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Audible Questionnaire with Angie Thomas

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Publisher's Summary

International phenomenon Angie Thomas revisits Garden Heights 17 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 17-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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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!

9 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.

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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.

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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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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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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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The story line was excellent

Every young adult would love it and the true lover of books and talented writers everywhere would enjoy this book!!!

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Fantastic

I’ll be honest, the first part of this book was a little too “coming of age” for me. I usually read things that are geared more for adults. But I’m glad I stuck with it because it’s such and important and well told story. Keep your tissues ready.

Thomas’ style is very cinematic. If your searching for a book where the writing blows you away, this isn’t that. This is about the story and it’s powerful as hell. I really enjoyed the reader and felt hearing it through his voice made it even more moving.

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Absolutely brilliant

I'm still not fully able to get into books again after getting COVID but Angie Thomas' writing is so approachable and brilliant and smart it immediately sucks you in and is new and familiar all at the same time. Not a single character is wasted in her stories which is actually really rare in literature.

Dion Graham's reading of the story, even for the women and girls was spot on and every voice was so individual and I felt all the emotions that played out in this story. I was hollering out loud laughing at every funny moment and crying for every loss.

Angie Thomas is already a proven classical master writer and should be read and taught in every English class from grade school to grad school.