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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

‘Concrete Rose’ an enlightening book for all

By Ashley Lau | Staff Writer


   On Feb. 28, 2017, Angie Thomas released her award winning book “The Hate U Give,” which focused on how a growing teenage girl, Starr, had to work to find her voice that was lost among the crowd after witnessing the murder of her childhood bestfriend. As everyone began wrapping up “The Hate U Give,” Thomas was asked by so many fans to tell the story of a prominent figure in Starr’s life, her father, Maverick Carter.

   The novel “Concrete Rose” was exactly what readers, like myself, wanted. It was a prequel to “The Hate U Give,”created by Thomas, and it showed many how this father figure grew to become who he was now. Through “Concrete Rose,” we learn the truth of how this boy grew to become a father, a father at the age of 17, a father who believed once that he was never going to be good enough for his family.

   Maverick Malcolm Carter is a 17 year-old boy, about to have his life flipped upside down. Born in Garden Heights in 1988 there are rules that need to be followed, one rule specifically: “you got to be a man.” Maverick hoped to enjoy his last year of high school being young, but after he gets someone pregnant, he has no choice but to man up, especially since that girl he gets pregnant is his best friend’s girl. 

   Thomas, through this book of literary fiction, goes on to talk about the struggling process in which a young teenager fights to survive in his neighborhood of gangs, against all odds.

   Maverick begins his journey of senior year by finding out he is the father to his best friend’s son. The story is narrated by him as he talks about his struggles living life in the hood, how surviving in his neighborhood was taking sides of a gang, the King Lords or the Garden Disciples. 

   Maverick, to me, was someone that I felt most high schoolers could relate to, a young teen who is confused and is not sure of what the future has in store for them.

   Maverick’s narration of his life, showed me as a reader, what life inside a suburban neighborhood, like Garden Heights was like. I felt like I took a step into his life. I grew fond of his character and his unique ways of thinking and approaching certain issues that had arisen. 

   This novel’s quality of writing was awe-inspiring. The author brought life to her ideas through her stories and I can say that every page I turned got me more hooked onto the book. As a reader, I speak for everyone when I say that the best books are the ones that keep the reader on the edge of their seat, the ones that make them feel alive in a fictional world. 

   Thomas’s ideas for each of her characters were original and her organization of events occurred perfectly, creating a flow throughout each chapter of the novel. Her writing style was composed and I could both hear and feel her voice while reading. Even the words used by the author herself, were specific and memorable for me as a reader.

   This story brought to light many things that young teens might go through today; how even though some are roses born into concrete, through a journey to find themselves and their path, they can still grow. No one is ever binded by their roots, the choices they make as a person make them who they are. 

   I think this book deserves all the praise in the world, and I wish I could go back in time to reread it once again, because it showcases one simple thing that most novels fail to: truth.

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‘Concrete Rose’ an enlightening book for all