cover image On the Come Up

On the Come Up

Hannah Weyer. Doubleday/Nan A. Talese, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-385-53732-2

This vibrant debut novel based on a real-life story from indie filmmaker Weyer is set in the urban community of Far Rockaway, Queens, and explores the struggles of a local girl trying to carve out a life beyond the expected. When AnnMarie Walker starts eighth grade, she knows that having brand-name jeans and the best voice in her music class doesn’t mean much unless you can back it up with attitude. Her sass attracts the attention of Darius Greene and their romance turns a naïve AnnMarie into an expectant mother at 14. As her belly grows and the relationship takes a violent turn, AnnMarie lands a role in an indie film that expands her world and takes her to Sundance. AnnMarie’s journey to make it as an actor is as rocky as the first few years of single motherhood, and she faces the grim reality of what it takes to succeed in work, family, and love without advantages. Weyer skillfully handles each phase of AnnMarie’s life with a tonality that serves her growing maturity and shifting goals. Weyer’s compassionate storytelling and experience as a mentor for at-risk youth lends her compelling novel an inspiring pathos without losing its sharp, realistic edge. Agent: Alice Tasman, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (July 2013)