The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Most teen pregnancy books are told from the view of the teen pregnant mom but this book gives the perspective of Bobby, the dad who is sixteen and must grow up quick in order to take care of his daughter, Feather. It is told in parts and each part has a “then” and “now” portion of how life used to be and how it is in the present.
Bobby and Nia were dating and she got pregnant—it gives Bobby’s perspective and how his friends treated him and the things they said, and how his parents reacted and their actions towards him as he was a father. Bobby’s mom was strict and told him she wouldn’t help and that he needed to grow up and deal with his decisions. His dad, on the other hand, was a softy but lived in Brooklyn so his caring spirit wasn’t present until one day, after Bobby got into trouble (after Feather was born) he moved in with his dad to get away from the trouble he was causing by spray painting on public walls.
Throughout the whole book Bobby proves his love for his daughter. He takes care of her so well and still goes to school during the weekdays. In the “then” section when Nia is still pregnant with Feather, her and Bobby go back and forth whether to keep the baby or give her up for adoption, but when Nia passes away in the hospital Bobby knows that he cannot part from his daughter so he cancels the adoptive parents and chooses to struggle in life in order to protect his daughter and love her the way her mother would have wanted to.
In the beginning of the book I couldn’t understand where Nia was…I knew she wasn’t in the picture helping Bobby with Feather but since the story is told from the last part first I just knew she was gone. However, I learned that Nia died tragically from a brain aneurism in the hospital when Feather was born. It was heartbreaking and to add to it, Bobby was never able to deal with his feelings of losing Nia because he had to be a full-time dad to Feather.
The book was interesting because of the view it was told from but I must say that when reading, you must have a good memory because it flip flopped from “then” to “now” and it was like two stories going at once. There are many truths in this book and wisdom as being a young parent.