Read Sweet, Hereafter by Angela Johnson Online


Coretta Scott King Award-winner Angela Johnson concludes her Heaven trilogy with a poignant tale of discovering where—and with whom—you belong....

Title : Sweet, Hereafter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780689873850
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 128 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sweet, Hereafter Reviews

  •  Susan
    2019-03-17 03:38

    Having read the other titles in the trilogy, I think Sweet, Hereafter is a deft closing. This final installment is about Sweet, a young girl we meet through Marley in Heaven. Sweet is odd; she wears knee high rain boots, isn’t obsessed with ipods or Facebook, drives a truck dubbed Alice and likes feeding ground hogs apple peels. She doesn’t fit in with her perfect, beautiful family. In this closing book, it’s a few years later and Sweet, a senior, is still odd but popular. When her relationship with her family reaches her breaking point, she moves in with Curtis, another quiet but friendly young man enlisted in the Reserves home after one tour in Iraq. Their connection is both tender and tenuous. The story unfolds slowly. The commentary is sparse and even the most dramatic scenes are subdued. This is however a poignant read. Johnson renders a short, but memorable story about how we find meaning and make connections in the lives we lead. There’s no happy ending but there is resolution. I think there is some peace. To paraphrase one of the characters, there is enough. We don’t get a lot of time with the characters, we don’t get lengthy histories or long passages of dialogue but we do get enough. We get a mother connecting with a daughter in a way I think the daughter understands. We get a young girl and young man loving for a time. We see friends doing what they can. We get enough.In a culture where communication is a juxtaposition of multi-tasking and texting, I think this kind of brevity matches teens' modern sensibility without compromising the art. This is life distilled in a meaningful way. The length of the book works. This book is small but powerful. Yes, it is a good for a reluctant reader and a broader audience as well. My experience is that most teens want everything from food to entertainment to get to the point and get there fast. No, we don’t get 400 pages of pining or violence. It’s not an epic tale of adventure. It is what I think the author intended: an intimate close to a series that has looked at relationships the way they really happen. For me the read is seamless; elegant in sparse prose lines that feel like poetry. The depth of the work is understated but potent.

  • Janet
    2019-02-22 00:18

    I heard Angela Johnson speak recently. She said this book took her five years and she didn't want to write it in the first place. Heaven was intended as a stand-alone; she got talked into The First Part Last and this, Shoogie's story, and - while far be it from me to second-guess the author's impulses - I'm glad she did. Sweet, Hereafter certainly doesn't read like it took a long time to write. Johnson's writing is felicitous as always. But it takes a darker turn than the first two books. Shoogie, Marley's somewhat edgy and simmering friend from Heaven, moves out of the home where she has never felt at home, and into a cabin in the woods with a quiet ex-soldier named Curtis. There she finds the closest to happiness she's known, until the ugliness of war reaches clear from Iraq to Heaven, Ohio and shakes everything. I encourage readers to read all 3 books in the unplanned Heaven trilogy, right in a row (the three of them together total less than 400 pages) but slowly, slowly. They can certainly each stand alone, but Sweet, Hereafter is quite different from the other two, so that I'm not sure I'd recommend it to a reader who loved The First Part Last if it weren't part of the same series! Oh, but just read them all.

