The Hate U Give Trilogy by Angie Thomas Review

The Hate U Give Trilogy by Angie Thomas Review

Angie Thomas, the critically acclaimed author of The Hate U Give, a number one New York Times bestseller and major motion picture, has made a major impact on racial justice, and helped many people find their voice. Keep reading for a peek at the amazing narrative of three teens and their compelling stories.

Concrete Rose (the prequel to the Hate U Give)
Trigger Warnings: death, violence, drug use, gang involvement
Concrete Rose is about Maverick Carter’s story, Starr’s (the main character of the Hate U Give) father, and his upbringing, young adult life, and the circumstances that eventually led to him becoming a father of two at the age of 17. This is a fast-paced, character driven, emotionally charged story. Maverick is a high school student living with his mother, while his father is in prison. Watching his mother hold down a job to put food on the table, Maverick joins the King Lords, a notorious gang in Garden Heights, to provide for his family. The King Lords is the same gang that his father belongs to and has gained much notoriety from, but what also landed him in prison. Maverick goes about bringing a second stream of income in while also being a student. Things get even more complicated when a girl he slept with turns out to be pregnant with his first born. Maverick must decide whether he will continue to live life earning money on the streets selling drugs or take an out that is being offered to him. An opportunity to get his life back on track and provide for his three-month-old son. Working in the neighborhood store/garden, going to school, and selling drugs while being a father is more than what Maverick can handle. Something must go.

In this story you will see Maverick’s internal struggle with the loyalty he feels to King, the friend who brought him into the street gang, and leaving it all behind. You will also see him find himself as he struggles with being a young single father who must juggle many responsibilities.

The Hate U Give
Trigger Warnings: Death, gun violence, profanity, gang violence
Starr, a teen living in a poor neighborhood is torn between two lives. Her life at the fancy mostly white prep school she attends, and the other side of her life at Garden Heights where she is known as Big Mav’s daughter that works in the store. She constantly feels that she doesn’t belong in both worlds, but when she witnesses the murder of her best friends Khalil at the hands of a white police officer, her world shatters, and she struggles to find her voice with the conflicts going on in both of her lives.

Starr sees and experiences racial injustices, divides in society based on race, and dueling identities. All the while mourning the death of her friend and trying to find her voice to speak up for Khalil and all the other deaths by the hands of police brutality. Angie Thomas takes us on an eye-opening journey that not only explores the cruel reality of racism and discrimination towards African Americans, black culture, and code-switching, but also a community coming together to speak out and work against the injustices they face today.

On The Come Up
Trigger Warnings: child abandonment, mentions of homophobia, gang activity and violence, mentions of drug addiction

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. Bri is trying to lift her family out of poverty with her rapping talent. Her life is a constant struggle, having to choose between food, electricity, or gas. Not only that but her father who also had a talent for rapping was shot dead 12 years previously by a rival gang. And her mother, Jay, has been clean of crack for eight years, but Bri constantly fears a relapse. She also faces a disdainful grandmother of her mom’s ability to care for Bri and her brother, Trey, and her beloved Aunty Pooh who sells drugs for a rival gang. Now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shut off notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

This book takes you on an eye opening journey of youth fighting for their dreams in the face of adversity; and how your voice is your greatest weapon.

Find these books at the library. These great reads will surely keep you on the edge of your seat!