Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

 February 1, 2021 (by Caroline age 17)

As my all-time favorite author, Angie Thomas never fails to impress me with her power as a storyteller. Her ability to make you think, make you feel, and make you root for her characters makes Concrete Rose another masterpiece that will resonate for long afterward. Concrete Rose is a powerful look at the life and challenges faced by a young Black man. This prequel to The Hate U Give (you don't have to read THUG first to read this!) takes us back to Garden Heights 17 years earlier. Readers follow 17-year-old Maverick’s journey of growing up as the son of a gang lord who is spending life in prison and the expectations that come with it. We watch him learn how to make tough choices and try to improve when the odds are stacked against him. Maverick’s story was emotional but entertaining and instantly captivated me. If you haven't read anything by Angie Thomas yet, this would be a great starting point. I recommend this to people who enjoyed With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo as it deals with many similar themes.