  • Damian
    2019-03-09 21:36

    Sweet, Hereafter is about A high schooler named Shoogy who lives in a small town called Heaven. She lives with her parents and brothers. She is unhappy because she thinks they do not understand her. She couldn't talk to them and didn't find any reason to stay there. Curtis who is another main character is an Iraq veteran. He allows Shoogy to move in with him and she feels she can trust and depend on him. He is a lot like her because he likes to be alone and likes the quiet in the woods. She left home to move in with Curtis in a shack in the woods. Curtis loved the woods and the shack. He felt he had lost this kind of life because of his experience in Iraq. After she left home, no one came to look for her. This made her feel very bad, but it proved to her that they didn't care about her. Life with Curtis was good. Shoogy went to school and work. Curtis was very quiet, but they understood each other and got along. Sometimes the quiet bothered her but Curtis had a lot of books and she would read. Curtis did not talk much, but he did tell her he would probably have to go back to Iraq. He used to have nightmares about what happened in Iraq. They never discussed the nightmares, but she knew it bothered him. He did tell her that he would probably have to go back to Iraq, but did not want to. He eventually went AWOL because he could not bring himself to go back. The internal conflict Shoogy had was whether she should go back home or not. There were times when she would drive past her home, but not stop. She missed her family, but had mixed feelings about going back. One day she received a letter from her mother that shocked her. The mother said how much she missed her and did not want her to leave. The mother said she knew she could not continue to hold on to her. She admitted that she never really never let go. She knew where she lived, that she was in school and working. She would watched her from a distance. She told her she loved her and that her father said she should make her come home. Her mother felt she could not do that because Shoogy felt she had to leave. She wanted her to know that she loved her and she would always be in her heart. This letter made Shoogy feel very unsure about her decision to leave home. She didn't know how her family really felt about her. This letter caused an internal conflict for her. One day when she came home, Curtis was gone. She looked for him in the woods, but couldn't find him. When she couldn't find him, she realized that he was not coming back. She felt very bad but realized that Curtis had given her a safe place, but that he no longer felt safe. She then understood that you could be gone in an instant, and that the only thing left were memories of what that person meant to you. The text-to-world connection in this story is that today that when some soldiers come back from the Army, they have difficulty adjusting. Because of what they have experienced in the war, some will volunteer to help others who are feeling like Shoogy. They give them advice about how to handle certain situations so their lives can be better. However, for some of them, they have not learned how to handle their own problems. His way of life had been destroyed and he could not bring himself to go back to Iraq. I rated this book a three because I don't understand why she left her safe haven (home) to go to the unknown.

  • Jessica
    2019-03-16 20:12

    Honestly, until I read the last third of this book, I hated it. The writing style is very amorphous and jumps time a lot, so it's difficult to figure out if you're reading about something happening now, or that happened in the past. There's also a lot of characters thrown around that don't play any significant role and I started confusing who was who. And the main character, who I thought was named Sweet but is named in the inside cover Shoogy, is not very sympathetic. She insinuates that she has this terrible life, but it was mostly her own choices that led her to this point.However, about two-thirds into the book, it changes. The timeline becomes linear, so I was able to figure out what was happening, and the plot finally becomes clear, the plot described on the inside cover flap that I'd been waiting for the entire book. The emotions are real and tangible, and readers finally start to connect to Sweet and her situation. I hated the ending, though. I thought that it could have been handled differently so it didn't create such a flop of a resolution.Warnings (on a scale of 1-5): Language: 3 This book is written in first person, and Sweet, the narrator, uses a good amount of language for no real reason.

  • Jacki
    2019-02-27 02:22

    Summary: Shoogie moves out of her family home and into a cabin in the woods with a former soldier. They share a sweet but tenuous connection until tragedy intervenes.Verdict: Confusion. Yay!: The book is short and easy to read, which makes it great for reluctant or slow readers, but also deep, which gives it broader appeal. Dreamy prose and a pared-down plot let Shoogie's emotion float to the surface. Johnson's writing shines.Nay!: I haven't read all three books in the Heaven trilogy. Apparently Shoogie is the friend of an earlier heroine, and if you haven't read that book, you've missed a lot of her backstory. I felt a little confused. I understood that she left home because she felt out of place, but that part of her story wasn't developed much here. I never felt connected to either of the main characters, perhaps because their relationship was so new and neither felt chatty.Shameless plugging of a favorite: Have you read The First Part Last? It's terrific!

