Friday, February 19, 2010

The Heaven Trilogy Angela Johnson

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson
I've heard for years that The First Part Last and Heaven by Johnson are beautifully crafted. With the coming release of Sweet, Hereafter (now on sale), the final book in the Heaven trilogy, it was time I finally read the first two books.

Heaven, was published first but I started with The First Part Last. The order in which these two books are read doesn't matter. Johnson's writing hooked me from the first page. I read The First Part Last in one sitting.

On his 16th birthday, Bobby's girlfriend Nia tells him she is pregnant. The novel looks at teenage pregnancy from the boys point of view. Many things contributed to the beauty of this story, one is Johnson's less is more approach. Only 131 pages and it hits as hard as a book twice its size, maybe more so - there is a reason and a need for every word. And oh my the ending. I was not prepared. No one told me there would be tears. By I time I figured out was going on it was too late, Johnson had already captured my heart.

I picked up Johnson's Heaven a day later. 14 yr old Marley, lives in a small town called Heaven, OH. We get to know Heaven through Marley. Her voice is beautiful, sweet, questioning, and authentic. Like The First Part Last, I read it in one sitting.

Now I am very excited about Sweet, Hereafter , it was released in January. When I saw it in the store, I let out a high happy squeal, because now I know there is some sweet goodness inside.

An excerpt of The First Part Last, an excerpt of Heaven, an excerpt of Sweet, Hereafter. I am not going to take the time to link to three excerpts if I merely liked these books. I got nothing but love for Johnson's Heaven Trilogy.


yuan said...

I love love LOVE the First Part Last. I was perfectly outraged at my friend who told me after I read the book that she owned a copy of her own all along and never ever told me about it. I never got around to reading Heaven because my library is a pile of suck and I never found it on the shelves even though it says it has it. *shakes fist* But I mussssst find a way to get my hands on Heaven, soon! *_* I'm really looking forward to Sweet, Hereafter. =D

Color Online said...

I've read the first two and I read First, first. I love Ms. Johnson's work, too.

Not only does she say plenty in a small space but size does matter when you're trying to hook a reluctant reader. Readers might not care that it takes skill to say a lot in a small space but it certainly makes stories more accessible and I am grateful that Johnson gets it done.

I'm looking forward to Sweet, Hereafter.

Jeannine said...

I read First Part Last I guess when it first came out under suggestion of am older white librarian. I need to go back and thank her. I will put the other two on my list. Thanks Happy Nappy. You keep me on my toes and my bookshelf full.

April (BooksandWine) said...

Every review I see for books in The Heaven Trilogy has my hand hovering over to Amazon.

I love how sometimes short books are so painstaking with choosing words, that they sort of smash into you with their impact!

Jenny said...

I'm excited to read Sweet Hereafter - Shoogy was my favorite character in Heaven, and I'm looking forward to reading more about her. :)

Doret said...

Out of the first two books The First Part Last is my favorite but there is also something about Heaven I really love.