by Angie Thomas
A prequel to the critically acclaimed novel The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas, Concrete Rose tells the story of Maverick’s (Starr’s father) young adult life. For as long as he can remember, Maverick has been aware of his responsibilities as the son of a King Lord. With his father now in jail and his mother working multiple jobs to keep them afloat, Maverick decides to take on extra dealing jobs in addition to the ones he fulfills for the King Lords. Luckily, he has a great girlfriend and a caring cousin to support him. This relatively stable situation is destroyed when Maverick finds out he is the father of a son whose mother is not his girlfriend. While learning how to be a parent and provide for a child he must also grapple with the death of someone close to him. Maverick must figure out how to balance his identity as a son, father, and boyfriend, with his duties as a member of the King Lords.
I really enjoyed this book. The story was engaging and provided refreshing insight into the life of those involved with gangs as well as teen fathers. Thomas’ colloquial style of writing displayed through Maverick’s narration made the book feel more realistic and also helped the audience get to know Maverick better. Maverick’s character was overall inspiring and admirable.
I would recommend this story to anyone who loved The Hate You Give, realistic fiction fans, and those wanting to diversify their shelves. This book will make you laugh, cry, and reflect. Enjoy!
Reviewed by Sophie Cornish