concrete rose – angie thomas | review

Concrete Rose cover on thisbellereadstoo

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Series: The Hate U Give #0
Published January 12th 2021 by Balzer + Bray
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Rep: Black cast


Rating: 4 out of 5.


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.


trigger and content warnings:

Illustrating Maverick, a 17-year-old, unexpectedly thrown into fatherhood, Concrete Rose is imbued with topics of poverty and being in a gang. Suddenly, Maverick’s life isn’t just his own. With this as a prequel, readers get a glimpse of Maverick maturing under the pressure of taking care of his baby. Given a chance to provide for his family, Maverick takes it. When a loved one is brutally murdered, Maverick has to deal with his emotions and grief of losing someone with who he’s close despite knowing the danger of the streets.

From The Hate U Give, the relationship between Maverick and King was fascinating to read about. Concrete Rose provided an insight into their friendship when they were much younger, especially with Seven’s biological father being Maverick rather than King. Of course, Maverick’s relationship with Lisa is changed forever when she knew about Seven. 

I look up at the night sky. It’s pitch black and yet that somehow make the stars shine brighter. Hundreds of lights in all that darkness.
Wait a second.
A light in the darkness.
I smile, and I look at Lisa. “I think I got a name.”

Life is weighing down on Maverick but he’s doing his best to become a great father and a better person. Having people around him who were willing to lift him was amazing. His mother unflinchingly stood beside him despite him making life-altering mistakes, Mr. Wyatt gave him an opportunity to provide for his family and Dre who got Maverick’s back no matter what.

Angie Thomas knows how to write hard-hitting stories. Ever since I had read The Hate U Give, I wanted Maverick’s story. I wanted to know how he got out of being in the gang, the dynamic between Lisa and Maverick when she found out about Seven, and the soured friendship with King. Comparing him in Concrete Rose and The Hate U Give, it felt like a whole other person. The scared teenager who owned up to his mistakes and would go through great lengths to make sure he doesn’t make any more crafted a man who looked out for others.

Concrete Rose aesthetics created by ThisBelleReadsToo
I’m a Book Depository Affiliate! I get a tiny commission that supports my blogging journey. If you do plan to buy the book, just click on the Book Depository button up top.

4 thoughts on “concrete rose – angie thomas | review”

  1. concrete rose was SUCH a moving book and i’m pretty sure i cried through like 90% of it!! it was so hard-hitting, and your review def sums up ALL my thoughts haha, i loved seeing how the dynamic in THUG was impacted by concrete rose as well!! lovely review, belle!! 💓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i agree with you, concrete rose was emotional for me. it was kinda surreal since i read THUG before CR which felt like i was experiencing maverick’s life backwards but i’m not complaining. thank you, ahaana!!

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s