“I might have to kill somebody tonight,” reads the opening line of Angie Thomas’ On the Come Up. On Thursday, the rising author unveiled the cover for her forthcoming Hate U Give followup, and if this excerpt is any indication of what to expect, sign us up for a pre-order.
Per Entertainment Weekly, Thomas’ latest tells the story of a 16-year-old aspiring rapper named Bri. Set in the same neighborhood as the one featured in The Hate U Give (aka THUG), the book follows Bri as she attempts to fill the shoes of her underground rap legend dad who has unfortunately passed away.
Thomas told EW she was inspired by the tragedies she experienced as a kid.
“Kids like Bri, they don’t end up on the news like that. Kids like Bri, they become statistics and numbers,” Thomas said. “Those kids are never seen as actual people … For me, I sat down and I said, ‘You know what, I want to write something about that big tragedy that happened in my life, because there are so many kids out there who are going through that same thing, and we don’t talk about that enough.'”
In November, a Katy, Texas school district banned THUG from its curriculum amid complaints surrounding the book’s explicit language and descriptions of drug use (it’s since reappeared on book shelves). That clearly hasn’t discouraged Thomas from working her pen, and with On the Come Up hitting shelves on June 5, it won’t be long before the brilliant 29-year-old rocks our world again.
“For me, the heart of the book is about overcoming. That’s something that is shared with THUG,” Thomas continued. “Where Starr is overcoming her fear, Bri is overcoming this whole thing of poverty. Theme-wise, there are similarities, and I think at the end of the day, what I still want to do is I want all of my books to reflect what I call those ‘roses and concrete,’ based on that poem that Tupac had. These kids come from rough circumstances and situations, but have so much beauty about them.”
Read more and check out the cover for On the Come Up here.