David Levithan is one of my favorite authors. For years, I’ve been reading his books and there isn’t one that I have not found delightful. I have been waiting to read Love is the Higher Law for a while, and I was very excited to find it at my local library.
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.
David Levithan has written a novel of loss and grief, but also one of hope and redemption as his characters slowly learn to move forward in their lives, despite being changed forever. – GoodReads
Part One hit me like a ton of bricks.While I did not live in Manhattan at the time, I was only fifteen minutes away. A short distance in which many Jersey moms and dads could easily commute to the city. As Claire described the exact moment that the first tower was hit, I felt chills. I felt like I was back in my classroom reliving it all over again. As I read on, I was swept over with so much emotion. I could not read it straight through. I was already tearing up by the second page. I can picture the Manhattan skyline vividly from the descriptions, feel the characters’ fear and astonishment.
The book is a very quick read, falling under 200 pages. It is very short to the point that the plot is almost lacking. This is a minor flaw in my eyes though, because Levithan truly captures what it was like for a teenager in the After. 9/11 is something that you cannot forget, but you keep moving forward anyway.
I give this book a rating of four because it truly describes the tragedy of 9/11 in different perspectives.