Telling the story from the father's point of view already adds uniqueness, but what I really love about this novel is its authenticity. Johnson keeps it real and avoids any preaching while she's at it, a feat which deserves to be the subject of a critical essay. (And in fact, will be - VCFA packet number three due this weekend!)
At just 131 pages, this is a short read that you'll want to read again and again. (I think I'm up to at least six so far.) Beautiful language and shining examples of showing over telling, like in this excerpt from Bobby's birthday:
I never had any cake though 'cause my girlfriend Nia was waiting on our stoop for me with a red balloon. Just sittin' there with a balloon, looking all lost. I'll never forget that look and how her voice shook when she said, "Bobby, I've got something to tell you."
Then she handed me the balloon.
So if you haven't read it yet, check it out and check back in to see if you agree with my analysis - essay coming soon...