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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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4102840,053 (3.92)11
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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Couldn't finish it. Couldn't bring myself to care about the characters. ( )
  oldenoughdk | Feb 8, 2018 |
n a Nutshell: Claire, Jasper and Peter are teenagers in New York City on 9/11. Confusion, grief, mourning, and learning to live and love again follow.

The Good: Getting 9/11 from an insider perspective. I never thought about two building’s-worth of paperwork fluttering into Brooklyn, re-lighting candles in the park in the rain, not being allowed to return to your downtown home. There’s a great scene where Jasper and Claire are at MSG that October for a U2 concert that showcases music’s power to unite and heal. It’s very cathartic.

The Bad: Levithan’s writing style. I sometimes find it hard to take. It’s like a breathless torrent of teenage “deep thoughts” mixed with over-jaded adolescent angst. His teenagers seem too old and too young at the same time. It may be wildly realistic, too, which is why most teenagers frighten me ever so slightly. Also, there is a love story aspect that left me cold.

The Verdict: I had high expectations going into this one, which is probably part of my problem with it. I loved the parts from Claire’s perspective that seemed to focus more on the events and aftermath of 9/11 and disliked the ones from Jasper’s more confused, disconnected perspective. I wanted more emotional kick from this and maybe for Levithan to spread out all the teenage profundities his characters’ internal narratives were constantly spewing. Short answer: I wanted this book to make me cry. Instead, all the words got in the way. ( )
  yourotherleft | Nov 24, 2017 |
  christopher.kyle1706 | Dec 8, 2016 |
This book is valuable in that the immediate aftermath of the World Trade Center being attacked is vividly rendered. I wasn't aware of (or no longer remember) mention of how the air smelled or that random office papers from the towers blew around the city or that many people were taken in when they couldn't get home. The characters' numb shock and mixed emotions reveal how New Yorkers must have stumbled through the days afterward. However I found Peter and Claire's voices as they tried to understand and cope with the impossible, far too articulate and sophisticated for teens to be expressing. Jasper was the most realistic to me, sort of a clueless jerk to begin with but evolving his compassion as the book goes on. The author mentions including quotes from emails he sent out during this time; I am guessing the best of his quotes all went to Claire. A valuable title for the history it depicts but overdone emotionally for a good part of it. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Sep 22, 2016 |
Three young adults experience the unbelievable events of 9/11 in New York City and then try to deal with interpersonal relationships with friends, parents, siblings, and each other. Told from the perspective of each character in turn, the reader is presented with varying viewpoints and struggles as they occurred on 9/11. Claire, Peter, and Jasper each try to understand how their reactions (or lack of) to the the day’s tragedies can be resolved in order for them to continue on a life path that has worth. Levithan weaves together a touching trilogy of first-person remembrances culminating in an unexpected but hoped for ending that tries to bring closure to the hateful actions of a few (that affected thousands in so many differents ways). As Levithan states in his acknowledgments, this poignant story- though retold by many- provides young adult readers who were not around (or do not remember 9/11) with an understanding of the emotional diverseness of those involved… even if they were only on the periphery of the events. ( )
  MzzColby | Jan 3, 2015 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Average: (3.92)
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2 5
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3.5 9
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