Set 17 years before Angie Thomas’ critically acclaimed novel The Hate U Give, Concrete Rose is ostensibly a prequel but stands on its own as an earnest and heartfelt story of love, fatherhood, and growing up. Maverick is a brilliant protagonist, facing the world with a kindness and honesty that is inspiring to see in a male hero. Concrete Rose is full of good men: fathers, cousins and mentors who aren’t afraid to show love or share their feelings – men who are sometimes flawed but never irredeemable.
Maverick’s story is equal parts heartbreaking and empowering; it’s the perfect excuse to revisit The Hate U Give, but also stands tall as an excellent novel in its own right. 5 stars. Review submitted by Joe.