Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas is the prequel to The Hate U Give or THUG. The story is set in Garden Heights, when Starr’s Dad, Maverick, finds out he’s going to be a dad. It’s an important novel about racial injustice, death,sex, and discrimination.It has a more mature tone than THUG does. Maverick is only seventeen when this happens and he has already been through so much trauma. In this book, he witnesses his cousin being shot in front of his own house.
Maverick Carter or Mav knows the importance of family. He’s the son of the former gang legend and he deals with the King Lords because his dad’s in prison and the money could help out his mom. His mom works two jobs and is doing the best that she can under the circumstances. He’s living in a society where he’s told he probably won’t make it big or be successful. He wants to show his kids that there’s something worth fighting for. But walking away from the King Lords comes with a price and no one walks away without consequences.It’s through his journey of becoming a father that Mav discovers what it’s like being a father.
I can’t believe I only recently found out that authors Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, and Becky Albertalli wrote their characters into each other’s worlds. When you read Love, Creekwood you’ll know what I’m talking about and if not, here’s the twitter thread where I found out about it and it made me want to reread all of their books. You can read all about it on here and the authors have acknowledged it. Becky Albertalli also talks about it under the acknowledgment section in Love, Creekwood.
As a reader, I loved seeing how Mav changes when he realizes he’s going to be a dad. The only thing is he never had a good father as a role model because his dad was in prison. He also knows he can’t just walk away from the King Lords without facing the consequences. He’s also thankful for Lisa which makes me wonder why he cheated on her in the first place (this is not a spoiler if you’ve read The Hate U Give or if you have seen the movie). On the other hand, Lisa hints at how she’s feeling about all of this when she gives Starr advice years later. You’ve got to have a lot of strength to stay with someone who cheated on you, but I have to admit everyone’s situation is different and this is what happened in a fictional book.
Final thoughts: I was rooting for Maverick even when I didn’t always agree with what he did. Overall, he’s a likeable character doing the best that he can under the circumstances. Mav’s story is just as compelling as Starr’s and it’s a must-read for everyone!