• Concrete Rose

  • By: Angie Thomas
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 8 hrs and 17 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,462 ratings)

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Audible Questionnaire with Angie Thomas

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Publisher's Summary

International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights seventeen years before the events of The Hate U Give in this searing and poignant exploration of Black boyhood and manhood.

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.

©2021 Angie Thomas (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

Featured Article: Must-Hear Contemporary Black Women Authors


It’s a fact that a high percentage of the best books that have come out in this century have been written by Black women authors. (Truth be told, there are so many excellent works that this list could simply centered on the best contemporary authors and still be accurate.) Nevertheless, Black women’s stories deserve to be heard, and when the stories are this compelling, this engaging, and this beautifully written, they’re impossible to ignore.

Editor's Pick

Worth the wait
I have been waiting for Concrete Rose ever since Angie Thomas told me in a post-interview chat back in 2019 that she was working on Maverick’s story. And—no surprises here—it has been worth the wait. This is Thomas’s first novel from a male POV, but the authenticity in her storytelling remains unmatched. And Dion Graham’s performance is transportive—he effortlessly switches back and forth between '90s slang in dialogue (set in 1998, this is actually considered historical fiction) and the emotional inner monologue of a 17-year-old who’s just learned he’s a father. Thomas’s love for this character shines through as each chapter unfolds, and fans of The Hate U Give will appreciate learning more about Maverick’s origins as well as the origins of other people in Starr’s world—including Lisa, King, and even her Uncle Carlos. —Katie O., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Concrete Rose

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  • Overall
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Five Starr!

Angie Thomas is a master storyteller. As a prequel to The Hate U Give, she’s fleshed out all the backstory and has done it well. Her characters are so relatable which makes her books a MUST READ for everyone, because empathy is so hugely lacking these days it seems. I wish anyone who doesn’t “get” the BLM movement would read her books because she creates a world that feels like home, even for someone who lives a different life. You know, it’s easier to hate someone when you can’t relate to their story. The all lives matter set has no perspective. Angie makes people from a different walk of life accessible and I think that’s her gift. I love love love her writing, I love her courage in telling these stories. Bravo, Angie Thomas!

12 people found this helpful

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Amazing!

Such an amazing book. Kept me hooked from the jump. Full of heart, humor and healthy dose of reality.

5 people found this helpful

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Incredible

You know a book is incredible when you get literal goosebumps at the end. This book taught me a lot about the Black community. I'm thankful for that.

4 people found this helpful

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It's fine.

I'm an English teacher for high school and I loved The Hate U Give. I thought it was a great look at an important topic that is often ignored in high school. The narration also felt natural - probably because it resembled a life that the author knew about. This book, in contrast feels incredibly forced. It's not terrible, but it is certainly not as good as THUG. It constantly makes references to 90's nostalgia like beepers and Sega which distracted me from the story quite a bit. You can't get through more than two pages without a reference to an antiquated technology. The narration is supposed to resemble how a young black man in the 90's would have spoken as well. The narrator of the audiobook does a great job with this, but it moves very slow so I play it at 1.1x speed. I am forcing myself to finish this book for my student's sake, but it feels like it was just pushed out by a publishing company that put heavy scrutiny on the author to continue to produce important (and profitable) literature. It may still be a good book for a classroom and some kids may really connect with the characters, but as an adult, I'm struggling to push through.

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing Performance, Amazing Book

I loved THUG, and I was so excited when this came out to read about Maverick’s past. He was one of my favorite characters in THUG and I feel even more connected to him after listening to this book.

The performance by Dion Graham left me speechless and crying at times. He puts the emotion into the pages and I did not want to stop listening.

Thank you for another amazing book Angie Thomas.

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Wonderful

Angie Thomas does it again! Another classic. This book was great! I give it 5 stars. If you loved “The Hate U Give” and “On the Come up” you will not be disappointed. She masterfully ties in the Garden Heights world. I can’t wait for a book on Lawless!

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Incomplete!

Overall a pretty good book but there are many details that were missing or lacking. I did not care for the narrator interpretation of the female voices but it was a good read.

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Good story

I’m not sure what I expected but it wasn’t this. I really enjoyed (not the correct emotion) The Hate U Give. This is the prequel to that book. It’s a good story, but I was expecting more. The reviews were good for this book. All that tells me is everybody has an opinion.

RECOMMENDATION: READ IT

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Stunning, brilliant, and heart-wrenching

The narrator is exquisite and perfect for Mav. Read with tissues ready and a wide open heart.

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Perfection! Amazing!! Excellent!

I loved 'The Hate U Give. The raw truth of what happens in our poverty stricken neighbourhoods which mostly affect African Americans was on high display with Angie Thomas' novel.

Concrete Rose goes back 17 years and we meet Maverick, the heroic father in the Hate U Give. We learn of Maverick's beginning, his influences, his struggles, and the way he deals with having two children while he's still in high school

I literally couldn't stop listening. The narrator was on point. I absolutely loved the way the author makes us feel the time period, and allows us to empathize with Maverick's circumstances. The book gives an inside look on the things that happen on the streets of LA and in neighbourhoods riddled with gang violence, drugs, and crime. It allows us to see that people are all equal, but are often times a product of their environment.

I was overwhelmed and in awe. I really hope she still continues to write books in this series. 5 big fat stars!

-Wendi

1 person found this helpful