Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Teen Tuesday and Audiobook Review: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. Unabridged audiobook on one MP3-CD. 12 hours. Narrated by Bahni Turpin. HarperAudio, February, 2019. 9781538496831. (Review of purchased finished copy.)

Teen Tuesday features On the Come Up by Angie Thomas. Thomas' smashing debut, The Hate U Give remains on the New York Times best seller list and a TMS student favorite. Her sophomore effort, On the Come Up does not disappoint. 

This first-person narration is set in Garden Heights some months after the riots that concluded The Hate U Give but features different characters. Here, sixteen-year-old Briana (Bri) is an aspiring rapper at a performing arts charter school in Garden Heights. As one of the few brown skinned students in this school, she finds herself frequently in detention for being "aggressive," suspended or profiled by the school's security guards. Added to that are her worries about her family's financial situation. Bri's mom is behind on her bills and when she loses her secretarial job, those bills pile up and the family is facing eviction. After Bri wins a rap competition, she has the opportunity to make it big with a questionable, yet successful manager and a recording contract, but this may come at a cost. Is it one Bri is willing to take?

Thomas' strengths as a writer are in her storytelling and character development. Her characters are strong and prone to astute social observation and provocative statements. In addition to challenging her readers' assumptions, she paints an in-depth picture of the creative process of rap poets. 

Bahni Turpin continues to amaze me with her narrative ability. She voices the huge cast of characters uniquely and with seamless ease. She truly is a wonder.

Read On the Come Up with your ears or with your eyes, but read it. You NEED to read it. 

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