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Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan

Love is the Higher Law (2009)

by David Levithan

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3102435,978 (4.02)10



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I was young and living on the other side of the country at the time when 9/11 occurred, so it didn’t really affect me all that much, nor the war that occurred afterwards. I do remember watching a few films dedicated to the event years afterwards, but I can’t say that it was ever a very big part of my life. This is why I think books like this one are important, like David Levithan states himself in the end of the book. It shows those who were too young to understand what really happened that day. All of it – such as the way the air smelled or the way papers from the towers were blown all the way into Brooklyn. It’s those little things that make it real. This was a good, important book. It just didn’t hold me very well. It does make me think I should pick up another book on the topic sometime, one that really goes into detail what happened that day. The writing was good; it’s Levithan so the writing is always good and always holds a lot of meaning. There’s a lot you could grab form the words in this book. ( )
  Kassilem | Aug 13, 2014 |
Recensione su: http://wp.me/p3X6aw-hN
Review at: http://wp.me/p3X6aw-hN ( )
  Saretta.L | Mar 24, 2014 |
A deceptively thin novel which packs a huge wallop. A must-read for New Yorkers. A must-read for, well, anyone who remembers 9/11. And anyone who doesn't because they were too little.

One of the things I've liked about Levithan's previous books is his sense of goodness- of the rightness that lies under everything. He's kind of like L'Engle in that way. It's harder to tease out in this book, but it's ultimately a hopeful book, no matter that I wept throughout the whole thing.

'"I think if you were somehow able to measure the weight of human kindness, it would have weighed more on 9/11 than it ever had. On 9/11, all the hatred and murder could not compare with the weight of love, of bravery, of caring. I have to believe that. I honestly believe that. I think we saw the way humanity works on that day, and while some of it was horrifying, so much of it was good."

"That's totally fucked up," I said. '

A keeper. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Dern it Levithan,I thought I was ready for a book about 9/11. Guess I wasn't. Still beautiful and lyrical and poignant. ( )
  akmargie | Apr 4, 2013 |
I did not realize when I read The Lover's Dictionary that David Levithan had written so much young adult (YA) fiction! And what good news this is. I picked up several of his YA books at the ALA Annual Conference (thank you, publishers) and read this one this morning. He writes his characters with tremendous accuracy and emotional truth.

"The people out right now don't want to take cabs. We just want to walk. Our legs need to move to keep our minds from collapsing." (Claire, p. 72)

"Here's what breaks us: Even though we know better, we still want everything to be all right." (Claire, p. 73)

"But I guess the thing about fear is that it defies the laws of rationality. It creates its own laws instead." (Peter, p. 84)

"We knew we wouldn't find what we were missing here. We would only find something that was missing more." (Jasper, p. 97)


Re-read October 2011:

Love Is The Higher Law is a character-driven novel told from three first-person perspectives: high school seniors Claire and Peter, and college sophomore Jasper. The book begins on September 11, 2001: Claire is in homeroom, Peter is skipping homeroom to wait outside Tower Records to get the new Dylan album, and Jasper is asleep at his family’s apartment in Brooklyn. The first-person narration and multiple perspectives give the story an immediacy and bring the event and its aftermath back to life, as each character describes that day and the days that follow. In the post-9/11 world, Peter, Jasper, and Claire draw close to each other, despite having known each other only slightly before. Nine-eleven occurs at a time in their lives when they are only beginning to form their identities; together and separately, they talk and think and feel through their reactions, feelings, and personal life philosophies. Levithan also uses music references to great effect, describing how Claire and Peter, especially, find new meaning in old songs by Travis and U2.

This is one of my favorite David Levithan novels, for a few reasons. First, it preserves and represents September 11 in a realistic way, and it allows it to be the central event, unlike many adult novels (Falling Man by Don DeLillo, The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud, The Good Life by Jay McInerney). Second, the characters are in a transitional phase, at the end of high school or beginning of college, rather than firmly inhabiting the high school universe. Thirdly, the story occurs firmly in the real world – Peter and Jasper are both gay, but it’s not the central focus of the story like in Boy Meets Boy, and the setting is Manhattan, not an unnamed suburban utopia. Like other Levithan novels, the characters are perhaps too good: thoughtful and articulate and nearly ideal – but it’s a flaw I’m more than willing to overlook in exchange for a serious work about a real event, written in a way that is relatable for teens, adults, and especially those in the middle.
( )
  JennyArch | Apr 3, 2013 |
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To Craig Walker (who was next to me on 9/11) and To Eliot Schrefer (who was across the table when I wrote most of this book)
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My first thought is: My mother is dead.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375834680, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Three New York City teens express their reactions to the bombing of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and its impact on their lives and the world.

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