26 Apr 2023

Review: CONCRETE ROSE by Angie Thomas


Author: Angie Thomas
Series: The Hate U Give #0
Source: Indigo
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 12, 2021

Overall Rating:
Diversity Rating:

Representation: Black main characters

International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can't just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.
Amazon | Chapters
Content Warning:  Racism, Coming out themes, Bimisia, Child neglect & parental abandonment, Recreational drug use, Substance addiction mentioned, Postnatal depression discussed, Teen pregnancy (theme), Abortion discussed, Grief & loss depiction, Death of a cousin, Death of a sister to sickle cell mentioned, Incarceration, Murder & attempted murder, Gun violence, Gang violence, Police brutality & violence mentioned.

CONCRETE ROSE is a prequel to the acclaimed debut novel THE HATE U GIVE. The book follows the story of 17-year-old Maverick Carter, the father of Starr from THUG, and his struggles growing up in a tough neighborhood while balancing his responsibilities as a son, father, and gang member.

The book has received critical acclaim for its raw portrayal of black male experiences, tackling issues such as toxic masculinity, poverty, and systemic racism. Critics have praised Thomas's writing for its authenticity and honesty, and the book has been hailed as an essential read for young adults.

I haven't read The Hate U Give, but I have seen the movie. I had SOME idea what was happening at the end of this book, but it still is a gut punch. Mav is such a relatable character, and Thomas writes him in such a way that you connect to him immediately.

Concrete Rose is a story of what it means to grow in the face of adversity and struggle, but never letting that break you. I loved this story, Thomas's writing, and the realistic look into what it means to be Black in America.

Thomas writes a realistic and authentic voice in Maverick and I loved seeing his journey from the beginning to the end. I thought it was a great story of mentorship and learning to take responsibility for your actions. Mr. Wyatt was definitely a scene stealer whenever he was around!

Overall, CONCRETE ROSE is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that sheds light on important issues affecting marginalized communities. If you're looking for a well-written, impactful read, this book comes highly recommended.

Have you read this book? Are you going to pick this up?

1 comment:

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