21 upcoming YA book releases we can’t wait to read in 2021

Red Tigress by Amelie Wen Zhao. Image courtesy Penguin Random House
Red Tigress by Amelie Wen Zhao. Image courtesy Penguin Random House /
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Concrete Rose – Angie Thomas

Concrete Rose is a prequel to author Angie Thomas’s mega-bestselling novel The Hate U Give and is set in Garden Heights in 1988, seventeen years prior to the events of that book.

Here, the story follows Starr’s parents, Maverick and Lisa, who are two high school seniors who are in love and planning for the future. But then Mav learns he’s about to be a father – to Starr’s brother Seven. To support his family, the young man begins dealing for the King Lords, the gang in which his father (now doing federal time) was once considered royalty.

But when he gets a chance to explore another path, he must decide what kind of man he wants to be – and what kind of father his son needs.

The official synopsis provides more details about what to expect from this prequel.

"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."

Concrete Rose is available on January 12.