You’ve probably read or heard about the bestselling novel The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. In her latest novel, Concrete Rose, Thomas tells the story of Maverick Carter, dad of the main character in The Hate U Give. This book holds a powerful story that shows how choices can become consequences.
Maverick is a 17-year-old who has major shoes to fill. He is the son of a gang leader, and feels pressure to live up to his old man’s legacy. He deals drugs to make money for his mother, and he is cool with his life as a King Lord, the gang in his area, Garden Heights. Suddenly, Maverick’s life turns upside down when he realizes he is a father.
Now, he has to worry about caring for his son’s needs, being on the brink of not graduating high school, and the troubling death of someone he deeply loved. Maverick is in a place of distress and doesn’t know what he will do with his life. This book shows that even when you make bad decisions, it’s never too late to turn your life around.
Like the title of the book, Maverick is like a rose coming out of the concrete: unexpected, yet resilient.
I practically fell in love with every character Thomas presented. They were all so likeable, and I couldn’t help but smile every time one of them said a witty line. I rooted for Maverick from beginning to end, and I liked Lisa, Maverick’s girlfriend, and his cousin, Dre. The author did an amazing job of keeping me hooked throughout the entire story. Every chapter had me engrossed more and more into the world of Garden Heights, so I was almost disappointed when I reached the end of the book.
This book is perfect for readers who enjoyed Thomas’ other books, The Hate U Give and On The Come Up. Concrete Rose takes place in the 90s, so it was cool to see the world from a different era. People who also grew up during that time may find it relatable and nostalgic.
Some heavy topics that are addressed in this book include drug dealing, gun violence, sex, and gang behavior.
Absolutely loved this book! I can’t wait for the next Angie Thomas masterpiece.
Four out of four roses!
Elena, This is a wonderful and helpful review. Would you recommend this for a 12 year old? Thank you!! -Shana
Hi! Probably not, unless there is a parent who can answer questions about some of the topics in the book. It has a lot of themes for older teens.