  • Mary
    2019-03-21 00:21

    Angela Johnson has an amazing ability to fill very short descriptive phrases or words with a huge amount of feeling and to imply plot with clarity and brevity. Her writing is amazing, and how it works is elusive - at least to me. Sweet moves out of her family's home and goes to live with Curtis, a former neighbor, and an Army reservist, who has served in Iraq, and who now lives in a small cabin in the woods. Sweet doesn't know Curtis very well, and he doesn't talk much, but living with him, she begins to know him better, and she is sure that she belongs with him. There is a feeling of loneliness that pervades this book, even when Sweet tells of times she spends with Curtis or with good friends, and maybe it should be a kind of foreshadowing, but the ending is still heartbreaking and was (to me) unexpected.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-28 23:21

    Shoogy has left her parent's cold and constricting home to live with Curtis. The two find kindred spirits in each other. While Shoogy deals with the baggage her parents have given her, Curtis copes with life after being in Iraq. I wasn't as connected to this book as I was to the others in the series. I felt that more could have been developed and added to story. I found myself confused by parts of the story because Shoogy seemed to be an unreliable narrator...though really she wasn't. The words were beautiful and there was potential to this story, but it didn't knock it out of the park like the others, for me.

  • Sylvia
    2019-03-09 23:10

    This was an excellent narrative although I think this trilogy could have been one book about three different kids dealing with different problems. This story was actually truly beautiful in my mind.

  • Vickie Simpson
    2019-03-19 02:19

    The poignant conclusion to the acclaimed Heaven trilogy takes readers back to Heaven, Ohio, for a bittersweet tale of first love found and lost.

  • Lilian martinez
    2019-03-05 04:35

    This book is about Shoogie a high school senior who lives with her boyfriend Curtis who's an ex soldier that fought in Iraq. Throughout the book Shoogie describes her relationship with Curtis as a place where she belongs, yet he’s always so distant. Disaster strikes when curtis receives the news that he has to go back into the army. It takes you through the journey the two have to face together. This book is a quick read, but compared to the other two books in the heaven trilogy it was not as good. At times it would get really dry making it hard to finish.

  • Jen Bigheart (I Read Banned Books)
    2019-03-14 01:24

    3 out of 5 starsShoogy Maple lives in a cabin in the woods with no TV, no radio, and no computer. It is a quiet life that she has chosen after leaving her family home at 17. Shoogy and Curtis settle in to a routine of school, work and hushed meals. Life is going at a slow and steady pace until Shoogy reads a letter, addressed to Curtis from the Army Reserve. Shoogy learns Curtis has been ordered to return to active duty. Shoogy begins to understand why Curtis has been suffering from nightmares, yelling out in the middle of the night, and waking up drenched with sweat. Curtis must make a decision to return to war or possibly go to jail. Whatever his decision, Shoogy’s life will change forever. Coretta Scott King Award winner Angela Johnson gives us the final installment of the Heaven trilogy. Told from Shoogy’s point of view (a supporting character we met in Heaven and The First Part Last), Sweet, Hereafter is a novel as quiet as the characters. There is sparse dialogue and there are no in-depth self reflections. Shoogy is a young African American female whose mother characterized her as “free” and “restless”. Shoogy moves out of her home at a young age, but we do not quite know what finally led her to leave, and we do not quite know why she turned to Curtis. We are only told, “I left home on a sunny day.” Curtis was a former neighbor, and the two had a few brief encounters in the last year or so. This adds to his mysterious quality. The reader is given no information of his background, military or family life, and we are left to assume he is an uncomplicated man haunted by war. When Shoogy mistakenly reads the Army Reserve letter intended for Curtis, they never discuss his choices. The reader is never positive whether Curtis knows that Shoogy read the letter. Although his decision is heartbreaking, it was really hard to connect with Curtis because the reader had no chance to get to know him. This book is quite different from the others in the trilogy. Heaven and The First Last Part had a defining plotline of family. Young Heaven (Heaven) discovers her parents are not who she thought they were, and Bobby (First Last Part) is a single, teenage dad fumbling his way through fatherhood. Sweet, Hereafter is more subtle and nothing is told outright. Sure Shoogy chooses her family when she turns to Curtis, but we do not know why. Did she get kicked out? Did she leave in the middle of the night? There are no details and the story is very ambiguous. Sweet, Hereafter is more poetic and figurative than the companion novels. For instance, Shoogy refers to Alice and after a few minutes, you realize she is speaking of her truck, and not a person. Even though the main character is African American, in my opinion, there are only subtle references to African American culture. We are told that Shoogy had a "curly ‘fro", but if the author did not come right out and say it, we might never guess that Shoogy is an African American girl. The cover art is the only evidence. Her boyfriend Curtis is only described as having “the darkest eyes”. In addition, there is no talk of religion, spirituality, celebrations, traditions or any other aspects that could be cultural markers. The language can be that of any teenager living in America today. Lingo used was something that any young person would say, and it wasn't on the heavy side. Sweet, Hereafter is a novel that blends in perfectly with other young adult fiction. Recommend for ages 13+.

