Love Is the Higher Law

Love Is the Higher Law

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) David Levithan

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  • Publisher: ALFRED A KNOPF
  • Format: Paperback | 167 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 201mm x 10mm | 136g
  • Publication date: 10 August 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0375834699
  • ISBN 13: 9780375834691
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 45,237

Product description

"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. "From the Hardcover edition."

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Author information

David Levithan is a children's book editor in New York City. He lives in Hoboken, New Jersey. "From the Hardcover edition."

Customer reviews

By Ryann Dannelly 04 Nov 2014 5

The writing in this book is so beautifully fantastic. It�?�¢??s abrupt, minimalistic, and crisp. Because the book is so short (only a little longer than 150 pages) every sentence is that much more powerful.

The writing is extremely calculated. There are so many potential pull quotes.

Levithan captures the post-9/11 mood in New York so well. The book is inspired from Levithan�?�¢??s own experiences and thoughts since he was living in Manhattan on 9/11.

I really liked the three young adult perspectives.

I was a fifth grader living outside Washington D.C. when the towers were hit. Obviously, my memories and experience are quite different from Claire, Peter, and Jasper�?�¢??s.

Now older, it's interesting to read and connect with these more mature perspectives.

This is an extremely powerful and moving book. It�?�¢??s incredibly short and won�?�¢??t take long to finish. Once you pick it up, you�?�¢??ll finish it in a few hours.

By TeensReadToo 28 Sep 2010 5

Huge thanks to the girl who sat next to me on the bus to Chicago from ALA. She had this ARC in her hands when she boarded the bus for our 3 1/2 hour trip home, and she finished it by the time the trip was over. When I asked how she liked it, she nodded, I believe, then swallowed a lump in her throat, and offered me the book. Once again, thank you!

Do you remember where you were on 9/11? The characters in LOVE IS THE HIGHER LAW were all in New York City. So was David Levithan, and that experience was inspiration for this book. As Levithan points out in the Author's Note, many young people today may be too young to have first-hand memories of that world-changing day. By reading the experiences of Jasper, Peter, and Claire, perhaps the emotions of that day and its aftermath can be experienced by readers in the years to come.

As the book begins, each character shares where they were and what it was like at the moment. Peter and Claire were affected immediately, while Jasper finds it difficult to admit that he slept through the actual attack and learned about it as he listened to Peter Jennings on the news.

The personal experiences of the three become intertwined as the story continues. All three are surprised at how directly they feel the emotions of the event. The life they once took for granted, the city they've always known as home, and the atmosphere surrounding them have them asking questions that have no real answers.

David Levithan captures the unique yet universal feelings inspired by the event that touched us all. Amidst the unanswered questions are feelings of greater appreciation for family and friends, the sympathy that goes out to those who lost and suffered most, and the human condition that connects the entire world.

Unlike the teen who read the book in one sitting on the bus, I found the need to set it aside at times to sort through my own memories of that day and what has unfolded since. The world is truly a different place, and I've concluded I'm not sure if it is for the better or worse. Time will tell.