Book Review: On the Come Up {Angie Thomas}

Nobody was more excited for this book to be released than I was.  I waited (not so patiently) for months!   It was finally released last month and I couldn’t get my hands on a copy soon enough.  FINALLY my wait was OVER!

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.

My Thoughts:

(Disclaimer: I will never post spoilers in my reviews HOWEVER the comment section is completely fair game to discuss any and all specifics including spoilers)

3.5 Stars

So…It’s not The Hate U Give. I completely understand that I shouldn’t be comparing them because they are stand alone novels…but…it’s not The Hate U Give .

I loved that this book took us back to Garden Heights and I loved the references back to storylines from The Hate U Give . But again…it’s not The Hate U Give. .

The issues that this book discussed are IMPORTANT and truly are ones that NEED to be discussed. Angie Thomas has such a gift of being able to tell a story from a teenager’s point of view while appealing to adults at the same time. This allows everyone to benefit from the lessons and messages that this book tells. Perfection.

And yet…

There were way too many storylines for many of them to be properly developed, just about everything in this book was predictable, and so many of the characters were either completely underdeveloped or just not likable.

The first 200 pages or so were actually pretty boring.  I debated on Instagram if I should have even continued reading or if I should have abandoned the book halfway through!  I WILL say that the last half of the book (it’s 447 pages total) was MUCH better than the first half.  I’m glad I stuck with it and forged though.  If wasn’t that the beginning was bad, it was just…boring.

Overall, I liked this book and I think the messages it delivers are extremely important. Was it Angie Thomas’s best? Absolutely not. Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

I truly wonder if I had read this book before reading her first one if I would have enjoyed it more without the comparison?  I wouldn’t recommend doing that, though.  She references the first book a few times and the description of Garden Heights is SO much more detailed in her first book.  It sets the entire tone for this book in terms of the neighborhood’s setting.  I think that without reading the prior description of the Garden there would be a major disconnect while reading this book.

In case you haven’t figured out yet that I loved The Hate U Give so much (it’s is one of the best books I’ve ever read), you can read my review of it here.

Bottom Line:

This book is really good…just not as good as, well, you know 🙂

Did you read this book?  What did you think?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:30! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

Click the image below to order the book through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

Spring Break 2019 Book Recommendations {Book Coffee Happy}

If you are anything like me, you put some major thought into the books that you bring along on vacation.  How many books do you bring with you?  I tend to usually bring at least 5 no matter how long of a trip we are taking.  I bring 1 that I’m already about halfway through as it’s easier to concentrate and read on the plane once you are already “into” the book as opposed to starting a brand new one. I also bring at least 4 more books…1 which I will probably read in it’s entirety plus 3 more.  I get nervous thinking that I will begin a new book, hate it, and not have any other options…hence the 3 extra books!  Options!  Of course the amount of books I bring varies based upon if children will be traveling with us (significantly less reading time), how long of a flight we have, how long we will be on vacation, the type of vacation (beach vs sightseeing), etc.

My criteria for a perfect vacation read is simple:

I won’t want to put the book down although if need be, it must be easy to put down and immediately pick up where I left off.

And without further ado, I present to you my top choices for your spring break vacation (or staycation if you aren’t traveling) in no particular order!  Some are older books, others are newly released, ALL are perfect to bring along on your vacation. 🙂

Click on “My Review” to read it’s synopsis and my review of the book. Click the image of the book to order it through my Amazon affiliate link.  When you order through this link, I receive a tiny commission. Thank you for your support, Xo

I absolutely LOVED reading each of these books!  Enjoy!

The Woman in the Window {AJ Finn}

Read my review

Click the image to buy the book:

Young Jane Young {Gabrielle Zevin}

Read my review 

Click the image to buy the book:

The Deepest Secret {Carla Buckley}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book

Everything, Everything {Nicola Yoon}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

The Husband’s Secret {Liane Moriarty}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

An Unwanted Guest {Shari Lapena}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

The Couple Next Door {Shari Lapena}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

Pretty Baby {Mary Kubica}

Read my Review

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Nine Perfect Strangers {Liane Moriarty}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

Swear on this Life {Renee Carlino}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

Convenience Store Woman {Sayaka Murata}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

The Hate U Give {Angie Thomas}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

The Other Woman {Sandie Jones}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

Big Little Lies {Liane Moriarty}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

Deliver Her {Patricia Perry Donovan}

Read my Review

Click the image to buy the book:

Everything else you need to pack?  That’s all on you.  Books?  I got you covered 🙂

Safe and happy travels!