  • Terri
    2019-03-01 01:35

    The third book in the "Heaven" trilogy has been a long time coming. "Sweet, Hereafter" suffers from the time lapse because little background is given from "Heaven" (1998) and "The First Part Last" (2003). I would suggest to my students that they read this trilogy from the beginning. Since each volume is slim, this would not be an unreasonable suggestion, and would lead to a clearer, more satisfying read.Lest one be fooled by the look of this slim volume, in true Johnson style, this is definitely a literary and challenging read. Johnson uses poetic language, filled with figurative language, as well as shifts back and forth in time. One needs to read carefully to pick up on clues (such as the fact that Alice is not a person, but a truck) that bring the pieces of the story together. "Sweet, Hereafter" is one of several books for Young Adults published of late that deal with the effects of contemporary warfare on both those who serve and those left behind such as the graphic novel "Refresh, Refresh," and novels like "Orange Houses" and "Operation Yes." Though the students I work with are not a hotbed of military children, it is important for them to look through this window into the lives of those directly impacted by war so that they can see the far-reaching implications of war.In "Sweet, Hereafter" the protagonist, Shoogy, is unsettled. She feels the need to move on. Consequently, she leaves her home (and the parents who know that they can not hold on to her, yet miss her terribly), and moves into a cabin deep in the woods with the dark-eyed, quiet, and brooding Curtis. Curtis is dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after having served one tour of duty in Iraq. When he is asked to take a second tour, he goes AWOL. He spends his time reading, listening to music, and enjoying nature. He sees this life as perfect. The two fall in love and, as is true with the first two books, the ending is a stunner.Recommend for strong readers.

  • Dayshana Dorsey
    2019-02-22 03:13

    Sweet Hereafter. They story of a young girl who ran away from home.This is a adventure / fiction story. If you asked me I would say this is a good book. I would change a few things like the ending(not going to spoil). So in this story a girl named Shoogy has ran away from her home.She feels if so she is fending for herself and she is done with it.While running she comes across a shack in the woods and meets a man around her age and who has also been to Iraq and who has fought in the War. His name is Curtis.I think the type of conflict in this story is self vs. self. I think this because throughout the whole story Shoogy was debating herself if she should go back home to her mom and dad. A major part it this book was when Shoogy's mom wrote her a letter. This was a big deal because one of the main reasons Shoogy left was because she thought that her family didn't care. The letter was basically saying that we miss you and we know that you're okay and we also know that you've been going to school. People tell us that they've been seeing u around. This made her reconsider about going home but I'm not going to spoil it. Its sad to say though that I was not very satisfied with the ending of the book. Out of no where it says that Shoogy couldn't find him. Shortly after she get a letter saying that he went back to Iraq and well I can't say.If I had to rate this book I would give it a 3.I would give it a 3 because I didn't like the ending and also because it end out of nowhere at the end of the story. I would recommend this story to people who like to infer what they think might've happened at the end of story. Overall this was a great book and I did like and I would recommend it to people and some friends.

