Review: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

Review: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

©Balzer + Bray

The genre: YA

The gist: Prequel to The Hate U Give about Maverick, Starr’s dad, as a seventeen year-old.

The review: Just as good as The Hate U Give 👌

This prequel is the origin story of Maverick, Starr from The Hate U Give‘s dad, and it shows everything he went through to become the outstanding husband and father he is in THUG.

Concrete Rose is about a young Black man who faces obstacle after obstacle but keeps pushing, who makes mistakes but bravely owns up to them. He faces the pressures of gang life, poverty, he struggles to keep up at school when he has heavy responsibilities at home. He often feels hopeless and lost, but he never stops trying to be a good person.

Seventeen-year-old Maverick exemplifies what his future wife Lisa says in THUG: No matter what the world throws at you, “the key is to never stop doing right.”

The wrap-up: Everyone should read Angie Thomas’s books.

The rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Roses can bloom in the hardest conditions.

—Angie Thomas Concrete Rose
Review: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

Review: On the Come Up by Angie Thomas

©Balzer + Bray

The genre: YA

The gist: A high schooler who loves to rap ultimately tries to make it as a rapper to help save her family.

The tea: I love Angie Thomas’s writing.

So far, I’ve only read The Hate U Give and this one, but Concrete Rose is up next, and I’m excited to read anything else she puts out.

Her characters and dialogue are so real that you feel like you’re popping in on actual conversations. Not only that, but her stories show an American experience that not everyone shares, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from her books.

In On the Come Up, high schooler Bri loves to rap. She deals with racism at school, family drama, and eventually the threat of extreme poverty that causes her to try to make it as a rapper to help her family. On top of that, she’s got normal teenager stuff going on, like crushes on boys and the pressure of getting into college.

Something I really liked was getting to see the thought process behind Bri’s freestyles, seeing her quickly transform her scattered thoughts into the sick burns she throws at her opponent.

The wrap-up: Great author, great book. Read all her stuff.

The rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5 /5

I’m starting to think it doesn’t matter what I do. I’ll still be whatever people think I am.

—Angie Thomas, On the Come Up