Monday, April 5, 2021

Book Review: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

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BOOK review
Started on: 22 March 2021
Finished on: 27 March 2021
 
 
Title: Concrete Rose
Author: Angie Thomas
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 360 pages / 362 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2021
Price: Rp 168,000 (https://www.periplus.com/)

Rating: 4/5
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"It's kinda like how we have to do with ourselves. Get rid of things that don't do us any good. If it won't help the rose grow, you've gotta let it go."
Seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter is the son of a former gang legend. After his dad went to prison, Mav helped his mom to earn money by dealing for the King Lords. Life's not perfect for Mav, but he has Lisahis girlfriend, and Dre—his cousin who always has his back. But Mav's world suddenly turned upside down when he found out that he's a father. All of a sudden, Mav has a baby who depends on him for everything. But it's not easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child at the same time. When he's offered the chance to go straight, Mav is willing to take it. Unfortunately, walking away is not going to be easy. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart—especially after the murder of a loved one. However, Mav is determined to prove that he's different and will figure out what it really means to be a man.
"I like to be reminded that beauty can come from much of nothing. To me that’s the whole point of flowers."
"Keep pushing, Mav... Tough situations don't last. Tough people do."
I fell in love with Angie Thomas's writing ever since I read The Hate U Give back in 2017. And so every time she released a new book, I instantly put it on my to-read list. Concrete Rose is actually a prequel to The Hate U Give. This book revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give and focuses on Maverick Carter—Starr's father. You don't have to worry if you haven't read The Hate U Give because for the most part it's a completely different story and you can read it individually. But for those of you who are a fan of The Hate U Give, you will get to know the history and what happened to Maverick when he was younger through this book.
"It's like Lisa see this version of me that nobody else do. This Maverick who ain't worried 'bout the set or the streets, and who do something worthwhile with his life. I wanna be that dude. Not the one sitting in a prison, telling my kids that I got regrets."
Unlike Maverick's character in The Hate U Give, seventeen-year-old Maverick is still very young and he made many mistakes along the way. Most of his mistakes were made when he was controlled by his emotions and he ended up making rash decisions that he will regret later. There are a few moments when I was flabbergasted by all the problems that Mav need to face at such a young age. While he's in the middle of all those trouble, Mav was under a lot of pressure because he needs to provide for his baby and help his mom pay the bills (since his dad is in prison). I was able to sympathize with his position and tried to understand why he decided to go back to drug dealing. I feel like Angie Thomas portrayed Mav's character really well; and there are times when I feel like I was in his shoes and sense the frustration that he's going through.

One of the most important character in this book is Mr. Wyatt, he owns a grocery store and is very strict. Mav works part time for Mr. Wyatt to earn some money, and he had to suffer a lot because Mr. Wyatt doesn't tolerate Mav coming in late, lying, or coming to work intoxicated. Even though Mav resents Mr. Wyatt's strictness, he actually took Mr. Wyatt's advice into account. I think Mr. Wyatt's role in this book kind of plays as a father figure for Mav as well. Another main character in this book is Lisa, Mav's girlfriend. From the very beginning, Lisa never approved of Mav's gang activity, because she believes that Mav is able to become more than that. I was very nervous when Mav reached the turning point in this storywhen he needs to make a major life decision that requires a lot of courage. After he managed to overcome that, Mav matured a lot as a person and resolve to lead a better life going forward.
"Sometimes one person's hero is another person's monster, or in my case, father."
Overall, I still enjoyed Angie Thomas's writing very much and I think I will read anything that she writes in the future. So far she's given us 3 incredible stories that focuses on Black lives. From the very beginning of this book, I'm constantly eager to see how the story is going to turn out. However, I wasn't really invested emotionally in the characters' lives like I did with the characters in The Hate U Give—that book almost made me cry. Other than that, I find this book very captivating and I think teenagers/young adult can learn about the consequences that they need to face when they make rash decisions. Definitely looking forward to what kind of story Angie Thomas will be offering us next!☺️

by.stefaniesugia♥ .
 

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