Wednesday, the 8th of December, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what it’s about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today’s pick is a book by an author I’ve really enjoyed reading previously, and also a ‘prequel’ of sorts to one of her books I read, Concrete Rose (2021) by Angie Thomas. Born, raised and still living in Jackson, Mississippi, and a former teen rapper, Angie Thomas is the author of three young adult novels, The Hate U Give, On the Come Up, and Concrete Rose. Her stories highlight issues of poverty and lack of opportunity which can become a vicious cycle for people, injustice, and identity among others, and are relevant to the BLM movement. While the very gritty and impactful The Hate U Give was set around a young black man being shot by the police despite having done nothing, with his best friend Starr Carter as the only witness, On the Come Up centered around Bri, a sixteen-year-old who dreams of being a rapper like her father, but must face both family issues and deal with expectations relating to her identity in the process. Both books were very absorbing reads, with writing and plotlines that held my attention all through.

So when Concrete Rose was released at the beginning of this year (2021), I promptly got a copy. Concrete Rose takes us back to the world of The Hate U Give, in fact years before the events of that book, when Starr Carter’s father Maverick was himself a teen. Maverick is the son of a drug dealer, and due to circumstances, a dealer himself but he also balances school and two jobs alongside, while his father is in prison. But his life changes when he finds himself a father. With a baby depending on him, when he is offered a chance to change things and go straight, he takes it. But this isn’t as easy as it may sound, for a loved one is brutally killed, and loyalty, responsibility and revenge threaten to tear his world apart.

This is a book I certainly want to get to, both because it gives one some insight into Starr’s father whom we meet at a much later stage in his life in the first book when he and Starr’s mother are a great support to Starr, and also because it is by Angie Thomas and I enjoyed both her other books very very much. I haven’t had a chance to get to it yet, but I’d like to sooner than later.

Have you read Concrete Rose yet? What did you think of it? Have you read Thomas’ other books? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Lisa’s pick this week is The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn, a novel involving time-travel, where two researchers travel to the past to meet Jane and recover the manuscript of an unpublished novel–that does sound interesting.

Book info, cover image and author info from Goodreads, here and here

6 thoughts on “Shelf Control #163: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas

  1. I loved The Hate U Give and I’ve got On the Come Up on my TBR and it’s on the front shelf now so inching towards being read, but I’ve not got this one yet. So go for it, and I’ll save your review for a year till I get to buying and reading it myself!!

    Liked by 1 person

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