Book Review: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Published in Australia on the 20th January, 2021 by Walker, an imprint of Walker Books Australia. The prequel to The Hate U Give.

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Angus & Robertson:

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Australian RRP: $18.99

ISBN: 9781406384444

Format: Paperback

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction

Page Count: 323

Trigger Warnings: Drug use, drug dealing, death of a loved one, incarceration, teen pregnancy.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sypnosis from Walker Books Australia

From the international phenomenon Angie Thomas comes a hard-hitting return to Garden Heights with the story of Maverick Carter, Starr’s father, set seventeen years before the events of the award-winning The Hate U Give.

The son of a drug king, seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter is negotiating life in Garden Heights as he balances school, slinging dope, and working two jobs while his dad is in prison. He’s got it all under control – until, that is, Mav finds out he’s a father. Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. Loyalty, revenge and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. So when Mav is offered the chance to go straight, it’s an opportunity – in a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing – to prove he’s different and figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

My Review:

I received a copy of Concrete Rose from Walker Books Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

Now, I haven’t yet read The Hate U Give but let me tell you, after that lovely ending in Concrete Rose, alluding to the name of Maverick’s soon-to-be born daughter, I’m low-key considering pausing my current reads and picking it up! Honestly, I absolutely loved Angie Thomas’ writing, I’m so excited to read more of her books!

Concrete Rose will draw you in completely and not let go, Angie Thomas’ writing completely tugs at ones heartstrings, projecting the reader into the life of seventeen year old Maverick, who is just about to find out that he’s a teenage Father. Maverick who, carrying out his King Lord blood legacy, makes ends meet by slinging drugs, which isn’t quite as simple now that he has an infant to look after!

Maverick is a character I instantly hoped would succeed, living with his Mother who struggles to financially support her son (she doesn’t know Maverick is selling, but he does help her out with household expenses and everything), Mother and Son’s relationship was absolutely so tender and touching to read about! Especially when Maverick has to take more responsibility of his young son, it was just so completely lovely reading about how Maverick’s Mum supported him and her new grandbaby! Especially with Mavericks’ Dad in prison, which definitely made for some more than render scenes!

I feel quite happy that it has only just turned to February and I’ve read quite possibly one of my favourite books of the year! I absolutely loved how raw this book felt throughout, honestly there were moments throughout when I was thinking ‘Oh, don’t do that Maverick!’ – and yet thinking if he did I couldn’t blame him (I’m purposely being vague here though because in all honesty there were a fair few scenes which had me thinking this!). I’m usually someone who navigates multiple books at a time and did have a couple other reads on the go alongside Concrete Rose, but once I found myself getting more into the story, I definitely found that this beautiful book commanded my attention completely! When I wasn’t reading the book, I was thinking about it completely and was honestly almost moved by Mavericks story and drew on the characters’ energy from time to time!

Whether or not you’ve read or are yet to read The Hate U Give, I completely recommend Concrete Rose!

Happy Reading and I hope you’re all safe and well,

Brooklyn. ☺️

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