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.
I have loved both books from Angie Thomas and this one fits right in with the first two. A prequel to The Hate U Give, it was easy to see its influence all over this prequel. Maverick Carter was a presence in THUG and when it was announced he would be getting his own backstory book, I was excited. Going from seeing Big Mav as an adult who’d already been through so much in THUG to him being a teenager at the low end of the gang was a little weird at first, but it also worked. I liked seeing how the events of his past affected who he grew up to be in THUG.
I thought Maverick was a very relatable character. He would mess up a lot but his heart was usually in the right place. Thankfully he had plenty of people willing to call him out when he was acting like a punk. I especially loved the relationship between Maverick and his mother, who was doing her best to keep the roof over their heads after her husband/Maverick’s father went to jail. Seeing him with baby Seven, struggling to know how to care for his son but trying so hard and loving him so much was great, and it was nice to see the good representation of a young, black man stepping up for his child(when media seems to always portray the opposite).
I really enjoyed going back to Garden Heights. Angie Thomas has a way to make the neighborhood feel like a character with a personality of its own. It’s also always fun to see the little nods to other books that Angie works in. The supporting characters shined without taking the focus away from Maverick and his journey. It would be a toss-up between Maverick’s mother and his cousin Andre as my favourite supporting character.
I don’t know what Angie Thomas has planned for her next book, but I know I will be buying it.