Mini Review: The First Part Last by Angela Johnson

Mini Review: The First Part Last by Angela JohnsonThe First Part Last
Author: Angela Johnson
Series: Heaven #2
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Published: 2003
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Issues, Diverse, Own Voices
Pages: 144
Format: Hardback
Source: Borrowed from the library
Buy on Amazon | Buy from Publisher

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 do the right thing. If only it was clear what the right thing was. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

FTC Disclaimer: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library. I was in no way compensated for this review.

As with all of my mini reviews, I’m just going to share some of my notes that I wrote while reading The First Part Last:

  • I liked this part where the title comes from, about how we miss some of the easiest parts of our lives, and how we should live the first part of our lives at the end of our life.
  • I love that this takes place in NYC! I LOVE NYC!
  • I like the writing. It’s simplistic but not condescending or dumbed down for younger readers. It’s just a certain kind of simple style. Yet it can be pretty profound at times.
  • I definitely think this book is an important read for all teens and preteens.
  • Oh wow, I did not see that coming!

I really enjoyed The First Part Last. I read it for my book club; we were reading YA books by authors of color. I think it’s important for teens and preteens to read books about people who are different from them, but I also think it’s important for them to read about kids who are going through things that they might not be going through, like pregnancy. It’s hard to understand how pregnancy and having a baby changes your life until it happens to you, even for adults. But I think this book is a great one for teens and preteens to read to kind of get a sense of even a fraction of what life is like when you have a kid. As for myself, I’ll definitely be picking up some more of Angela Johnson’s books in the future.


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