Concrete Rose, written by Angie Thomas, published in 2021. (Yep, it’s hot off the press!) This book is the prequel to The Hate U Give (2017), a Printz Honor book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book and On the Come Up (2019). This book features the story of Maverick Carter. You might remember him as the fun-loving, yet serious father of Starr Carter. The story follows Maverick’s senior year at Garden High, a year certainly full of ups and downs that includes becoming a father. One of the things I loved the most about this book is revisiting many of the characters from The Hate U Give. Having the added information about events that took place nearly 20 years before Starr was born adds depth to the characters. One of the things I disliked about this book prior to reading it was the cover. I felt the red was too bold and it didn’t draw me in, despite red being my favorite color. However, ¾ of the way through, the cover made perfect sense, in many, many ways. The book is yet another reminder that everyone is going through something and we are best not to judge.
One of my favorite lines, from p. 124, was when Dre and Maverick were listening to the new CD from Lawless, and Maverick says, “Law on the come up for sure.” Anyone that has read On the Come Up will smile, realizing that Maverick’s future daughter, Starr, will one day battle Law on the stage.
I’d recommend this book for 16 and older due to the violence, drugs, sex, and language. It has earned starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and Booklist.
I gave this book 5/5 on Goodreads because I’m not usually a big series reader and this book completely drew me in for all the right reasons when one reads a series…very memorable characters and a setting you feel like you don’t even need a map to navigate.
Although this book is 360 pages, it’s a quick read, with fairly large text, shorter sentences, and lots of dialogue.
Bonus points: A stroll down memory lane with all the references to music from the 1990’s, including TLC and Tupac, some of my favorite dance music from college. 🙂