Sarah's Reviews > The First Part Last

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
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's review
Jan 07, 12

bookshelves: young_adult, bookclub
Read in January, 2012

This one was for my YA bookclub (meeting in a couple of days, so no discussion to share as yet; may come back and edit some in).

Bobby, age 16, gets his girlfriend pregnant, and the book flashes back and forth between the present, with him caring for his baby daughter, and the past, leading up to how it came to happen. There's a lot of realistic, honest, stuff here- the combination of joy and terror, the exhaustion and frustration, the nightmares about leaving his baby behind, and the days where Bobby is so sleep deprived he can't even function.

There were a few things that were far less realistic- the fate of Nia, the girlfriend, for example, is something of a cliche. Also, I dunno about the ending- it seemed like an attempt to shoehorn this book into a series the author has going? I haven't read the other books in said series, so perhaps I shouldn't judge, but still...

On the whole, though, it's a (mostly) realistic look at a unfortunately common teen issue, and one that doesn't gloss over all the downsides, but is in no way, shape, or form a cautionary tale. It's quite short, and the tone is rather simple, so it's probably a book that might appeal more to the pre-teen crowd than actual teens.

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