On the Come Up is about 16 year old Brianna Jackson who has a dream to become a rapper just like her father. He was killed in an act of gang violence when she was a little girl but he was an underground rap legend in her community.
Brianna seemed very believable as a sixteen year old. A lot of times in YA the main protagonists would act a lot older than what they really were but this was very realistic. She has had to deal with a lot over the course of her life and I think that definitely came across in how she holds herself and acts around others. She struggles with issues about her self-worth and not being fully realized about her identity and the grief surrounding her father’s death and then the abandonment issues in regards to her mother. That’s a lot for one 16 year old’s shoulder’s so honestly it’s no wonder she lashes out.
I loved the familial aspect of the story; I thought that was very interesting and again very realistic. Bri’s relationship with her brother was lovely, he is always there taking care of her and making sure she is ok but then will also call her out on her BS. Her grandparents were hilarious and added another layer of realism and depth to the storyline. The little feud was entertaining and I appreciated the way both women hashed it out at the end and came together to form a solution to their problems.
I loved the banter between Bri and her friends. They have their fights but then they remind each other just how far back they go and how much they care about each other and then they are able to overcome their petty squabbles, which I found really cute.
These kinds of books frustrate me. I can appreciate how we see the evolution of Bri as she tries to save her family and not feel like a burden to them but at the same time watching her make all of these decisions that are questionable and all the angst involved just isn’t all that entertaining to me personally.
⭐️3/5 Eye opening, raw & real!!