  • Jan
    2019-02-27 03:36

    Summary: Shoogy is a restless spirit. She can’t live with her family anymore, so she has moved in with a loner veteran of the Iraqi war named Curtis, who lives by himself in a cabin in the woods. Curtis and Shoogy are kindred spirits, both seeking quiet and some kind of peace. Both struggle with internal demons that they cannot express. It turns out Curtis is AWOL and must return to his unit and return to a war he cannot face. Rather than return, he kills himself, leaving Shoogy alone once more.Plot/Setting: A simple story with a strong anti-war theme that is set in the small town of Heaven. The pace is measured and unhurried. I love the ironic use of that town’s name. Heaven is actually full of internal demons that plague Shoogy and Curtis. They cannot live their lives as they would wish. So they must retreat into the woods.Characters: Johnson tantalizes us with glimpses of these characters that draw us in and make us want to learn more. These glimpses are full of significance, yet leave many unanswered questions. Because the reader is so engaged with the characters, the heartbreaking climax of the novel is deeply felt. Themes: Anti-war, loneliness, conformity, love, loss.Writing: Dialogue is spare, but every word is carefully chosen. Her writing seems effortless, but a great deal of care is taken to tell the story. After reading a novel with too much exposition, it’s like a drink of fresh water to read one of her books. She lets the reader participate, instead of being a passive observer.

  • Heather
    2019-03-08 20:24

    Shoogy has run away from home, from her perfect family that tried to mold her into what they wanted her to be, but she refused and has run away. She decides to go to the one person she knows will take her, Curtis. Curtis is an odd person, quiet and keeping much to himself, but the two seem to know and understand each other and so they begin to live together in Curtis' cabin in the woods.Shoogy, tells the story of the two of them living out there in the woods, of her leaving her family, of her still going to school to graduate and working at a local store. She tells of Curtis and her friends, but all seems to be jumbled together in her mind.I did not like this book as much as the other books that Angela Johnson has written. This book was all over the place, yes there was a story line to the book, but it was not always clear and was very vague in many places. Not to mention random stories or chapters in this case would appear and for why? It was a jumbled mess at times and no clear vision, just felt that the author wanted to write certain parts of the book just cause they came to her mind. I could be wrong here, but that is how I felt. As I was reading this book I kept thinking, please get to the point of this because if there is no point then why am I reading this?Interesting series though the three Heaven books and I liked how certain characters remained in each of the three books to connect them together throughout the series.

  • Jay Tracey
    2019-03-23 01:39

    In my opinion, I thought that was a great book. Although the ending was quite depressing because of Curt's death, it was a great book with a well written plot. I really liked this as an ending to the Heaven trilogy because it gave closure to everything. This book was all about Shoogy, who we learned very little about in "Heaven." In Heaven we were given glimpses of her life and how she didn't fit in or connect well with her family, but with this, we got a much better look. Shoogy never really fit in with her family and was always trying to leave. She found Curtis, a boy with similar interest and desires, who just wanted to be alone like her and she loved it. Shoogy loved being in the cabin with Curtis and not saying much and enjoying the trees and wildlife. Shoogy knew she didn't belong at home, she needed to go off on her own. Throughout the book you could see how much she connected with Curtis and loved him through the way she talked about him and described how happy she was. She knew he was AWOL but still lied to Jos and Brodie who weren't stupid enough to fall for the lie and saw right through it. Shoogy expected the soldiers to show up as they did, and she knew Curtis would leave to never return one day, but I don't know if she ever expected him to commit suicide. She always knew he was dealing with the demons from being in Iraq but she never quite fully understood it. Overall, I really liked this book and the entire Heaven Trilogy.

  • Brianna Covarrubias
    2019-02-25 20:29

    My overall review of this book was that a young sweet girl became in love with this boy named Curtis her boyfriend. The girl ran away from her house and went to go live with him in his cabin. The girl decided to leave her house because she felt alone she left like her family didn't pay attention to her. She found it better if she would go move in with her boyfriend. She was a average teen age girl she went to school work liked the nature just like Curtis. She meet Curtis at her job she was also neighbors with him before he left to the cabin , she knew his family she would always go outside to see Curtis sister play with her wings they would buy her. Curtis was in the army that's what the girl didn't like she was always was scared he was going to go back. Until one day she came back from school and she found Curtis making dinner and was very talkative she had never heard Curtis talk so much before or nothing. She was happy that day she felt loved. But then came night and they both fell asleep together but the next morning Curtis wasn't there he had felt. The girl went out to go find him but she didn't find him anywhere. She waited all day to see if he would come back she had a bad feeling he was never going to. Sure enough he never did , Curtis brother came over to the house and said he needed Curtis books and stuff because he was going to Iraq with him. His brother gave her a letter Curtis has made for her. That was all that Curtis left behind for her a letter..

