On The Come Up

A Novel Based On A True Story
by Hannah Weyer


After reading the last three books by Sister Souljah, which feature young people overcoming odds in ways far beyond their years, it was refreshing to have a more realistic viewpoint. AnnMarie Walker is a 13 year old living in Far Rockaway Queens, New York. This is the type of impoverished neighborhood that is so cut off from the rest of the world that just traveling to Manhattan seems like going to another country. It’s literally the last stop on the A train.

AnnMarie has dreams like other girls her age: dreams of being in a singing group, dreams of having the hottest fashion, dreams of being loved. Circumstances find her as a student at a school for pregnant teens, and she comes across a flier advertising for extras to appear in an independent film. Curious, she auditions and gets a role in the production. Her involvement with the film open up her world to include other people, neighborhoods, even states.

The story is told in an urban vernacular that I found mostly believable. What I loved most is that this is just a story about a young girl who makes decisions just like a 13 year old, even when her responsibilities seem to far exceed her age. It’s scary, beautiful, and inspiring all at the same time.



Disclaimer: I received a copy of this e-book from Knopf Doubleday in exchange for an honest review.

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