Sunday, March 14, 2021

Audiobook Review: Concrete Rose

Written by Angie Thomas
Read by Dion Graham
Duration: 7 hours 17 minutes


If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can't just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

My Thoughts: I absolutely loved The Hate U Give. I was stoked about the prequel coming out and I could not wait to get my hands on the audio copy, since that's how I was introduced to the THUG world. I loved the character, Maverick, from the first book and was intrigued to learn more about him. Was this the book I was expecting? No, but I still highly enjoyed listening to it. 

What I loved about this book was Maverick himself. I loved how he grew throughout the book. It was interesting to see a different side of a teenager being parent; it's rare to read about the male's perspective. I was fascinated to learn how Seven was born, how Seven got his name, and getting a glimpse of the father Maverick was going to turn into. Angie Thomas kept it real with Maverick's struggles of taking care of a child when he was a child himself. It was also interesting to hear how Maverick struggled in prioritizing the important things in life: bettering himself to have a happy family or living up to his street cred. 

Now, I was expecting more from this book and it was probably why I felt a little let down. In THUG, we learned Maverick went to jail, which was not mentioned in the book. I was expecting to hear about his prison life and how he became obsessed with the motto and rules he made his future children recite nearly every day. So I was taken a little aback learning how the book mostly focused on Maverick becoming a father of two children at an extremely young age. And that's another thing; I did not realize how young Maverick and Lisa were in THUG until listening to this book! That meant that they were in their early 30s with teenage kids in THUG. For some reason I pictured them to be older. This did not deter me from the book; it just put a lot of things into perspective for me. 

This production was narrated by Dion Graham. He did a fantastic job reading the book. He had great tone and pacing, which kept me hooked from beginning to end. He knew how to portray each of the characters and knew how to emphasize all the exciting events in the book. I highly enjoyed listening to Mr. Graham. 

Overall, this was a good book. It was not what I was thinking it would be but I still found myself enjoying it. It was not as powerful as THUG for me but it was still a wonderful book. I rate it: 


  1. Sounds like a good read! However, I have listened to Dion Graham narrate an audiobook before and was not impressed. Glad you enjoyed listening to him for this book.

  2. I agree, this was not quite the same for me as THUG. I still really liked it, but I feel like THUG and On the Come Up are both better books.