  • Barbara
    2019-02-28 04:28

    Sweet or Shoogy left home or was kicked out by her parents because no one really understands her. But Curtis does. She doesn’t really like school and she and Curtis like to be alone together. This is the third part of a trilogy, Heaven (1998) and The First Part Last (2003), but it is not entirely necessary to read the earlier books, though some of the same characters show up in this installment. Curtis lives in a small cabin on the shores of Lake Erie away from the town of Heaven and he is in the Army Reserves having served one tour of duty in Iraq. He is also in college and has books lining the walls of the cabin. He does not want to go back to Iraq and may have gone AWOL and the tragic ending is foreshadowed by the Prologue. As Sweet and Curtis fall in love, she struggles to give him space but cannot figure out how to help him. The story unfolds slowly with beautiful, evocative prose but despite its short length will not appeal to reluctant readers. It is more appropriate for sophisticated readers who like ambiguity and cryptic, spare writing. Buy this if Heaven and The First Part Last are popular in your library. Positive review in Booklist and starred Kirkus.

  • Anastasia
    2019-03-22 04:28

    The Sweet, Hereafter was a spellbinding book. I'm really enjoyed the style of this author. Short, simple sentences strung in interesting phrases. 3 page chapters with complete thoughts.The story follows the main character as she runs away from everything and everyone. Her disconnected view of allows for some interesting observations.Here are a few excerpts from the book:"Reason six hundred and ninety-two why nothing should shock me but always does.""The army and marines would rock so much better with their asses back here at home.""Me and Brodie usually stand around and bitching and complaining about nothing in particular and everything between.""I thought that would be the end of it all Death & said so to my grandma.But she looked at me w red eyes that said it was only the beginning""It's sad to see a body stop raging into the dying of any light. Sorry, Angry Goth Boy."

  •  Imani ♥ ☮
    2019-02-27 04:27

    Well this was a lot like the other books in the trilogy. I didn't really get this book that much like The First Part Last and Heaven. This author writes very abstractly but beautifully. There was just a couple things I didn't get about this story such as the fact that the girl's name was supposedly Shoogy but everyone kept calling her Sweet. And then the whole running away thing. I guess maybe in a way I would have liked this book more if it was longer. Overall however, I think that this book was good and expressed the current time like talking about the war and our new president:D. Nice read.

  • Adrienne
    2019-02-28 21:35

    In the final installment on the Heaven trilogy, Shoogy has left home, not feeling like she has ever truly fit in there. While she does have friends who care for her, her biggest connection is with Curtis, even though there's a lot she doesn't know about him. Having fought in Iraq, Curtis has a lot that he won't talk about, and Shoogy never pushes him for more information, but she does witness the emotional impact war has left on him.This book was a little hard for me to follow; it jumps back and forth between the present and the past, and I didn't feel like I knew what was going on until the last page--and while I don't want the book to give away the ending, in this case, I felt the effect was dizzying. This book is pretty short and doesn't really have the character development that I like, but it certainly gives the reader food for thought.

  • Beverly
    2019-03-11 03:11

    The final book in the Heaven trilogy is a quick, sweet and touching read. Shoogy has moved to Heaven, Ohio but just can't seem to fit in. She decides to leave home on the day all her jeans, except the ones she's wearing, are in the wash. Later she comes back by and finds them all folded on the front porch. Meanwhile, she has met Curtis who lives in a cabin in the woods where things are quiet and they can get to know each other and feed the groundhogs. It turns out that Curtis has been to Iraq and definitely does not want to go back and Shoogy just wants to stay with Curtis. When Curtis gets the word that he must return to Iraq, neither one really knows what they can do to maintain their relationship.

  • Jeanette Johnson
    2019-03-22 00:28

    This wasn't my cup of tea. This is the third book in a series or at least a companion book and I just didn't connect with the characters. I understood Curtis wanting to live on the edge of the woods because of his experiences in Iraq and how he was a solitary kind of person but I didn't have enough information about Shoogy. We got glimpses of her.She didn't get along well at home and caused trouble in school so she only went a few day a week to special classes. She showed up one day on Curtis's doorstep with her bag of clothes but didn't really know him.She had a few friends she hung out with....It wraps up with Curtis being found dead in the woods (he was AWOL because he didn't want to go back to Iraq), and the services with his family.

