Audiobook Review: ‘Concrete Rose’

I’ve read Angie Thomas’s previous two books, The Hate U Give and On The Come Up, so I was eager to read Concrete Rose – the story of Maverick Carter, father to Starr, main character of The Hate U Give. You can read this without having read The Hate U Give, but I would recommend reading it first to fully appreciate this story!

Title: Concerte Rose
Author: Angie Thomas
Series: The Hate U Give #0
Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Goodreads Summary

This review will have spoilers for The Hate U Give (THUG), so proceed with caution!

I first read The Hate U Give in 2018, so the details were a little fuzzy to me in 2021 – I remembered the main points, but all the characters names? Not so much. I fully admit to reading the Sparknotes on THUG to refresh my memory – and it was just the little boost I needed.

I knew Maverick had a son before he had Starr with his (eventual) wife, Lisa, but I forgot that son was Seven, the baby Mav finds out he is the father of in the beginning of this book! In THUG, ‘Big Mav’ is the ultimate father figure, caring for his family, running the local grocery story, and always being there. But he was once seventeen years old too, doing what he had to to survive. This is his story of being thrust into fatherhood at seventeen.

This book feels quieter and less intense than THUG – set in the late 1990’s, times were different. Maverick was “cool” because he had a pager. If you wanted to talk to someone, you called the house phone. I grew up in the 90s myself, I was young, but I remember all these things – I’m personally curious what someone born in the 2000’s or later would think of these “antique” practices.

Mav is going into his senior year of high school, but he’s also now a father, after Iesha leaves the baby with Mav and disappears, Mav is on daddy duty 24/7. He learns first hand how difficult parenting can be, as well as working a respectable job and going to school. It’s tough, when he’s also in a gang and they have their own opinions about what he should be doing to provide for his son and help take care of his own mother.

This book is heavy on parenting and protecting your family, and to what ends you will go to to protect them. There is a hard hitting death in this book. There are drugs, and sex, and talk of pregnancy. This book is real and hits you hard. It doesn’t let you forget that this isn’t just fiction but real life for some people.

My favorite parts were hearing the names of Mav and his friends children’s names, knowing who they would grow up to be in The Hate U Give – and a reference to Nic Stone’s book, Dear Justyce as well. (I might have screamed. Or cried. Or both.)

This book is so worth the read, as is The Hate U Give. Angie’s writing is out of this world, so real but so good. I would recommend any and all of her books – and I will continue to read anything she writes.

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This audiobook is narrated by Dion Graham, a voice I have listened to in many other audiobooks with Black main characters. I really enjoy listening to him; I think he is a great narrator and I would recommend this audiobook.

I listened to this on 2.15x speed, and it felt like a good pace.

My Rating:

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As a white person, I can never fully understand the struggles of someone who is Black. I think it’s important for all of us to read books outside of our own view points. Its important to learn, and books such as this can teach us, and open our eyes. I have made it a point to read more diversely, by diverse authors, and always welcome recommendations and I’m always happy to give recommendations if you’d like some!

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9 thoughts on “Audiobook Review: ‘Concrete Rose’

    1. Oh my gosh you’re in for a real treat with THUG! I hope you enjoy it, I feel like its a book that will be relevant for a long time. (I also listened to THUG and enjoyed it, if you’re into audiobooks!) Thanks for commenting, and happy reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Wrap Up: January 2021

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