Review: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

All these folks I’ve never met became gods over my life. Now I gotta take the power back.

This is a book that I’ve been waiting to read for a while now – I read the first few pages and was interested, and then had to wait weeks to be able to borrow it XD. I think that simply created a sort of build-up to the book, hence making me anticipate more than there actually was. Not that it was a bad book – it was just sort of underwhelming. 

Anywho, on to the review!


So Brianna is an interesting character. Nowadays, I think we get to see a lot more of teen characters being actual teenagers, and that’s something I appreciated about this book. However, a lot of the times her stubbornness was just bothersome. I’m sorry if that opinion isn’t isn’t very agreeable, but hey, it’s my opinion!

It was also great to see her family life (family being an aspect that is largely disregarded in a lot of YA, because cool 16-year-old girls sO do not have parents). But there was something lacking in building the relationships between Bri, and Jay and Trey – I could care more.

On to her friends. Sonny was fine, but the Malik storyline – oh dear. I rolled my eyes so hard when she so casually slips in that she has an all-time crush on him. That whole storyline of the story felt very out of place and frankly, unneeded. You may disagree with me but…I just didn’t like it.


Overall, the book was well paced. However (and this may just be my lack of compassion and soul) the characters were slow to grow on me. At around 130 pages, by which I’m usually engrossed in the book – I just wasn’t. I was mildly intrigued, but not hooked.


That said, the world-building was very good. Angie Thomas writes contemporary fiction much more realistically and relatably than it usually is.    


On the Come Up is a very original book, but there were some parts which felt sort of cliche. For example, the excessive communicating through thoughts with Sonny and Malik. Some tropes don’t really seem impressive, just annoying, and this was one of them. Something small, but a little annoying.

Now it’s not completely fair to rate books comparing to the author’s other books, but…I’m gonna do it anyway. Even though I read it as an ebook and only small bits at a time, The Hate U Give was much more memorable than this. It sort of feels like after the success of THUG, Angie Thomas just *had* to write something as touching and relevant. There was an interesting idea at the centre of it, but then there were a lot of themes that the book tried to fit in, but it just…didn’t work.

Still, it was an agreeable book – inspiring, and a smooth read. 3 stars! 

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