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Concrete Rose (2021)

by Angie Thomas

Series: THUG (Prequel)

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3262060,625 (4.28)14

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Another solid YA novel from Angie Thomas. Even if you haven't read The Hate U Give, you can enjoy this prequel. The Hate U Give is about Starr, and Concrete Rose focuses on her dad as a teenager. It doesn't have the non-stop action of her other books, but it's very good. Teens will especially enjoy the street smart kids and how they navigate their world. It's definitely for a more mature teen. ( )
  Beth.Clarke | Jun 12, 2021 |
In this prequel to [The Hate You Give], author [[Angie Thomas]] tells the story of Starr’s father, Maverick, during his tumultuous 17th year.

Maverick is an up and coming gang member. He’s one of the younger guys, not yet in on any of the big action, but actively selling pot. His father Don, as one of the OG members and their king, is doing time in prison. In fact, most of the OG’s are either in prison or dead. But as the son of the king, Maverick is often referred to as ‘Lil Don’ – the son of his father, the ruler apparent.

But a maternity test proved that after a quick liaison, Maverick had become the father to a son. The son is left on his doorstep, but with his mother’s help, Maverick steps up to his responsibilities. Life becomes even more complicated after Maverick finds his girl friend is also pregnant. Her folks don’t want their daughter involved with a gang member.

Although we know the result of Maverick’s decisions from his story in THUG, author Thomas made the journey a page turning story of a teenager weighing his options and the life-altering possibilities of getting out of a gang, when the possibilities of doing so are so difficult as to be almost impossible.

I really enjoyed seeing the boy Maverick evolving into the man.

I’m hoping there’s enough room after the end of Concrete Rose, to give another prequel before the events of The Hate You Give.
1 vote streamsong | Jun 7, 2021 |
This is the back story of Maverick (Mav) Carter, the patriarch of the family in The Hate U Give. Mav is a drug dealer, and is starting his senior year of high school. He is dating Lisa, but when they broke up, he connected with another girl, and now finds he has a son.
Mav starts taking responsibility for his son, and does what he needs to do to clean up his life. Neighbors look out for him, and help him move forward.
I loved THUG, so I had high expectations for this book, but it just didn't have the same appeal for me. ( )
  rmarcin | May 15, 2021 |
A prequel that is nice to have but ultimately doesn't feel necessary since it was alluded to fairly well in the first book. The backstory of Starr Carter's dad as a teen father, gang member, and drug dealer in the 1990s will be familiar territory for anyone who watched Boyz N the Hood, Juice, South Central, and Poetic Justice back in the day.

The material just doesn't seem as timely and urgent as The Hate U Give though it is a touching enough portrait of redemption through fatherhood. ( )
  villemezbrown | May 9, 2021 |
Audiobook performed by Dion Graham

In this prequel to The Hate U Give, Thomas gives us the young Maverick Carter, a 17-year-old gang member struggling to find his path to manhood.

I really liked her debut novel, but I have a problem with “prequels / sequels.” That’s my issue and I recognize it may be unfair, but Thomas’s sophomore effort had that hill to climb for me. And she did it marvelously well!

I can really see how this young man, hardly out of childhood, is being influenced – by his peers, by his parents, by other adults in his neighborhood and school, and by the expectations of society. The pressure on him to “be a man” is intense, and the conflicting ways in which this is evidenced or proved to others is at the core of Maverick’s difficulties.

On the one hand he honors the respect shown his father (who is incarcerated for crimes committed) by other gang members and the reputation Maverick feels he needs to live up to as “little Don.” On the other hand, are the messages he’s getting from his mother and neighbor Mr Wyatt about being responsible, and thinking for himself rather than following the crowd. On the one hand is the sense of belonging and camaraderie he feels with his fellow gang members, on the other is the love he feels for his girlfriend Lisa, and the obvious disdain shown him by her brother and parents because of his gang affiliation. I particularly liked the conversations he had with Mr Wyatt, owner of the local grocery, who gives Maverick a part-time job and some sound advice on setting goals and working to achieve them.

Maverick’s only seventeen, and for all his bravado and pronouncements about “being a man” he is not yet an adult. Teenagers make mistakes – sometimes serious mistakes – often based on the emotion of an instant rather than a coherent plan. Some poor decisions threaten to completely derail this young man’s path to adulthood. Having read the debut novel, I know he’ll survive, and yet some of the scenes had me so afraid for Maverick, my heart was in my throat and tears flowed freely.

Thomas writes about a realistic urban environment for many families, with brutal honesty and empathy. She does not shy away from the serious social issues facing these families, nor does she offer platitudes or pat answers on how to address these issues.

Dion Graham does a marvelous job performing the audiobook. He really brings these characters to life and his changes in vocal style, and inflection make it easy to understand who is speaking. ( )
  BookConcierge | Apr 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter is a "little homie" in the King Lords, selling drugs on the side to help tide things over at home. But his heart isn't in it – and when he hears he's about to become a father, he's determined to extricate himself from the dangerous gang life that has claimed so many of his family and friends. Walking away, however, is not so easy. Thomas's prequel to the award-winning The Hate U Give investigates the pride and pain of being a black boy on the brink of manhood with inimitable humour, clarity and pathos.

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THUG (Prequel)
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For all the roses growing in concrete.
Keep blossoming.
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When it comes to the streets, there's rules.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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