Popsugar Reading Challenge 2021 – Book 14

Prompt: A book published in 2021

I read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas when it was published in 2017 and really enjoyed it. I’ve recommended it to loads of people and my copy was borrowed many times from my classroom library. The prequel, Concrete Rose was published earlier this year and was one of the books I have most been looking forward to reading this year.

What it’s about?

From Goodreads

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. 

What I think:

As a white woman from London in her 40s the life of Maverick Carter is far removed from my own experience. And yet I could completely empathise with the challenges and tough decisions that he faces.

But this book is so well written and compelling that whatever you own experiences you will have empathy for Maverick and his community as they navigate their lives.

Maverick maybe young, but when he finds put that he his the father to baby Seven he absolutely steps up. Supported by his mother and community who want bright young men to succeed rather than fall into the traps of Gangs, crime and drugs, he learns to be a father.

He is juggling school, a job and being a new parent. And the grief he feels for losing his cousin and confidant in a gang shooting.

He may be conflicted about his connections to the King Lords, but his loyaly to his family is fierce and fuels his need for revenge.

Maverick makes some poor decisions. But he is only 17 and it is easy to forget how young he is with such huge responsibilities weighing on him.

I love the sense of community in this book. There are people genuinely trying to help Maverick and Lisa build a life for themselves. Education is valued and promoted and Mav and Lisa understand how important it will be if they are going to rise above the expectations that people have for young black men from tough neighbourhoods and pregnant teenagers.

Fans of Angie Thomas will love this return to Garden Heights. Maverick is such a charismatic and influential part of Starr’s story in The Hate U Give, he absolutely deserved for his own story to be told.

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