Monday, October 5, 2009

Book Review: The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

The First Part Lastis a short book, but really packs a punch. Alternating between "then" and "now" it looks at the struggles of a teenage father raising his baby daughter Feather alone. It is beautifully tender and also very real - exploring Bobby's conflicted feelings about fatherhood and his shortened youth.

Things I Liked:
The writing was beautiful. I really loved getting this look at how a teenage father feels. I was touched at his feelings for his daughter and also at the tender side of Bobby and his buddies. These tough guys soften up around Feather and I love that. I also thought it very balanced in its depiction - Bobby loves his daughter, but also feels just how hard, how limiting, how sleep-depriving this experience is - especially while he's still in high school.

Things I Didn't Like:
I really can't think of much for this. I kinda wish I'd known more about Nia, the mother, but it is clearly intended as a book about the father.

I haven't read a lot of stuff like this, but I did enjoy the classic YA Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jonesby Ann Head about teenage parenthood

s-factor: !@#$
plenty throughout
mrg-factor: X
innuendo, but not descriptive
v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****


  1. okay, I've been waffling about whether or not to add this book to my list. You won me over. Added.

  2. Yeah! I'm glad you're won over (and I hope you like it).


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