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Publisher's Summary

Earphones Award Winner (AudioFile Magazine)

Based on a true story, an impassioned and propulsive debut novel about a headstrong girl from Far Rockaway, Queens, who is trying to find her place in the world

Written in an urban vernacular that’s electrifying and intimate, On the Come Up introduces a heroine whose voice is irrepressible, dynamic, and unstintingly honest. Thirteen-year-old AnnMarie Walker dreams of a world beyond Far Rockaway, where the sway of the neighborhood keeps her tied to old ideas about success. While attending a school for pregnant teens, AnnMarie comes across a flyer advertising movie auditions in Manhattan. Astonishingly, improbably, and four months before she’s due to give birth - she lands a lead role. For a time, AnnMarie soars - acting for the camera, flying to the Sundance Film Festival, seeing her face on screen. But when the film fades from view and the realities of her life set in, AnnMarie’s grit and determination are the only tools left to keep her moving forward.

Told with remarkable compassion and based on the real-life story of Anna Simpson, whom the author met during the filming of the award-winning Our Song, Hannah Weyer’s debut novel is an incredible act of literary ventriloquism that powerfully illuminates the lives of the urban unseen.

©2013 Hannah Weyer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Ross's delivery is infused with soul, turning AnnMarie into an almost heartbreakingly realistic character. Thanks to Ross, AnnMarie all but leaps through the listener's earbuds, and her all-too-common story is one that will continue to haunt one long after the audiobook is over." (AudioFile)

"Hannah Weyer’s debut novel is an incredible act of literary ventriloquism that stunned me with its authenticity, humor, exuberance, and warmth. The book is based on the true story of Anna Simpson, a young woman whom the author met thirteen years ago, during the making of her husband’s independent film Our Song. At the time, Anna was a 15-year-old girl living with her mother in Far Rockaway, Queens — a neighborhood often defined by its social isolation, Section 8 housing, and gang violence. Even though Anna was untrained as an actress and due to give birth a month before filming began, after four call-backs and many discussions, she was cast to play one of the lead roles."

Anna’s fictional counterpart speaks in a voice that commanded my attention from page one. I found it impossible not to root for her, as did the in-house readers whose enthusiasm motivated us to win the project at auction. Here are some of their remarks: “Loving every page. The narrative is seamless, and the pitch-perfect voice transports you to an authentic, complex world that feels instantly accessible,” “AnnMarie’s unstinting honesty makes her a compelling protagonist … the rawness of her experience is riveting,” “I was hooked. AnnMarie’s voice is incredibly compelling and addictive. I was completely drawn into AnnMarie’s world.”

After reading the manuscript I couldn’t help but speculate about the life stories of people I passed on the street or sat next to on the subway, people I know little about, even though we live in close proximity. Prepare to be swept up." (Ronit Feldman, Editor, Random House)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story
  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 08-09-13

Modern Relevant Inner-City Coming of Age Story

I almost gave up on this book in the beginning and I am very glad I stuck with it. This story of Ann-Marie Walker begins with her growing up in a foster home, then back to living with her disabled mother.
Ann -Marie soon becomes pregnant with her abusive boyfriend Darius. Darius is in and out of her life, She learns of an opportunity to act in a movie while enrolled in classes for pregnant girls; Ann-Marie decides to audition and YES!!!! she gets the part.
The movie is shown at Sundance and instead of being excited for her, boyfriend/Baby Daddy Darius becomes jealous and extra mean. Nonetheless Ann-Marie perseveres and in time her voice gets louder and stronger. As her story progresses our main character matures into "becoming herself", a capable young woman. The reader /listener is left to wonder where Ann-Marie is today, what her life is like.
I am so very glad I listened to this book; I found it interesting and I really appreciated getting to know Ms. Ann-Marie Walker.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Loved It!!!

Just prior to listening to this book I had returned about 3 books because I could not get into them. With this one I listened every chance I could get. This book was mesmerizing. The story was sooo good and the narrator was great!! Some people may tend to be put off by the street language but please don't be. For the author to clean up the language would not be authentic to the story. She doesn't overdo the street language. It's not every other word. I highly recommend this book. It is based on a true story and it's quite an inspirational story of a young girl trying to do the best she can coming from a poor and disadvantaged background. She makes mistakes but she's just a teenager (and who doesn't make mistakes?) -- she makes some good decisions too.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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One of my favs.

I listened for the 3rd time. Still a fav of mine. So raw and true.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Poor ending

Loved the narration but story did not progress and never had an ending. I want to return it but site must be having trouble as it will not let me even though it is eligible. Maybe the younger generation will enjoy, I did not.

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  • LAKISHA
  • Euclid, OH, United States
  • 09-23-13

Left hanging

Would you try another book from Hannah Weyer and/or Yolonda Ross?

Maybe

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The end left me hanging. The story builds it up just to lead to a unfinished ending. I found myself saying "That's it!?"

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Naw , I'll pass

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  • beverly
  • Gulf Breeze, FL, United States
  • 08-30-13

Not as good as the reviews said

maybe this possibly is a good book however, not for me. I just couldn't get into the stoey and the ending was kind of off. ended abruptly and left you hanging
. I chose this book because Kerry Washington gave it an excellent review

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Awesome book!

What a compelling story! The reality of the story was breath taking and somewhat familiar. It tells the story of real life in poor black neighborhoods. The kind of story that most people try not to remember or pretend exist because its just too real.

The reader's voice made the story even more real. I loved it and look forward to more work from this author.

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Too bad. This book could have been a classic

Much like the movie, 'Our Song', that was it's inspiration, this book starts out with great promise but then meanders to an unsatisfying ending. The last chapter was frenetic, with the author focusing on all the chaotic personal relationships of the main character sacrificing a cohesive story. The plot falls apart, leaving the ending in shambles. The inspiring story of AnnMarie deserved a more deft hand at concluding the reader's journey with such a complex character.