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The First Part Last

(Heaven #2)

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  15,411 ratings  ·  1,686 reviews
Bobby's a classic urban teenager. He's restless. He's impulsive. But the thing that makes him different is this: He's going to be a father. His girlfriend, Nia, is pregnant, and their lives are about to change forever. Instead of spending time with friends, they'll be spending time with doctors, and next, diapers. They have options: keeping the baby, adoption. They want to ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 1st 2005 by Simon Pulse (first published June 1st 2003)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,411 ratings  ·  1,686 reviews


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Zoë
Jun 07, 2020 added it
Angie Thomas and Nic Stone recommended this book in a recent Instagram live, so of course I picked it up.
When I started this, I was naïve in thinking that such a short book would not have much of an impact. I'm happy to report that it totally did. (I teared up multiple times.)
Our main character, Bobby, is a teenage single father - a perspective I've never read from. There are no stereotypes or stigma placed on him. Instead, this is a tenderhearted look into his life before and after his daughter
...more
-;'MrSz.MyRiAh';-
Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
The First Part Last

This book is about a boy name Bobby and his girlfriend Nia. Bobby is about to be a father and dosen't know what to do. I would recommend this book to any teen mothers or teen fathers that are struggling through this world. My favorite character is Bobby because he stood up to take care of his daughter but even though he wasn't prepared to be a father, he stayed strong through it all. My leasrt favorite character was nobody because I could basically relate to everybody in the b
...more
Brian Kelley
Winner of the Printz Award and the Coretta Scott King Award, I was ready to like Angela Johnson's "The First Part Last." And then the brief first chapter concludes with this street prose-poetry:

"Things have to change.

I've been thinking about it. Everything. And when Feather opens her eyes and looks up at me,
I already know there's change. But I figure if the world were really right, humans would live life
backward and do the first part last. They'd be all knowing in the beginning and innocent in
...more
Kapila
Feb 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There's a bit of Benjamin Button at the very start of this book: "I figure if the world were really right, humans would live life backward and do the first part last. They'd be all knowing in the beginning and all innocent in the end."

I think that's when I had decided that I would like this story. I listened to the book, and I'm sure that this made a big difference as well. There was something very sincere and very true about Khalipa Oldjohn's rendition of the story. He embodied the narrator and
...more
Jessica Hanley
Oct 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book because one of my students had talked about wanting to read it. It was also on many of the literature award posters I have in my classroom, so I knew that it came highly rated. The book comes from the perspective of a teen father raising his newborn daughter on his own. The plot is delievered in flashbacks, which are labled as "then" and "now", and this style really drives the intensity of the situation and the decisions that help shape whether or not Bobby and his girlfrie ...more
Jasmine
Dec 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson, is a great book about a boy named Bobby. He and his girlfriend Nia are having a baby and they’re only 16 years old. They are confused about what to do with the baby. They don’t know whether to keep the baby or put it up for adoption. In the story bobby is the one keeping Feather, their baby girl. This fiction tale goes back and forth between Bobby’s present and his past. So there sort of telling the story in a different way. The mood or theme of this book i ...more
Taquisa
Sep 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone ages 13+
Shelves: book-club
I ABSOLUTLEY LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!! This book is great it took me all of 24 hours to read it, and it kept me hanging of the edge of my seat every time i picked it up to read. Angela johnson did a great job mixing a love story with a problem that two teenagers had to face in their lives,(A BABY)!!!!!! This book has such a great story line because it's something that really happens in everyday life. It teaches you that when you make a mistake most of the time there is going to be consequences. READ ...more
Aiyana Martinez
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
The First Part last was a very touching book that I never imagined ever reading. Seeing the perspective of a young boy becoming a father dealing with horrific and traumatic issues I never thought a young father would experienced touched my heart. As I started reading the book I could not keep up with the way the book was laid out like going from now to then, back and fourth. I got confused in some parts of the book but I was able to see the connection of why they put it like that way in the book ...more
Shaunda
Oct 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone; teens, adolescents; adults
Recommended to Shaunda by: Lawton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: 12+, high interest low level
Umm...

I read this book at work today, so it's obviously a quick read. I was definitely underwhelmed. It's a Printz award winner, but that must be for the concept because I didn't find the actual story or writing to be very compelling.

The novel is told from the point of view of a teen dad, but it's completely superficial and I found no real depth to it. Bobby, the father, is doing the responsible thing by "raising" his infant daughter after his girlfriend goes into a permanent vegetative coma du
...more
Shayne Bauer
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
A quick, cute read. The reader wonders why Bobby, at age 16, has chosen to raise his newborn daughter on his own. The answer is revealed through a series of happenings that switch from present day to past, and that answer is quite heartwarming. It is perhaps unrealistic, but Bobby is certainly a likable character, and a specific demographic would likely enjoy this book because it is so simplistic. At only 132 pages, it will not intimidate reluctant readers.
Kelly A
Oct 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: printz, 2013
It was fine, I guess. I appreciated hearing the same teen pregnancy story we've all heard a dozen times from the perspective of the male, for once. ...more
Molly Dettmann
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Haunting would be the best way to describe the tone of this book. Even though it’s pretty clear what has happened in the “then” part, it still was a gut punch when it collided with the “now.” Reminded me a little of Orbiting Jupiter (though this came out way before that book and I’d be shocked if Johnson’s work didn’t actually have some influence on Jupiter). First thought after finishing was that shortness of the story left some character development missing for me, but yet on second thought th ...more
Stephanie
Jun 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nwa, audiobook, library, ya
Urban fiction is not usually my bag, but I was emotionally invested in this the entire time I listened (which was only about 2 hours, as it's a super short story). It's a bit different from the standard teen pregnancy storyline, in that it's told from the father's point of view. Still, absolutely worth reading for anyone who wants a short, emotional narrative (but be warned, the last 10 minutes are brutal, so prepare to pull over on your way to work and cry about it for a while). ...more
Mahrya
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 12-15
Shelves: juvenilia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rosey Sams
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
The First Part Last, by Angela Johnson, is a story told through the eyes of 16 year old Bobby as he learns how to raise a child when he is not yet and adult himself. On Bobby’s 16th birthday, his girlfriend, Nia, brought him a red balloon and told him she was pregnant. In the nine months or Nia’s pregnancy, she and Bobby stay together and eventually come the agreement that their child will be adopted because at their age they know that neither of them can support a child. It wasn't an easy decis ...more
Karrie
Teen pregnancy is a fairly common theme in young adult literature, dating back in my memory to Mr. and Mrs. Bo Jo Jones. Traditionally the stories are from the point of view of the mother; The First Part Last provides a different perspective in the voice of the expectant father. So often society is focused on how an unwanted pregnancy impacts the mother's life and forgets that an unwanted pregnancy affects the father's life more than placing blame on him. There are young men out there who are o ...more
amruta
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic-fiction, ya
The First Part Last was a pretty short and simple book about a teenage boy trying to raise his newborn daughter. It had quite a bit of self-reflection and purple prose, but it was still mildly interesting.

