My Second Time Reading On The Come Up By Angie Thomas

After years of only picking up new books, it's about time that I started to go back to all the old ones on my shelves through a series of rereadit is an occasional thing for me to get back to as I love the feeling of visiting an old friend while being reminded of how much I've grown up in a certain span of time.

My first reread of the year was On The Come Up by Angie Thomas, one of my favorite reads in early 2019, which I managed to finish today. Aside from completing my own mission, I chose this book as a part of #bipocreadathon hosted by Iliana from @wonkasbookfactory this month. Basic info about the read-a-thon: there's no specific number of books you need to readone is fine though the merrier the betterbecause the goal here is to educate ourselves more about this matter at hand whilst expanding our TBR list by including more books written by BIPOC authors. If you want to know more about this read-a-thon you can visit the link attached. 

On The Come Up follows the story of a sixteen-year-old Brianna Jackson who wants to be a professional rapper while trying to graduate from high school. Sadly, there are a lot of things in life Bri can’t control: her Dad who used to be a rap legend was shot to death when she was a kid; she and the other black students are being treated unfairly at school; a lot of people on the internet accuse her of being someone she isn't; while her family is now struggling to pay bills as they barely have enough money for food and electricity. Needless to say, Bri doesn't only want to make itshe needs to make it to save her Mom, her brother Trey, and possibly her Aunt Pooh too.

One of my favorite reads last year still turned out to be one of my favorite reads this year: On The Come Up was still as great as I remembered. Not only that Thomas successfully explored such significant and relatable issues, but she also managed to maintain her writing charisma and make it as fun as it was touching. In short, I was once again impressed by her brilliant storytelling. Exploring issues like racism, double standards, addiction, homophobia, and many more, Thomas cleverly wrapped them up in the form of a family drama with countless interesting characters. Revolving around the world of hip hop as its primary topic, On The Come Up was as sharp as it was heartwarming.

If I recall correctly, I was a bit annoyed that Bri listened to neither her Mom nor her aunt the first time I read this book. Now that I had given it another go, I felt like I could understand her more. Bri was impulsive and a little not easy to like. However, she had her own reasons and I very much adored her for being tough, brave, and clever. Facing her ups and downs with courage, Bri's character developed realistically through experiences, certainly the kind of heroine I would love to read more about in the future.

Another thing that differs my two reading experiences regarding this book is the fact I now read the rap parts slowly hence they gave me chills. Compared to last year, I felt like I became better at absorbing how powerful the lyrics were and so I thought how lit would it be if this book could actually come with the actual recording of the songs. Meanwhile, both experiences of mine shared a similar growing fondess for the characters especially Trey and the trio's friendship: Trey was very caring while Bri, Sonny, and Malik always had each other's back in spite of their sporadic arguments throughout the story.

Overall, On The Come Up was amazing. It might not conclude a perfect ending for everyone but it certainly came up with a satisfying conclusion considering the fact that it was very important for Bri to be able to find her true self through this hardship while gaining the courage to speak up. So even though I still liked The Hate U Give more, On The Come Up deserves its own spotlight and I think everyone should read it at least once in a lifetime.

Actual rating: 4.7★