Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book in Review: The First Part Last by Angela Johnson


Simon Pulse

Why I read this: 
Award Winning reads challenge

Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.

This is going to be a short review because I honestly don’t have that much to say about The First Part Last. This is a story that I’ve seen done similarly many times before, mostly on tv and in the movies.Teen preganancy is a very important issue so this is not really that surprising.

What I liked about The First Part Last that made it different from much of what I had already seen was the male perspective this book gives us. It allows us to see why the point of view of a teenage boy (Bobby), ready to take on the world, and having his world topple upside down as everyone around him tells him which decisions he should make, as his pregnant girlfriend deals with the physical stress of the pregnancy, and as he comes to terms with what he wants for himself. Then we get to see Bobby as the teenage boy who is a father and the amount of love that he has for his little girl Feather is almost tear-jerkingling sweet and heart breaking at the same time. And when the last part comes we always get to wondering what happened to his girlfriend and why she is out of the picture, and there is a bit of mystery added to the drama to keep the pages turning. Of course, in a brilliant move by Angela Johnson, the book moves between "the last part" (now) and "the first part" (before) which adds a whole other dimension to both the mystery of Feather's missing mother and the character development that happens in Bobby. Another reason to keep turning those pages!

So despite how “done” I felt the story was as I began reading this short Prinz book, as the story unfolded I began to see how special this little gem really was. It was very short but it was worth the read. Definitely the type of book I’d like to see more of in YA and am hoping there already is some that I just haven’t discovered yet. It was heartbreaking, incredibly sweet, agonizing to see this young man’s life change so drastically, and yet there was always hope. And a ray of sunshine at the end. Definitely worth the read.
My rating:

I bought my copy.

1 comment:

  1. Yay for Printz winners! I read this one and was amazed that such a powerful story fit inside such a small book. Watching him learn to handle being a father both broke and lifted my heart.