Monday, February 23, 2015

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

"I can tell you how it is to feel as brand new as my daughter even though I don't know what comes next in this place called Heaven."

Bobby and Nia are typically upper-middle class teenagers living in New York City.  They have a good relationship, supportive families, and plan to go to college, but their lives change quickly when Nia finds out that she is pregnant.  The couple struggles with telling their parents about the pregnancy and the idea of being young parents and eventually decide to give the child up for adoption.  While giving birth to the baby, Nia suffers from eclampsia that leaves her in a permanent coma.  Bobby then decides to raise their daughter himself and names her Feather.  He struggles balancing being a young and single parent with school and his social life while suffering with the lose of his girlfriend.  Bobby shows a lot of love and caring for his daughter and decides to move to Heaven, Ohio near his brother and his brother’s family at the end of the book.

I found this book really interesting and enjoyable to read.  It was fairly short, but offered a unique perspective on the topic of teenage pregnancy.  I liked that the book was written from the perspective of the father and focused on his taking responsibility for the pregnancy and raising his daughter on his own.  The book was told in a very unique way and altered between the past and present.  I was really surprised about what happened to Nia at the end of the book and felt that it was beneficial to readers to slowly tell Bobby and Nias story dealing with the pregnancy in between scenes from the present.  I think the book will send a positive message to teenagers both in making decisions to prevent pregnancy and with being young parents.  I would recommend this book to young adults, especially those that are young parents.

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