Concrete Rose

Finished Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas. This is a prequel to The Hate U Give and will be released on January 12; I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.”

So like pretty much every single actively literate person I know, I loved Angie Thomas’s first two books (The Hate U Give and On the Come Up) and when I learned that we were getting a prequel to The Hate U Give, I was pretty sure I couldn’t possibly be any more excited…until I learned it was going to be about her dad, Maverick.

I didn’t even know.

This is her best book yet, by a lot. And that’s a bold statement because her other books are beyond amazing. But this is just the best book I’ve read in ages. To put this in perspective, I read it in under 24 hours, and I couldn’t even tell you the last time that happened. Pre-COVID, for sure.

I was completely drawn into the story immediately and getting to see Mav and Lisa and Mav’s mom and Seven…it just felt like such an amazing gift.

This is going to be one of the best books of 2021 and I’m so grateful I got to read it early.

Highly recommended.

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