  • Shandi Hibbert
    2019-03-17 00:12

    I should feel a little guilty for giving this book a low rating, but I don't. This was a one night stand for me. From the moment I finished it, no more contact or interaction of any kind. It was a good thing this was a quick read, because I couldn't have survived another page. I guess the story was supposed to have a lot of depth to it, but I wasn't buying it. I am still slightly confused about what the main character's name is, let alone the message the author is trying to get across. It was an experience, but not all experiences are good ones. Spoilers: Rate 1-5. 1 is rarely and 5 is frequently. Language: 3. Considering the size of the book, it does swear a lot. Violence: noneSex: noneDrugs: 1. She smokes cigarettes.

  • Angie
    2019-03-20 00:40

    Another quick read from Angela Johnson. Shoogy ("Sweet") has left home and is living in a cabin with Curtis - a Iraq war veteran. She still goes to school and works, but otherwise is feeling adrift in her life. She feels safe and comfortable in the cabin, with Curtis. When Curtis gets papers about needing to report back to Iraq, Sweet can't find him.This installment in the Heaven series in the final in the trilogy, but it leaves the reader wondering and maybe wanting some more. I felt the writing was choppy and disjointed, like Sweet was writing separate journal entries. Overall, a pretty good book with characters from the other two being mentioned.

  • Alicia
    2019-03-08 04:17

    A poetic, compact story that packs an emotional punch in its topic of the effect war has on the people who fight, and the people who love them. Shoogy showed up at Curtis's door when living at home wasn't working anymore, and he let her stay. He never talks about his time in Iraq, but sometimes he screams in his sleep. Could be a one-sitting book, and great for discussion. Third book in the Heaven trilogy; I read it alone, which worked, but more context for the characters would've been nice.

  • Phoebe
    2019-03-19 20:21

    This book's feet never touch the ground. It hovers, a light yet heavy, dark yet ethereal thing. I want to worry about the characters but I don't quite make it. The details that make up their lives are exquisite but too sparse for me to ever know anyone. In the end, I care about the story in a way that's like just passing through, like meeting a friend's sick cousin whom I'll never meet again. Still, I respect Johnson's work and pluck her books from the shelves as rare, gentle gems describing non-urban, modern black youth culture in a way that's never boring, stereotyped or trite.

  • River
    2019-03-19 22:10

    Though I've read the two previous novels in the Heaven trilogy, Sweet, Hereafter works perfectly well as a standalone (as do Heaven, and The First Part Last). "Sweet" is just as poetic and real as any Angela Johnson novel, from behaviors and reactions of the characters, to their idiosyncrasies and emotions. The inclusion of Marley, and Bobby and Feather is a nice touch, something more for the fans than anything else. Shoogy's story is no doubt touching, and readers will have been moved to their core by the final line in Sweet, Hereafter.

  • Kiersten
    2019-03-14 03:36

    Not quite sure what I thought of this. Honestly, it was very difficult to get into, which surprised me since I read and enjoyed both Heaven and The First Part Last. I was bored by this; I struggled just to finish it (and it's a short, small book, too), but I can't put my finger on precisely why...I think maybe Shoogy's personality just grated on me. I found her narrative voice hard to flow with and follow. And the plot was a little bit confusing, too; I constantly felt like I was missing details and I had to backtrack a fair bit in the second half of the book.

  • Kaci
    2019-03-01 21:14

    This is the third and final book in the Heaven trilogy by Angela Johnson. The main character, Sweet, is insightful, introspective, and rebellious. The book really examines the effects of war on the young men and women that endure deployment and what it does psychologically to their souls. Curtis has been deployed once, then goes AWOL because he doesn't want to go back. Angela Johnson has a poetic way of writing about heavy issues. All three books in this series are short, easy reads. I have really enjoyed reading this series over the years.