THE CAST GIVEAWAY WINNER:

Congratulations Heather Gannon! Your comment (My bff Amanda of 38 yrs and I have been through everything together. Marriage, divorce, birth, death, cancer, health, children you name it. Life has pulled us in separate directions and we always come back together) was randomly chosen to win an autographed copy of The Cast! Please email me at bookcoffeehappy@gmail.com with your mailing address!

Xo,

Jenny

Please share this post with book lovers across social media!

What books would you recommend as perfect vacation reads? 

Do you agree with my picks?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

It would really help me if you could follow/subscribe to my blog.  Also, please “like” my Facebook page ,  follow me on Twitter, subscribe to my Youtube channel (search Book Coffee Happy), and follow me on Instagram!

Local friends, I run a storytime every Tuesday and Friday at Whimsy Cafe in Buffalo Grove, Illinois from 10:00-10:30! Bring your kids (6 months-5 years) for stories, songs, and lots of fun. Price is included in your child’s admission, no need to sign up. If you are a blog reader, please be sure to introduce yourself!  I can’t wait to meet you and your little ones. 🙂

October Reflections

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October was a great month!  I have now had my blog for a little less than 2 months and have been having such fun with it.  There is so much to learn about having a blog and I’m having the best time expanding my knowledge through such a creative outlet.  Thank you all so much for your support!

Let’s reflect on October…

My favorite (and most controversial) post: Let’s Chat: When Did This Happen? More Importantly…WHY Did This Happen?

Man, do you all have opinions on this topic!  I also posted this in a few Facebook groups that I belong to and people had all sorts of things to say.  Some agreed with me, some did NOT, but everyone was respectful.  I absolutely love the discussions that this post started.  So many different views, so many different perspectives.  Without a doubt, this is also my favorite post that I wrote this month (actually that I’ve ever written on this blog)!  I loved writing this because I truly spoke from my heart about a topic which was so close to me and had tears in my eyes as I wrote.  Writing those words brought back so many special and cherished memories.

Best Book I Reviewed This Month: This one is a tie between Book Review: Wonder {R.J. Palacio} and The Hate U Give {Angie Thomas}

These books changed my outlook on so many things.  Both YA.  Both beautifully written.  Highly, highly recommend.

Worst Book I Reviewed This Month: Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine {Gail Honeyman}

I hated this book.  So much.

Giveaways I hosted: ****GIVEAWAY**** Maddie’s Miracles {Scott Kramer} and ***GIVEAWAY*** I’m Going to Gramma’s In My Pajamas! {Barbara Berg Mies}

I had such fun hosting 2 giveaways on the blog this month plus more giveaways exclusively on my Facebook/Twitter pages. If you aren’t yet following me on those platforms, I would be so thankful if you did (www.fb.com/bookcoffeehappy, @bookcoffeehappy) as I’m regularly posting content (and exclusive giveaways!) on those platforms.  I loved working with these kind and generous authors and sharing their lovely books. Both books were fantastic in their own ways and it was my honor to be able to share them with all of you.  Spoiler Alert: I have some AWESOME blog giveaways already scheduled for November…

Favorite Blogging Experience: As many of you saw on Facebook/Twitter, this happened last week:

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This was such an amazing opportunity and experience for me. I met some very interesting people and learned a great deal. Just being surrounded by so many passionate authors was so wonderfully inspirational. I loved being included in their thought provoking discussion.

Favorite Personal Experience: My Life: Our Perfect Getaway

Take me baaaaaack.

Total Combined Number of Book Coffee Happy Facebook, Twitter, and Blog Subscribers/Followers: 720

Not bad for less than 2 months of blogging!  I’m so thankful for every single subscribe, follow, like, share, and comment.  I am overwhelmed at the kindness and generosity of the book blogging community and how many people have helped my blog to GROW!  To the many of you that I do not know in real life, I’m so looking forward to getting to know you though my blog.  I love sharing pieces of my life and thoughts with all of you and I have some upcoming blog posts which I am really passionate about.

One thing that would really help me would be to please subscribe/follow on my actual blog. There is a place to do this right at the top of this page where you can enter your email address (scroll all the way to the bottom of this page if you are on an a mobile device). If you have already done this, THANK YOU so much!

I would also love if you would follow me on Facebook and Twitter (www.fb.com/bookcoffeehappy, @bookcoffeehappy).

I have discovered some AWESOME blogs over the past few weeks…and I love that so many new people have discovered mine.  If you are new here…welcome!  I’m so happy that you’re here 🙂

Happy Halloween!  I am dressing up today as the Evil Queen and my daughter will be Evie (Descendants).  My husband will be Willy Wonka and my son will be an Oompa Loompa (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).  Fingers crossed for no rain!

How was your month? I would love to hear some highlights in the comments! Bloggers, feel free to link your most memorable October posts for others to check out in the comments as well 🙂

Xo,

Jenny