Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 219
strong contemporary fiction
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
ON THE COME UP is a fantastic new YA contemporary that handles big issues like racism and sexism. The characters are easy to connect with, and the book evolves beautifully. I highly recommend for everyone- you won't be disappointed in this contemporary novel that tackles social justice in the context of a girl using her rap talents to try to make it big.

Bri's father was a rapper who almost made it big, but his life was cut short when he was shot in gang violence. After that, her mother became addicted to drugs and she and her brother went to live with their grandparents. Bri has been back with her mother for a while, but things are getting harder now that her mother has lost her job and bills are piling up. Bri is also starting to be known for her own rap talents.

On top of that, Bri is bussed to a wealthier school who wanted more diversity, but she and other students of color are targeted by the security guards. After a particular incident when they treat her badly, Bri wants things to change, but she is pushed down by the administrators and punished for selling candy bars- when the security guards had thought she was selling drugs. This and some other parts of the story really present racism in an easy to understand way that is really important for young readers.

As she tries to break into the rap scene, there are also a few incidents with sexism that add to the overall messages of social justice. It is all woven into a strong contemporary YA, and just beautifully well done. I highly recommend for everyone looking for a great new read!
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