Hello, book lovers! 💕
The following is from Goodreads:
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.
I have been meaning to get this review out for the better part of the month, but with everything that has been going on in my life, it got pushed to the back burner. But I’m finally getting around to it, so bear with me if this sounds a bit all over the place. I read this book back in the middle of January, so some of the details have eluded me.
But this is what I do remember: I definitely didn’t mean to read this in one sitting.
Let me back up a minute. This book was released on the 12th of January, and I had preordered it so it came in the mail on or around that day. I wasn’t planning on getting to it any time soon; I knew I wanted to take my time reading it because it was a book by Angie Thomas, and I’ve loved every single book that she has published.
But something made me check my library to see if I could borrow the audiobook. I knew I had it as a physical book, but I’ve listened to all of Angie Thomas’s books on audio, and that has taken the experience of reading her books to the next level. And of course my library had it. And of course I had to borrow it. And of course I had to start it right away.
And I just couldn’t put it down. It wasn’t a long audiobook, so I was able to get through it in one night.
Anyway, let’s talk more about the book itself and what the story entails. So this takes place before The Hate U Give; it’s actually about Starr’s father, Maverick, when he was a teenager in high school. Essentially, the story starts out when he is going to the clinic to see whether or not he is the father of someone’s baby. And continues with the repercussions of his actions and how he needs to live with being a teenage father.
This isn’t something that you see often in books, especially YA books. I’ve read about teenage pregnancy where girls get pregnant and have to decide whether they want to keep the baby or not. But never about teenage fathers who are practically thrown into parenthood without much notice (the baby’s mother leaves the baby with him at the clinic and only tells him after the fact that she needs a break).
Who does that? It made me feel for Maverick even more because he steps up to try to be the man that that baby deserves. Which comes with some very hard decisions, like walk away from selling drugs for more money than he would make at a normal job. Especially when he’s the son of a former gang legend.
I think Angie Thomas does a fantastic job, not only in this book but her other books as well, exploring and delving into topics like racism, discrimination and Black culture. I feel like these are extremely important things that young people, and everyone really, should learn about, even if it is by reading about it in a fictional book. Knowing that the things that happened in this story are things that actually happen in real life make it all the more impactful.
And being a white woman, I would never have known about those things because I don’t deal with them on a daily basis. It’s not something that I go through. So reading about it opened my eyes to what people in those situations go through and live with.
So there you have it. Those are my thoughts on Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas. Of course I gave this a full five star rating; it deserves nothing less in my opinion. I couldn’t recommend it enough, or any of Angie Thomas’s other books.
Have you read this book or any other Angie Thomas book? I’d love to discuss them in the comments below!
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