Hello! My name is Max and I will be manufacturing a book review for Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas today. In case you did not know, Angie Thomas is the author of The Hate U Give and On The Come Up and Concrete Rose is her most recent novel. Before we proceed into the review section of this article, I would like to thank Pansing for sending a copy of this novel to me!
So, without further ado, let us dive into the review section of this article!
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.
Angie Thomas succeeded in capturing my heart once again!
Essentially, this novel is a prequel to The Hate U Give following seventeen years old Maverick Carter as he goes through his seventeenth year on earth with bad decisions, tragedy, grief and second chances.
“Roses, they’re fascinating li’l things. Can handle more than folks think. I’ve had roses in full bloom during an ice storm. They could easily survive without any help. We want them to thrive. We’ll have to prune them, things like that.” – Concrete Rose, Angie Thomas.
Although the writing style for Concrete Rose does not have an abundance of beautiful passages or impressive purple prose, it has a writing style that suits remarkably well with the story. For example, the slang and the light usage of the ‘stream of consciousness’ style of writing take us into Maverick’s head with ease and it allows the readers to have a closer connection with the protagonist of this novel. In addition, the author lays the right amount of humor in the right places which always made me laugh or made me choke on my laughter.
The pacing for this novel is rather fast but it does not feel rushed. It harmonizes well with the story. I do not think there is even a slow or uninteresting scene in this novel because something is always happening to propel the plot forward. I remember burning through this book because of how well-paced and well-constructed the story is and because of that, I finished this book in 3 days. Therefore, I absolutely adored the pacing because of how consistent it is.
“Son, one of the biggest lies ever told is that Black men don’t feel emotions. Guess it’s easier to not see us as human when you think we’re heartless. Fact of the matter is, we feel things. Hurt, pain, sadness, all of it. We got a right to show them feelings as much as anybody else.” – Concrete Rose, Angie Thomas.
There are several themes on racism, drugs and unprotected sex in the novel. I enjoyed how realistic Angie Thomas illustrates those racist people in this novel because she did it subtlety instead of smacking it in your face. For example, a white woman clutching her bag thinking that Maverick is going to snatch it from her when both of them are alone in an elevator. I also liked how the author depicts the reasons as to why Maverick has gotten himself in the drug dealing game. As for the unprotected sex theme, I fancied how the author handles the subject in this novel because she tackles it extremely well and it will keep the conversation going for teenagers.
There are a few central characters like Maverick, Lisa and Faye. I enjoyed reading about the character dynamics and how they interact with one another. Maverick, most evidently, has the most character growth in this book since this is his story. I savored the interaction between Maverick and Lisa before Lisa conceives Starr. Faye, a bisexual character, is Maverick’s mother and she fascinates me a lot. I know there is more depths to her character underneath that humor and disciplining his son demeanors. I hope the author would consider writing her story because she is such a captivating character. Like, make it a prequel’s prequel you know? I sound ridiculous… Anyways chile, let’s move on.
There is a myriad of Easter eggs hidden between the passages in this novel and I absolutely adored them. For example, Lawless from On The Come Up is mentioned in one of the chapters, Justyce from Nic Stone’s Dear Martin series is brought up in one of the sentences and Kobe Bryant has been referred to a couple of times. There are probably more Easter eggs that I did not catch but these are the few that I caught.
With all that being said, I would like to bring up the emotional depth of the novel. I did not feel as emotionally invested in the beginning of the novel as I was with Angie Thomas’s other books – The Hate U Give and On The Come Up. While I was reading this novel, I felt the feeble emotional connection that I had with story in the first 100 pages of the novel and I thought it was a little odd because, with the Angie Thomas’s other books, I can feel the instant stable connection with the stories presented in the books but this just did not do it and I was a little disappointed with this element in the story.
In conclusion, I am proffering this novel with a verdict of 91% (A+). It is an extremely beautiful book and it is definitely one of the highs for me so far in 2021!
This is the end of my review for Concrete Rose By Angie Thomas! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!