Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan
Published by: Ember
Genres: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Date Read: 14/07/2015
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.
To be honest, I was not entirely impressed with this book. I wanted to like it, but I couldn’t. I love David Levithan, and I love his style of writing and storylines, but this one was weak and under developed.
Love is the Higher Law focuses on the events of 9/11 and the aftermath of the city of New York and how people reacted and moved on. The chapters alternate between three characters, but unfortunately in this book it just didn’t work as well. There was never a moment where I felt I really connected with either one of them, or where I felt like we really got to know them.
A topic like this deserves a bigger book, especially if you were going to focus on three main characters. The beginning of the book, when the tragedy first took place was the most gripping part of the book.
Maybe it’s not fair of me, but I expected more out of this book and out of Levithan. The story fell short, and the characters fell short – and those two things are at the core of what makes a book good for me.