Monday, July 19, 2010

The First Part Last (YA)

The First Part Last. Angela Johnson. 2003. Simon & Schuster. 144 pages.

My mom says that I didn't sleep through the night until I was eight years old. It didn't make any difference to her 'cause she was up too, listening to the city.

Bobby never planned on having a baby. But on his sixteenth birthday, his girlfriend, Nia, surprises him with the news. He's going to be a father. The story is revealed in alternating chapters of then and now. In the 'now' sections, readers see Bobby in the early days of fatherhood. They see him taking care of his newborn daughter. They see him scared and exhausted, but they also see him as loving. The 'then' sections reveal to readers--slowly--how Feather, his daughter, came to be solely in his care.

I loved this one! I did! Earlier in the year I read several of Angela Johnson's novels. I read Heaven and Sweet, Hereafter. I read Bird and Looking for Red. I've enjoyed all of her books that I've read. And I would definitely recommend this author, I love the way she writes.
But I figure if the world were really right, humans would live life backward and do the first part last. They'd be knowing in the beginning and innocent in the end. Then everybody could end their life on their momma or daddy's stomach in a warm room, waiting for the soft morning light. (4)
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

Will have to look up Angela Johnson. Not really heard of her before, but she sounds like someone whose books I might enjoy..

cmm said...

Hi, Becky! I'm new to your blog, been reading it for a couple of weeks.

Just wanted to thank you for bringing Angela Johnson to my attention. I bought The First Part Last yesterday based on your recommendation and am more than halfway through it already. Very well told story. I am looking forward to more of Ms. Johnson's books!

Thanks again!

Morgan said...

The book was alright I didn’t really like it because the “then “chapters built the readers emotions up on Nia but the end says how she had brain death. Me personally felt emotionally torn when reading about what happen to Nia. I believed that the ending of the book left some possibilities, but who knows. Now this book seems great to do a second story about how Nia somehow recovers from brain death and be a mother to her child. But only Angela Johnson is to make that decision.