Review: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas


(The Hate U Give, #0)

Angie Thomas


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.


I was really excited to find out that The Hate U Give series was coming out with a prequel to the first book. The first book was about 16-year-old Starr. Concrete Rose is about Starr’s dad (Maverick).

Maverick is a 17-year-old on the verge of dropping out of high school. On top of that, he has just found out that he’s going to be a dad. At the same time, he’s feeling the pressure to sell drugs to have money in his pocket.

Three months after his son is born he finds himself as the sole parent. It was encouraging seeing how Mav maneuvered being a teen dad. Plus with the help from his mom, he was able to handle the situation that was thrust upon him. His mom installed a strong sense of family in him which Mav made sure to reflect on his son.

Mav’s plight wasn’t an easy one from losing someone who was close to him to becoming a teen dad 2x before his 18th birthday. Even with all these odds stacked against him, he was still able to step up and handle all of his new responsibilities.

Concrete Rose can be read as a standalone. Hopefully this one will be made into a movie too.

Bravo to Angie Thomas on another great novel!! I love her books.

Audio book source: Library/Overdrive
Narrator: Dion Graham
Length: 8H 17M

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