First Pages: On the Come Up
A lot of fans are likely drawn to On the Come Up on the heels of Angie Thomas’ successful debut novel The Hate U Give, which has been on the NYT bestseller top ten YA list for 100 weeks straight. And while I admit that I bought On the Come Up because I loved THUG so much, I also wanted to read more from Angie Thomas. (In fact I’ve only recently owned a copy of THUG since my SIL gave me the gold edition for Christmas—for the read-along, I held onto the library’s copy for way too long.)
I love her wit, I love her references to Harry Potter, and I love getting to know this Garden Heights community.
That’s something HUGE—bigger than world-building for a sci-fi or fantasy story—creating a fictional world that’s real and that’s likeable.
We’ve gotten to know Garden Heights through the eyes of Starr in THUG, and now we are getting to know it through the eyes of Bri.
Thomas starts out On the Come Up with Bri (Brianna) stating that she has to kill someone. It’s kind of a memorable opening line, and it definitely pulls the reader one, even as we get to know that she’s talking about a rap battle and not actually killing someone.
I’m in right away—Bri has a great voice and I’m invested in what happens to her immediately.
Will Bri win this battle? Will Thomas reference Harry Potter in this novel? Will we see other characters from THUG in the Garden Heights community?
Well, I’ll have to read more to find out, of course.
Bonus: I love both covers of Thomas’ novels and On the Come Up has a fabulous black cover underneath with red end pages, a la Twilight. (Okay, not everything circles back to Twilight. But I love the semi-goth feel to it…even though this is a book that is all about rap. :D)
Do you have a favorite book in which the author develops the community so richly that it reads as if it is its own character? Favorite fictional town in a novel? Let me know in the comments.
[Featured photo is part of my dashboard shelfie series. I just love that one book is about punk and one is about rap and I happened to be carrying around both of them that day. Plus my radio is on NPR. :D]
First Pages note: I started the First Lines and First Pages series in November 2017 as a homage to National Novel Writing Month. In the tradition of one of my previous writing groups, I decided to 'share' the first lines of successful middle grade and YA novels in order to figure out what made them successful first pages. I posted as many as I could in November, and now post the series on the first of every month (or close to it). Please let me know in the comment section if you have any First Pages book recommendations.