The story alternates between the past, when the main character Bobby finds out that his girlfriend Nia is pregnant; and the present, where Bobby is attempting to raise Feather, his daughter, with some help from his family. I noticed a couple of punctuation/grammatical errors through the book,
...more
Jeff Stauter
Jun 16, 2013 rated it liked it
This book is NOT about how having a baby before graduating high school can ruin your life. For many kids living in this country today, however, having a baby that early can be a severe detriment to accomplishing one's goals and I certainly want my own kids to be married and have stable jobs before they even think of having kids. That being said, I think our society does liken early parenthood to a kiss of death so to speak and children are told horror stories of irresponsible teens that couldn't ...more
Heather
Nov 04, 2008 rated it liked it
This book is about a boy named Bobby who is a teenager that is going to be a father.He has to make a very tough decision whether he wants to keep his baby or give her up for adoption.He really cares for the mother of his baby and in the book he says "shouldn't I go with you the first time",hes talking about going to a doctors appointment with his girlfriend and it surprises her.He also says "my bones ache tired,but I'm still wide awake",hes talking about being so tired but he still gets up and t ...more
Megha Rana
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nia Forrester
Amazing, lyrical, quiet writing, that conveyed so much emotion in so few words. Highly recommended. A short, impactful read. The kind of writing that I most enjoy, and would love to read more of. Thank goodness this writer has lots of other work out there.

I especially enjoyed that Bobby, the main character defied just about every stereotype of young, Black fathers. Reading about him both hurt and healed my heart.
Nancy Garcia
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The First Part Last by Angela Johnson is a heart-touching novel. It provides real life events that could happen to anyone. This novel is about Bobby, a teenager that thinks he has his life planned out until a significant event in his life takes place. His life changes completely when his girlfriend, Nia, gets pregnant. Giving the news to both his and Nia’s parents is not easy, but they find themselves forced to confront the consequences. The climax of the story is intriguing. An example of the ...more
Denise McQuillen
I absolutely LOVED this book from the story line to the style in which it was written by alternating chapters between "Now" and "Then." This is a quick read, as it is not a long book to begin with, but also because you won't be able to put it down. I have found new perspective and respect through Johnson's story of a young teen dad raising a baby while going to school. A heartfelt read!!! I highly recommend it for older teens and even adults! ...more
Stephanie
WIP research. Short but poignant.
Hannah T
Jan 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was ok. It told a very good message and how one decision can change your whole life. This book was very suspenseful in the end and from it being written in then and now format, it really had me with questions while reading. Even with lots of questions it let me interested.
Elizabeth
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Alex
Shelves: young-adult
I was trying to get my reading goal to not be so damn behind, considering I have been in the biggest reading slump all year, and I was SO MANY BOOKS behind up until I got the job at the library. And I'm still behind lol. But I went through my sister's library at her house, and I remember her always loving this. She totally would read it with her students too!

The main character in this book is named Bobby, and at the beginning of the book, he is taking care of a baby named Feather. If you keep re
...more
Ashley Bonzani
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I managed to read this book in under 3 hours, again another recommendation from a student. It was super engaging due to the format of switching between present and flashbacks. The book was touching and sweet, however, the ending was unexpected and emotional. Definitely a good read!
Bidesh Das
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
The First part last. The book is about a kid that has a bad child hood and grows up to be a father. I did not like the book I felt like I was falling asleep when i was reading and i would not say that i am not going to rec emend the book. its just that i don't like reading so its hard to get motivated. ...more
Laura Gutosky
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book is about a teenage boy named Bobby. Bobby and his girlfriend find out they are going to have a baby. Through the story we get to experience some of the hardships and decisions that teen parents have to go through. Bobby thought he had his life figured out, but everything changed when he became a single father. Bobby goes through the trials and tribulations of being a teenage father and learns the sacrifices that come with it. This book is told through the experiences of then vs now.

In
...more
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Other books in the series

Heaven (3 books)
  • Heaven (Heaven, #1)
  • Sweet, Hereafter (Heaven, #3)

Articles featuring this book

Angie Thomas was as stunned as her fans when she was spurred to write a prequel to The Hate U Give, her blockbuster 2017 YA debut inspired by...
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“If the world were really right, humans would live life backward and do the first part last. They'd be all knowing in the beginning and innocent in the end...” 39 likes
“Afterward I always kiss her, my baby, and look into her clear eyes that know everything about me, and want me to be her daddy anyway.” 10 likes
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