapper one day, not just because she knows it’s her calling but because she knows it could get herself and her family out of Garden Heights. After an incident at her school, she writes and records a song that unexpectedly goes viral. Soon, everyone is talking about Bri, and not for the reasons she expected.
When her song becomes public online, it sets off a chain of events that start to affect her, and her family, in more ways than any of them could have predicted. At the same time, Bri is struggling with changing friendships, and trying to stay neutral among family dynamics, which turns out to be nearly impossible. When Bri finally reaches her breaking point she finds out who she can trust and who she can’t, and who will always have her back.
“I have a moment. Of all the places and times to have one, I do. See, those words started in my head. Mine. Conceived from my thoughts and my feelings. Birthed through my pencil and onto my notepad. Somehow, they’ve found their way to my classmates’ tongues. I think they’re saying them for themselves, yeah, but I know they’re saying them for me. That’s enough to make me say them, too.”
-Bri, in The Come Up
Wow, I could tell from the first chapter that this book was going to be epic. Just like with The Hate U Give, each chapter got better and better. I mean better as in, more intense, more complicated, and more realistic. Bri and her story absolutely came to life on the pages of this book.
While reading, I was able to see the story play out in my mind as though it were a movie. Each chapter ends on a little cliffhanger that compels you to keep reading, as most good writers like Angie Thomas are wont to do. I wished that Bri’s aunt’s story had ended differently, but the happy ending that Bri and her family receive at the very end of the book provided enough closure for the story. And believe me, the closure was necessary because this book hits you with every single emotion you can think of when you least expect it.
I absolutely recommend this book to everyone, even if you haven’t read The Hate U Give, although you should definitely read that, too.