Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan (August 25th 2009—Knopf)
[thanks Lauren for pointing out my mistake!]
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
Summary: “First there is a Before, and then there is an After. . .
The lives of three teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are altered forever on September 11, 2001. Claire, a high school junior, has to get to her younger brother in his classroom. Jasper, a college sophomore from Brooklyn, wakes to his parents’ frantic calls from Korea, wondering if he’s okay. Peter, a classmate of Claire’s, has to make his way back to school as everything happens around him.
Here are three teens whose intertwining lives are reshaped by this catastrophic event. As each gets to know the other, their moments become wound around each other’s in a way that leads to new understandings, new friendships, and new levels of awareness for the world around them and the people close by.”
Review: Khy is perhaps one of the most avid fans of David Levithan. I, however, never read any of his books. I had many other books to read, to tackle, so I wasn’t planning to read any of Levithan’s work for quite some time. But wow I really read more of his works.
David Levithan threw together a novel of growth—of a city, of yourself, of an entire nation. We follow these 3 teens from the during to the after and fragments of the before.
In just 24 hours the city of New York, known for its constant traffic is abruptly put on hold. The entire city changes, many New Yorkers change, and we live with it. We watch as the city come together and aid those with whatever they can—lighting candles, donating blood, sheltering people.
The 3 teens—Claire, Jasper, and Peter—are all very different. Claire is someone who has to help, who wants to move forward, who pretends to be the strong one even if she doubts herself in every wink. Jasper—the gay Korean—is the one who just can’t feel, he wants to but he can’t, he doesn’t know how. And then Peter—who falls in love with Jasper—lives life through music. They all have one thing in common though, a party right before the twin towers fell.
I really do think that this novel was spectacular. It was heartbreaking, it was emotional, it was moving. I love all three main characters differently but at the same time similar. They each spoke a volume worth of words even if it’s just 5.
Overall: I bow down to David Levithan.