I really enjoyed On The Come Up by Angie Thomas about a young female rapper named Bri.
The story covers the pressure to live up to a parents past reputation; love and friendship; institutionalised racism; taking a stand whilst simultaneously trying to keep out of trouble; drug dealing and past addiction and struggling to pay the bills and keep the refrigerator on.
A realistic description of life in a dangerous neighbourhood, which is also a place where Bri has grown up, where she has family and possibly the best chance of realising her dream.
There are a lot of light hearted, funny moments between Bri, her family and friends which balance out the struggle and worry of everyday life.
This novel really is brilliant at showing the confusing choices presented and the emotional strength it takes for a young woman to remain authentic and respected when coming up in the industry.
Karou has two lives to juggle. She is a seventeen-year-old student in Prague and an errand girl to a creature who owns a business in Elsewhere. Raised in his shop but never visiting Elsewhere, she knows nothing of how she came to be there as a baby and never quite feels whole. Now she has to choose between her comfortable life here and the war ravaged world that may hold of the answers.
This almost felt like a book of three parts and four perspectives but when the reason they were interlinked was revealed, I was genuinely surprised. There was another very revealing (and shocking) moment similar to this toward the end but I cannot tell you the reason for that either as it would spoil the entire story.
Don’t let the almost chick-lit parts of the first half of the book put you off if you are into epic fantasy. This is a huge story that really gathers momentum and weight around half way through. It is part of a trilogy and so the plot and characters develop in accordance to that. Trust me, by the time you reach the end, you will be obsessed with reading the next book in the series.
Imagine if everything you new about your life turned out to be a lie. When Lauren starts to realise her adoptive parents aren’t telling her the truth she sets of on a journey to uncover secrets surrounding her adoption. However certain people will do anything to make sure those secrets stay buried.
Girl Missing grabbed my attention from the start and held it until the end – not an easy feat. After I’d finished reading I realised and was tired, thirsty and hungry but because I’d been so absorbed in the plot I hadn’t even noticed! Perfect pacing and the right balance of dialogue and action, likeable but flawed characters and plot twists which aren’t obvious makes this one of the most enjoyable novels I’ve read.
Author Sophie McKenzie does a wonderful job of creating secondary characters that are three dimensional and relevant in their own right. Main character Lauren can be a little self absorbed and her friend Jam can run out on her at the worst moments but these are teenagers facing very difficult odds and they do realise their failings and admit there mistake. It’s because the characters are relatable and likeable that really drives this story along as well as the mystery and danger. I’ve read incredibly well constructed novels before but had to abandon them because I couldn’t tolerate the characters.
I highly recommend Girl Missing to both adults and teens and will certainly be passing this on to a few friends and my bloke to read.
This 10th Anniversary edition includes a deleted scene and a Q&A with McKenzie.